Oklahoma a Step Closer to Constitutional Open Carry

photo from PressTV

An Oklahoma House committee gave preliminary approval to legislation that would allow residents 21 and over to openly carry firearms, according to this story from koco.com.

Specifically, the constitutional carry bill would allow those without a felony conviction on their record to openly carry firearms without a license, training, or background checks. Concealed carry would still require a license if the bill eventually becomes law.

The story says the House Conference Committee on Public Safety passed the bill, and now seven members of the state House or Senate must sign it before further action an be taken. Different versions of the bill have been approved in both chambers, resulting in the formation of the committee to resolve disagreements among the versions.

About 30 other states have similar measures, and Oklahoma is currently among just 15 states that require a permit to openly carry a handgun, the story says.

"Oklahomans know the government cannot always be there to protect them, and like Americans all across the country, they are increasingly taking that responsibility into their own hands," said NRA spokesperson Catherine Mortensen in an email.

Opponents of the bill worry that the rules about where people can carry firearms will become muddied if this bill were to pass, but Rep. Jeff Coody (R-Grandfield) said the concerns are “overblown” and that the bill wouldn’t allow the open carry of firearms anywhere that they are currently prohibited.