Tulsans React To Permitless Carry Bill
TULSA, Oklahoma - Governor Kevin Stitt signed his first bill into law on Wednesday.
The permitless carry bill gives Oklahomans the ability to carry guns without a license or the training and background check a license might require. Though a federal background check is still required to purchase a gun.
Even though this bill won't go into effect until November 1st, some businesses that teach concealed carry classes may start to feel the impact now. Many people we spoke with say they are in favor of this new law but they hope people understand the responsibility that goes along with carrying a gun.
The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed, and it has been for many many years now so this is a step in the right direction,” says General Manager of 2A Shooting Center Eric Fuson.
Fuson has been teaching concealed carry classes for several years. He says he is happy this bill passed but says it could have a big impact on his business.
“It will probably pretty dramatically decrease the amount of students that we have on a monthly basis,” he said.
Permitless carry will allow Oklahomans over 21 years old as well as 18-year-olds with military experience, to carry a gun without a license, however, without that license, you won't be allowed to take your gun across state lines.
“So if you travel to Texas or Arkansas or other places, you have to have that Oklahoma handgun license in order to reciprocate and be able to carry in those other states,” said Fuson.
Now even though this bill would take away the requirement for a class, range instructors still suggest you take one anyway just, so you know the rules associated with carrying a firearm.
Moms Demand Action was a major opponent of the bill visiting several lawmakers in the past few days to change their votes. They say nearby states that passed permitless carry have seen an increase in gun-related incidents.
"Arizona introduced a bill in 2010, permitless carry bill, and by 2017, they had a 40% increase in gun-related aggravated assaults," said Kay Malan with Moms Demand Action. “We believe that there is a way to balance second amendment rights and to be able to have sensible gun laws that protect public safety,” she said.
Malan says that there is a misconception that their group is against guns. She says this is not the case, they just want people to be safe while using them.
“This isn't an issue of left and right or of political affiliation, this is a public safety issue and everyone is involved in that,” said Malan.