Since the passing of House Bill 3098 earlier this year, there have been many questions regarding concealed and open carry gun laws.
The House bill stated that an Oklahoma resident 21 years or older who has not been convicted of a felony or involved in a crime would be able to carry a handgun openly without a self-defense act or SDA license except in certain places prohibited by statute, such as schools, public offices, and other establishments were weapons are not permitted.
This bill does not allow handguns to be carried out-of-state under reciprocity without a SDA license.
While there are restriction to those allowed these rights, many are questioning the wisdom of allowing citizens to openly carry handguns and are opting to continue to pursue an SDA concealed carry license.
The application process begins with becoming familiar with the Oklahoma Self-Defense Act, including eligibility requirements and mandatory preclusions.
Applicants must be U.S. citizens, residents of Oklahoma, at least 21 years of age, and complete a firearms safety and training course with demonstrated competence with a qualified handgun.
Those with felony charges, adjudication of mental incompetence, and misdemeanor offenses including aggravated assault and battery, violation of the Protection from Domestic Abuse Act, illegal drug use, or a history of falsifying handgun license information are not eligible for a SDA concealed carry license.
Those who have attempted suicide or are currently undergoing treatment for a mental condition are also ineligible.
Exemptions to a training course are made for persons deemed qualified for a training exemption by Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training or CLEET such as active duty military, honorably discharged military, retired law enforcement, and active duty law enforcement.
The license is good for five or ten years, depending on which is chosen by the applicant.
Training courses can be taken in a class setting or online. Instructors must be certified through the CLEET and the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation. Prices vary based on instructor and class type.
According to a website, training courses can be taken through the Yellow Rose Firing Range at 113 S. Main St. in Altus, with the next class scheduled Oct. 8.
It is an eight-hour class complete with a written exam and live firing.
For more information on training classes and instructors in Jackson County, visit www.ok.gov/osbi.
Reach Katrina Goforth at 580-482-1221, ext. 2077.