Tulsans react to recent open carry measure

Posted at 8:57 PM, Mar 10, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-11 07:59:16-05

Open carry of firearms without a license could soon become a reality for Oklahomans.

A bill supporting the effort passed through the house today and is headed to the Senate. With a vote of 73 to 15, House Bill 3098 passed through the Oklahoma House of Representatives today. 

The author, Rep. Jeff Coody, said it all comes down to constitutional rights.

"The constitution under the second amendment guarantees that we can keep and bear arms," Coody , said. "We can own and we can carry a weapon in self defense or for any other lawful purpose."

This bill would allow anyone over the age of 21 who is not a felon, not in the commission of a crime and not mentally incompetent, to purchase and own a weapon and carry it openly in public. 

However, carrying a concealed weapon would still require a license. 

We asked Tulsans about how they felt about the issue, and the reaction was mixed.

Mike Harrell said he is unsure of how to feel about the bill.

"Kind of mixed feelings," Harrell, said. "There's a lot of responsibility that come with carrying openly that some people agree with and don't agree with."

Mark Middleton, a supporter of the bill said he feels it's his constitutional right to bear arms.

"I see no reason not to [support it]," Harrell, said. "As discussed, there's plenty of other states around the nation that have opened carried without licensing."

In fact, there are 30 other states who allow open carry in public without a license. If a resident of another state with this law passes through Oklahoma, our state's law states the person with the firearm and no license is allowed to do so.

A group of Tulsan mother's who associate themselves with the organization, Mothers Demand Action, said this bill is a step in the wrong direction for Oklahoma.

"I cant believe this is even being considered," Sabine Brown of Mothers Demand Action, said. "This a horrible and dangerous idea."

A senate committee will hear the bill next. Rep. Coody said he has high hopes the bill could make it to the Governor"s desk.