As of 1 November 2012, individuals with a Concealed Weapon License (henceforth know as a Handgun License) issued under the Oklahoma Self-Defense Act can carry legal* handguns either concealed or openly. Initially (before 1 November) there was a great deal of hand-wringing in the media about Open Carry with the concomitant alarm about how businesses would handle it and what the "risk" would be to law enforcement. Letters to the editor and comments on TV and radio station websites were full of the expected whining from the hoplophobes and scaredycats about having to see a handgun on someone's hip.
On 1 November the media covered Open Carry quite breathlessly as if waiting for something bad to happen. The only "thing" that happened was a luncheon at the Trail's End Barbeque in Owasso where about 50 folks from the Oklahoma Open Carry Association (OKOCA) showed up carrying their sidearms to celebrate. Of course there were, again, the letters and comments from the hoplophobes and scaredycats, saying how worried they were and how uncomfortable open carry made them.
I open carry every day at work, because it's part of my job. I have open carried off duty only a few times since it became legal (mostly to avoid conflict with my wife) and then only to run to the grocery store or Hallmark, mostly because it's generally too cool to run around without a jacket when I'm not at work.
Interestingly, even though a sign maker reported a run on "No Guns Allowed" and "No Open Carry" signs, I haven't seen any that weren't there before. One of the branches of my bank has a sign that reads "Please remove all hats, sunglasses, and hoods before entering. Failure to do so will result in being denied entry." It does NOT have a "No Guns" sign. Next time I need to get change, I think I'll leave my hat, sunglasses, and jacket in the truck!
Only twice have I seen other people not readily identifiable as police officers carrying openly. One of those was the local Regional Coordinator for OKOCA and her husband who had to remind an event organizer that just because he got a permit to close a street didn't give him the right to deny open carry. I don't think we'll really see that much open carry until the weather warms up again, but it's nice not to have to worry if the wind is going to blow your cover garment up and expose your holstered handgun which was breaking the law under the old law.
*(Pistol means any derringer, revolver or semiautomatic firearm which:
a. has an overall length of less that sixteen (16) inches,
b. is capable of discharging a projectile composed of any material which may reasonably be expected to be able to cause lethal injury,
c. is designed to be held and fired by the use of a single hand, and
d. uses either gunpowder, gas or any means of rocket propulsion to discharge the projectile.)
Do not let the children lead
5 hours ago