OKLAHOMA GUN CRIMES
By comparison to other states, Oklahoma is supportive of the right to bear arms. Our gun laws allow both open carry and concealed carry of firearms. Our self-defense laws uphold the use of lethal force against an intruder (“Castle Doctrine”) and say that a person has no duty to retreat (“Stand Your Ground” law) if assaulted. Designated school employees may even carry guns in schools, and Oklahoma law allows licensed gun owners to bring weapons on school grounds, as long as they remain locked in a vehicle, out of sight.
But just because Oklahoma gun laws are more permissive than in other states does not mean the Sooner state is without gun restrictions. Both state and federal law enforce stipulations on who is allowed to possess firearms, what kind of guns may be legally owned and carried by a private citizen, and where and how those weapons may be carried or used.
Oklahoma gun crimes include both misdemeanor and felony offenses, and the penalties depend upon the specific offense. For example, carrying a concealed weapon without a permit will have lighter penalties than armed robbery, assault with a deadly weapon, or use of a firearm in the commission of a felony.
Regardless of the severity of the allegation against you, it is important to secure legal representation for a gun or weapon charge. Call Coventon Criminal Defense for a free consultation about your case.
Firearm Possession and Gun Permits
In Oklahoma, not every occasion requires that a gun owner have a permit or license to carry the weapon. In fact, Oklahoma does not require a handgun permit for the open carry of a rifle, shotgun, or pistol used for a “legitimate purpose,” including hunting, competition or practice for recognized sporting events or performances, educational activities, and other designated “legitmate” activities.
In order to carry a concealed weapon or to carry a firearm for self-defense, it is typically necessary to have a handgun permit and a concealed carry permit. One must apply for an Oklahoma handgun license through the OSBI. In order to apply for a handgun license, the applicant must be a U.S. citizen and Oklahoma resident at least 21 years of age. The applicant must have completed a firearm safety and training course, must pay the application fee, and must agree to “comply in good faith with the provisions of the Oklahoma Self-Defense Act.”
Even if a person meets all of the above criteria for applying for an Oklahoma gun license, there are certain individuals prohibited from gun possession by state and federal laws. The Oklahoma Self Defense Act in 21 O.S. § 1290.10 gives the following mandatory preclusions against lawful gun ownership:
- Prior felony conviction or delinquent adjudication (see also § 1283)
- Adjudication of mental incompetency
- Providing false or misleading information on a handgun losicense
- Misdemeanor conviction for assault and battery causing serious bodily injury, aggravated assault and battery, two or more assault and battery convictions, stalking, violation of a protective order, illegal drug possession (within 10 years of completing the sentence), domestic abuse
- Attempted suicide or other indication of mental instability within the prior 10 years
- Current treatment or diagnosis of mental illness or disorder
- Habitual criminal offender
- Subject to an outstanding felony warrant
- Failure to pay a fine or surrender a handgun license as a result of an administrative hearing under the authority of the Oklahoma Self-Defense Act
- Any other ineligibility under state or federal law
Inpatient substance abuse treatment, public intoxication, and other drug and alcohol offenses can also preclude a person from obtaining a handgun license for a specified period of time.
Although firearm possession is legal with the appropriate license, Oklahoma law restricts gun owners from carrying firearms in certain places. These include:
- Any establishment where liquor is sold or consumed (except restaurants whose primary purpose is not serving alcohol, unless prohibited by the establishment)
- A government building or government meeting
- A jail, prison, or detention facility
- An elementary or secondary school or school board meeting, or a college, university, or vocational-technical center (some exceptions apply)
- A sports arena during a professional sporting event
- A casino or place where pari-mutuel betting is allowed
Additionally, it is against the law to carry a weapon while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Guns and Violent Crime
Most gun charges have to do with illegal possession of guns, either because a person is prohibited from gun ownership (for example, a convicted felon, a person serving felony probation, or the subject of a protective order) or because he or she did not have an Oklahoma handgun license or concealed carry permit.
However, when a gun is used or possessed in the commission of a crime, serious felony charges result.
Gun Crimes with a Maximum Life Sentence:
- Armed robbery
- Assault and battery with a deadly weapon
- Shooting with intent to kill
Gun Crimes with a Maximum 10-Year Sentence:
- Brandishing or pointing a firearm
- Possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony (30 years for a subsequent offense)
- Possession of a firearm after conviction of a felony
- Illegal possession of a firearm
Other gun crimes include possession of restricted bullets or prohibited firearms (sawed-off shotgun, for example); furnishing firearms to minors, incompetent persons, or prohibited persons; transporting a loaded firearm; use of a vehicle to facilitate the discharge of a weapon, and more.
Gun Crime Defense in Oklahoma
If you have been charged with illegal possession or use of a firearm, your further gun ownership rights are in jeopardy. You may be facing fines, significant jail or prison time, and the surrender of your handgun license or future ability to legally own or possess firearms.
To speak with a defense lawyer about your case, call attorney Ryan Coventon at (405) 608-4990. Your initial consultation is free and confidential. Call now to learn more.