On November 1, 2012, the amended Oklahoma Self Defense Act (SDA) takes effect, which will permit citizens licensed under the SDA to carry authorized firearms in plain view. By adopting this measure, Oklahoma joins 24 other states with similar laws. The open carry law, however, also establishes limits for those choosing to carry a firearm in full view.

Oklahoma Statute 21:1272 defines where the open carry of a firearm is PROHIBITED. The locations include:

• Government buildings (except parking lots)

• Public or executive meetings of school boards, elected or government appointed boards, commissions and committees (except parking lots)

• Facilities used to house or process prisoners

• Secondary and elementary schools including parking lots, unless the person is only dropping off or picking up a child

• Sporting events, including professional events, except parking lots

• Any location where para-mutual wagering is permitted

• Any other place prohibited or restricted by law. For example, businesses where the primary source of income is derived from serving alcohol.

The same statute also defines where open carry is AUTHORIZED. The locations include:

• Public places with a permit unless otherwise prohibited

• Public access parking lots adjacent to any property where weapons may or may not be prohibited

• State, county or municipal parks and recreation areas

• Fairgrounds, but some areas upon or within a fairground or park may be restricted. For example, locations serving primarily alcohol or where para-mutual gambling is permitted

• College or technical school property when authorized by the institution

The Norman Police Department is committed to preserving the peace and safety of our citizens. With that goal in mind, we have developed a training plan for our officers and dispatchers on how to address public concerns about the new law. Additionally, we will conduct a public forum on Monday, October 29, 2012 at 6:30 P.M. in the Norman City Council chambers to answer any questions about the law and to outline the department’s responses to open carry-related calls for service.

It is the Norman Police Department’s intent to respect the legal rights of all citizens, including those who carry firearms in accordance with the Self Defense Act, while informing the public on responses they can expect from police.

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