Open-carry bill advances; measure could allow firearms carried openly without permit.
BY BARBARA HOBEROCK World Capitol Bureau
Friday, March 30, 2012
10/16/12 at 12:58 PM
Correction: A map published in Friday’s Tulsa World incorrectly displayed some states’ restrictions for carrying guns. The map has been corrected.
OKLAHOMA CITY - A Senate panel on Thursday approved a bill that would allow firearms to be carried openly without a concealed-carry permit.
The Senate Committee on Public Safety voted 7-2 for a committee substitute to House Bill 2522. The measure now moves to the Senate floor.
The new version would allow people who are at least 21 and undergo training to carry weapons openly.
The new language was offered by Sen. Steve Russell, R-Oklahoma City, who said the right to carry weapons openly shouldn't be tied to a license.
Requiring a license is not consistent with the Second Amendment, he said.
The measure would require a higher level of training than what is now required to obtain a concealed-carry permit, Russell said.
Sen. Greg Treat, R-Oklahoma City, is the Senate sponsor of the original measure, which would have allowed people with a concealed-carry permit to carry weapons openly.
Treat said he agreed with the concept in Russell's language but preferred the original language because he believed that it had a better chance of making it into law.
Sen. Ralph Shortey, R-Oklahoma City, argued for Russell's language, saying he shouldn't be required to pay fees and get a license to carry a weapon.
"I was in oil and gas," Shortey said. "I was out on a lease at one time and I got attacked by a turkey. Wait until you get attacked by a turkey. You will know the fear that a turkey can invoke in a person. And so I beat it with a club. That was all I could do.
"I wish that I had a gun with me," he said. "And I started carrying a gun in my truck after that without a license because I didn't want to get attacked by a mountain lion. Turkeys are bad enough."
Russell said that under his committee substitute, a law enforcement officer who saw someone openly carrying a weapon could stop the person and ask for documentation of training.
Original Print Headline: Open-carry bill advances
Barbara Hoberock 405-528-2465
Sen. Ralph Shortey: "Wait until you get attacked by a turkey. You will know the fear that a turkey can invoke in a person," he said, describing a time he wished he would have had a gun to fend off an attacking turkey. He added that he "started carrying a gun in my truck after that without a license because I didn't want to get attacked by a mountain lion. Turkeys are bad enough."