Editor's note: This is the second of a two-part series on provisions in House Bill 2297, called the Constitutional carry bill, that allows the open or concealed carrying of firearms by most people over 21, who have no lawful disqualifying factors, such as felony convictions, without requiring a permit, license or training.
House Bill 2297 contains a number of provisions regarding the state's new Constitutional carry bill, which went into effect Nov. 1.
Several provisions in the 25-page bill were covered in the Nov. 1 edition of the News-Capital, with this section covering conditions under which firearms can be carried, firearms in vehicles and other aspects of the law.
Conditions under which firearms may be carried
A person shall be permitted to carry loaded and unloaded shotguns, rifles and pistols, without a handgun license as authorized by the Oklahoma Self-Defense Act under conditions which include:
• "For lawful self-defense and self-protection, or any other legitimate purpose."
• When hunting animals or fowl.
• During participation in or preparation for a military function of the state military forces to be defined as the Oklahoma Amy or Air National Guard, federal military reserve and active military forces.
Firearms in vehicles
The portion of the bill relating to firearms in vehicles states:
• "Any person who is not otherwise prohibited by law from possessing a firearms may transport in a motor vehicle a pistol or handgun, loaded or unloaded, at any time."
Another portion relates to rifles and shotguns:
• "Any person, who is not otherwise prohibited by law from possessing a firearm may transport in a motor vehicle a rifle or shotgun, open or concealed, provided the rifle or shotgun is transported pursuant to the requirements of Section. 1289.13.
That section states "Except as otherwise provided by law, it shall be unlawful to transport a loaded rifle or shotgun in a landborne motor vehicle over a public highway or roadway, unless the rifle or shotgun is transported clip or magazine loaded, not chamber loaded and in an exterior locked compartment of the vehicle or trunk of the vehicle or in the interior compartment of the vehicle."
Preemption of municipal regulations
HB 2597 states that is preempting any regulations set by towns and cities in Oklahoma.
"The State Legislature hereby occupies and preempts the entire field of legislation in this state touching in any way (on) firearms, knives, components, ammunition and supplies to the complete exclusion of any order, ordinance or regulation by any municipality, or any other political subdivision of this state.
Any existing or future orders, ordinances or regulations in this field,with a few exceptions, are null and void, the bill proclaims.
Those exceptions state a municipality may adopt an ordinance relating to the discharge of firearms within the municipality's jurisdiction.
The municipality is allowed to issue a traffic citation for transporting a firearms improperly under the bill's provisions — although the penalties cannot exceed those established in the Oklahoma Self Defense Act.
Another exception states the bill shall not prohibit any order, ordinance or regulation by any municipality concerning the confiscation of property used in violation of the municipality's ordinances — "provided, however, no municipal ordinance relating to transporting a firearm or knife improperly may include a provision for confiscation of property."
"The availability of a license to carry pursuant to the provisions of the Oklahoma Self-Defense Act shall not be construed to prohibit the lawful transport or carrying of a handgun or pistol in a vehicle or on or about the person whether concealed or unconcealed, loaded or unloaded and without a valid handgun license as permitted by law," the measure states.
Convicted felons and delinquents
This section states it's unlawful for any individual convicted of a felony in Oklahoma or any other state in the United States to have in his or her possession or immediate control, or in any vehicle which the person is operating or is riding as a passenger, or in the residence where the convicted person resides, "any pistol, imitation or homemade pistol, altered air or toy pistol, machine gun, sawed-off shotgun or rifle, or any other dangerous firearm."
It does allow for those previously convicted of a nonviolent felony who have received a full or complete pardon from the proper authority and who has not since been convicted of any additional felony which has not been pardoned, to apply to have their right to possess a firearm restored and to apply for the right to carry a handgun, concealed or unconcealed, or as otherwise permitted by law.
Another measure states it's unlawful for any person "who is an alien illegally or unlawfully in the United States" to possess a firearm or to have a firearm under his or her immediate control. Violators, upon conviction, will be guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a $250 fine.
Notifying police of gun
Included in the measure is another provision stating "It shall be unlawful for any person to fail or refuse to identify the fact that the person is in actual possession of a concealed or unconcealed firearm pursuant to the authority of the Oklahoma Self-Defense Act during the course of any arrest, detainment or routine traffic stop.
"Said identification to the law enforcement officer shall be required upon the demand of the law enforcement officer. No person shall be required to identify himself or herself as a handgun licensee or as lawfully in possession of any other firearm if the law enforcement officer does not demand the information," the measure continues. A violation allows a citation to be issued for no more that $100.
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