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New bill would allow open, concealed carry in OK parks and zoos

Posted: 5:19 PM, Jan 22, 2019
Updated: 2019-01-23 00:35:19Z
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TULSA, OK (KJRH) — When a debate over whether parks like Gathering Place should be able to ban guns came to a head in October 2018, organizers of a pro-gun right rally wanted to figure out how to find a clear answer. They're now pushing a new bill in the Oklahoma House and Senate that would allow open and concealed carry in all parks, and many other areas open to the public.

According to the bill's writers, under the bill public places like parks and zoos would not be allowed to enforce no-gun policies.

They say it would clear up confusion for those who concealed carry, who right now can be kicked off private property if they don't follow the rules.

"Where the confusion lies is when you start finding businesses and places that have no gun signs," said Eric Fuson, General Manager of 2A Shooting Center in Tulsa. "If you violate that policy, they can ask you to leave, and if you refuse to do so you're guilty of trespassing."

Fuson says in concealed carry training, gun owners learn important policies like where they can and cannot carry their weapons. But he says it's different when it comes to private property, and that's exactly why there was an issue that resulted in a rally at Gathering Place in October.

Back in October, Gathering Place representatives said "any entry into gathering place with firearms... will constitute an actionable trespass." But the bill says concealed or open carry cannot be prohibited in any property designated as a park, zoo, or a number of other places open to the public.

From the start, Gathering Place representatives have remained firm on their security policy.

"We believe as a privately operated park we have the right to pick the rules and regulations that are in the best interest of safety, and for safe regulations of our guests," Gathering Place Director Tony Moore said last October. Representatives from Gathering Place say they're currently looking over the bill.

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