Sunday: Oklahoma gun owners looking forward to open carry
BY JERRY WOFFORD World Staff Writer
Saturday, October 20, 2012
10/20/12 at 3:25 PM
John Zane was anxious the first time he brought his handgun into a public place.
“I carried with my shirt over it, and I just knew everybody could see it,” said Zane, who had his concealed carry license. It was well hidden and no one could see the gun, but he was still anxious.
Soon, Zane, and anyone else with a handgun permit, can take the next step and openly carry a firearm where everyone can see it.
Senate Bill 1733, signed by Gov. Mary Fallin on May 15, amends the Oklahoma Self-Defense Act to allow the open carrying of a firearm with a license and a few restrictions. After the bill goes into effect on Nov. 1, the more than 140,000 Oklahomans with a handgun license will no longer be required to have their weapon concealed in public.
Oklahoma will be the 44th state to allow the open carrying of firearms in some form, said Bryan Hull, one of the organizers for the Oklahoma Open Carry Association.
Some gun owners are eager for that day, saying they will be afforded more of the rights granted by the Second Amendment to the Constitution. Others say the idea of sharing a space with an armed individual is “frightening.”
However, Zane and many in law enforcement don’t expect many gun owners to take that next step either for tactical or safety reasons.
“I like the fact that my weapon is secret, that no one knows it’s there until I need it,” said Zane, the handgun license instructor at United States Shooting Academy. “I don’t carry it for shock factor, I carry it for protection.”
Read more in Sunday's World.
John Zane watches the target while Carolyn Manes shoots during an introduction to marksmanship class at US Shooting Academy in north Tulsa on October 14, 2012. JOHN CLANTON/Tulsa World