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Updated: 6:02 p.m. Thursday, March 1, 2012 | Posted: 6:16 a.m. Thursday, March 1, 2012

Oklahoma moves one step closer to open carry gun law

Bill sponsor is optimistic of it becoming law

By Rick Couri and  Staff

If you have a holster, a gun, and a license to carry a firearm you may be able to use them all soon. House bill 2522 passed easily through a committee Wednesday and will now head to the full house for consideration. The bill is part of the Oklahoma Self Defense Act (PDF) and would allow anyone with a license to carry a gun the choice to carry a gun concealed or open.

A similar bill was proposed by State Representative David Derby from Owasso in 2010 “I would like to have that opportunity to have open carry if I choose to do so” Derby said. “It’s one of the ten rights we’re first given” he continued. That bill was vetoed by then Governor Brad Henry but with Republican Mary Fallin now in the Governor’s mansion there is hope among supporters of the bill that chances are better for passage this time around.

"I believe it will pass through the legislature and be signed by the governor," says Bartlesville Representative Steve Martin.

At least, he’s optimistic, "The governor has spoken favorably about an open carry bill.  My understanding, she was not specific about what the nature of that bill would be but I think she will look favorably upon this."

He says questions that were raised with the 2011 attempt to get the state to adopt an open carry law have been addressed in this piece of legislation.

"The fact of the matter is, there is no evidence that firearms in the hand of law-abiding citizens increases the amount of danger and we are only talking about permitting law-abiding citizens.  Outlaws don't need permits, they just do what they want to do,” says Martin.

Governor Fallin’s office says she has not yet had a chance to look closely at the bill and would comment at this time.

2522 would also make it legal for a person to have ammunition in a locked car in a parking lot but any business would be able to disallow firearms if they choose.

The bill will now go to the full House as it moves though the legislative pipeline.

KRMG conducted a text poll on Thursday asking if you agree with open carry in Oklahoma?  We will have the results on the KRMG Morning News with Joe Kelley beginning at 5am Friday.

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