Little public reaction seen as open carry begins in Oklahoma
BY JERRY WOFFORD World Staff Writer
Thursday, November 01, 2012
11/01/12 at 7:42 PM
OWASSO — Bruce Barnard felt a little bit exposed when he left the house this morning, with his .40 caliber Glock 24L strapped to his side for all to see.
“It just felt strange because every time you walk out before, it was stuck in your pocket,” Barnard said.
By the time he got to Trails End BBQ with his wife Thursday afternoon, he was more relaxed, especially when the nearly 30 other openly carrying persons came in for lunch on the first day open carry was allowed in Oklahoma.
The Oklahoma law allowing licensed individuals to openly carry firearms went into effect after midnight Wednesday, making Oklahoma the 44th state to allow some form of open carry. The nearly 142,000 individuals with handgun licenses in the state, or about 4 percent, can now carry openly carry, with some regulations and exceptions.
Several people said they had been to public places that allow firearms Thursday morning to see what the reaction would be. There hasn’t been much of one, they said.
“I had a couple of double looks, but that was about it,” said Gary Stiner of Broken Arrow. He said he went and filled up at a QuikTrip and ran some other errands, but most people didn’t notice at all.
Bryan Hull, co-director of the Oklahoma Open Carry Association, said he was at a diner in Oklahoma City at midnight with about 40 others openly carrying. Were it not for the media attention in the cramped booths, few people would have noticed, he said.
“We were all sitting there concealed and at some point, I looked at my cell phone and I said, ‘Hey guys, look at this, it’s midnight. Welcome to open carry in Oklahoma,’” Hull said.
Read more in Friday's Tulsa World.
Garrison Infield of Bristow eats lunch Thursday with his gun in a holster at Trails End BBQ in Owasso. The lunch was a meeting place for people who started open carrying their guns on the day the new law took effect. JOHN CLANTON/Tulsa World