• The Oklahoma Self-Defense Act Does Not Prevent Businesses from Having “No Gun” Policies
  • November 8, 2012 | Author: Erin K. Dailey
  • Law Firm: GableGotwals - Tulsa Office
  • As of November 1, 2012, when the revised Oklahoma Self-Defense Act goes into effect, Oklahomans with handgun licenses will be allowed to openly carry their firearms, with some restrictions. See the full text of the Act at http://www.ok.gov/osbi/documents/SDA-Lawbook-NOV-2012.pdf. The Act defines “unconcealed handgun” as “a loaded or unloaded pistol carried upon the person in a belt or shoulder holster that is wholly or partially visible, or carried upon the person in a scabbard or case designed for carrying firearms that is wholly or partially visible.”

    Does this mean that business owners, employers, places of worship and other entities will be required to allow the open carrying of firearms on their premises? In a word, no.

    The Act preserves the rights of business and property owners to prohibit the carrying of weapons (concealed or unconcealed), so long as the prohibition does not prevent a person from keeping a firearm in a locked vehicle. See 21 Okla. Stat. 1290.22 (The Oklahoma legislature has also endeavored to limit civil liability for businesses and property owners for incidents arising out of the storage of firearms in locked vehicles. See 21 Okla. Sta. § 1289.7a(B).)

    It is advisable for employers, places of worship and businesses to have and communicate a no-firearms policy (allowing for the locked vehicle exception), so there is no confusion among employees or patrons as to whether firearms are permitted on the premises.