Author: Frank Urbanic

Handgun Added To Definitions In Self-Defense and Firearms Acts – 2017 Oklahoma Laws #25

Under the Oklahoma Firearms Act, a handgun is now the same thing as a pistol.  The definition of those items changed from any firearm capable of discharging a projectile to any firearm capable of discharging single or multiple projectiles from a single round of ammunition. The pistol/handgun must still be composed of any material that may reasonably be expected to be able to cause lethal injury, with a barrel or barrels less than 16″ inches long, and a combustible propellant charge, but does not include flare guns, underwater fishing guns, or blank pistols. “Handgun” was also added to the Oklahoma Self-Defense Act were it just mentioned a “pistol.”

New Definitions In The Oklahoma Self-Defense Act

oklahoma self-defense“Concealed handgun” – a loaded or unloaded pistol or handgun not openly visible to the ordinary observation of a reasonable person.

“Unconcealed handgun” or “open carry” – a loaded or unloaded pistol or handgun carried upon the person in a holster where the firearm is visible, or carried upon the person using a scabbard, sling, or case designed for carrying firearms.

“Pistol” or “handgun” – any derringer, revolver or semiautomatic firearm that:

  • has an overall barrel or barrels length of less than 16″ long,
  • is capable of discharging single or multiple projectiles from a single round of ammunition composed of any material that may reasonably be expected to be able to cause lethal injury,
  • can be held and fired by the use of one or both hands, and
  • uses a combustible propellant charge to propel the projectile or projectiles.

The definition of pistol or handgun for purposes of the Oklahoma Self-Defense Act does not apply to imitation pistols, flare guns, underwater fishing guns, or blank pistols.

SB 36 amended 21 O.S §§ 1289.3 and 1290.2. The changes went into effect November 1, 2017

Sources: SB 3621 O.S § 1289.3, & 21 O.S § 1290.2

What makes someone ineligible for a gun license in Oklahoma

The requirements to legally carry a gun in Oklahoma

Arrested for unlawfully carrying a handgun?

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Motorcycle Concealed Carry – 2017 Oklahoma Laws #24

A motorcycle is now considered a motor vehicle for purposes of carrying a handgun in Oklahoma. The previous law referred to a “vehicle” in some parts of the statute and “motor vehicle” in others. This law ensures uniformity by referring to each (motor) vehicle as a “motor vehicle.”

Definition Of Motorcycle In Oklahoma

A motorcycle in Oklahoma is defined is any motor vehicle having:

  1. A seat or saddle for the use of each rider;
  2. Not more than three wheels in contact with the ground, but excluding a tractor; and
  3. A combustion engine with a piston or rotor displacement of 150 cc or greater.

Areas Where You Can Carry A Handgun

Areas involving automobiles that are excluded from the list of prohibited places include:

  1. Any property set aside for the use or parking of any motor vehicle, whether attended or unattended, by a city, town, county, state or federal governmental authority and
  2. Any property set aside for the use or parking of any motor vehicle, whether attended or unattended, which is open to the public, or by any entity engaged in gambling authorized by law; and
  3. Any property set aside by a public or private elementary or secondary school for the use or parking of any motor vehicle, whether attended or unattended; provided, however, said handgun shall be stored and hidden from view in a locked motor vehicle when the motor vehicle is left unattended on school property.

Carrying A Handgun Onto School Property

oklahoma motorcycle concealed carryA concealed or unconcealed weapon may be carried onto private school property or in any school bus or motor vehicle used by any private school for transportation of students or teachers by a person who is licensed pursuant to the Oklahoma Self-Defense Act, provided a policy has been adopted by the governing entity of the private school that authorizes the carrying and possession of a weapon on private school property or in any school bus or motor vehicle used by a private school. Except for acts of gross negligence or willful or wanton misconduct, a governing entity of a private school that adopts a policy that authorizes the possession of a weapon on private school property, a school bus, or motor vehicle used by the private school will be immune from liability for any injuries arising from the adoption of the policy. These provisions don’t apply to the Administrative Workers’ Compensation Act.

No person in possession of a valid handgun license, issued pursuant to the provisions of the Oklahoma Self-Defense Act, is allowed to carry the handgun into or upon any college, university, or technology center school property, except as provided by law. There are several exceptions to this restriction. With respect to motor vehicles, a person with a valid handgun license is not prohibited from carrying a handgun on any property set aside for the use or parking of any motor vehicle, whether attended or unattended. The handgun must be carried or stored as required by law and the handgun may not removed from the motor vehicle without the prior consent of the college or university president or technology center school administrator while the motor vehicle is on any college, university, or technology center school property

This is the second amendment to 21 O.S. § 1277 in 2017. This amendment and the third amendment went into effect on the same day. Unfortunately, the third amendment did not incorporate the change adding motorcycles as motor vehicles. Therefore, each version must be read separately to completely understand the entire language of 21 O.S. § 1277.

HB 1550 modified 21 O.S. § 1277. The changes went into effect on November 1, 2017.

Answer page on places where it’s illegal to carry a handgun

Blog post on new prohibited areas for carrying a handgun in 2017

Sources: HB 1550, 21 O.S. § 1277, & 47 O.S. § 1-135

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Military Gets Handgun License – 2017 Oklahoma Laws #23

In 2017, Oklahoma made it easier for members of the military and some veterans to lawfully carry a handgun.

Handgun Carry Military Age Exemption Act

Normally, you must be 21 years old to be eligible for a handgun license in Oklahoma. The new law opens up eligibility to people 18 years old but younger than 21 years old who are members or veterans of the United States Armed Forces, the Reserves, or National Guard. This eligibility also extends to individuals who were discharged under honorable conditions from the United States Armed Forces, Reserves, or National Guard. HB 1428 amended 21 O.S. § 1290.9. The change went into effect on November 1, 2017.

Military ID Is Considered A Valid Handgun License

oklahoma military handgunA valid military ID card is now considered a valid handgun license for people who are at least 21 years old and are members of the active duty military, Reserve, or National Guard. This includes members of the Guard and Reserves on drill status, Active Guard Reserves, and Military Technicians. Those individuals do not need to take any of the training that civilians have to take to obtain a handgun license. The ID card must be carried at all times when in possession of a handgun, and it must be shown to law enforcement upon demand. In the absence of reasonable and articulable suspicion of other criminal activity, an individual carrying an unconcealed or concealed handgun cannot be disarmed or physically restrained unless the individual fails to display a valid handgun license or a valid military identification
card in response to that demand.

Upon the arrest of any person for carrying a handgun without a license, the person may show proof to the court that a valid handgun license and the other required identification has been issued to such person and the person may state any reason why the handgun license, a valid military identification card, or the other required identification was not carried by the person as required by the Oklahoma Self-Defense Act. The court must dismiss that case upon payment of court costs, if proof of a valid handgun license and other required identification is shown to the court within ten days of the arrest of the person.

Proof of exemption no longer needs to be provided to CLEET.

In addition to being authorized to carry a concealed firearm in Oklahoma, any person entering Oklahoma in possession of a firearm authorized for concealed carry upon the authority of a state that is a nonpermitted carry state and the person is in compliance with the Oklahoma Self-Defense Act, the person is now also allowed to carry an unconcealed firearm in Oklahoma. The firearm must be carried fully concealed or unconcealed. Upon coming in contact with any Oklahoma peace officer, the person must disclose the fact that he or she is in possession of a concealed or unconcealed firearm pursuant to the nonpermitting laws of the state in which he or she is a legal resident.

SB 35 amended 21 O.S. § 1290.8, 21 O.S. § 1290.12, 21 O.S. § 1290.15, and 21 O.S. § 1290.26. The changes went into effect on November 1, 2017.

Answer page on the requirements to legally carry a handgun in Oklahoma

Answer page on the requirements to apply for a handgun license in Oklahoma

Sources: SB 35, HB 1428, 21 O.S. § 1290.9, 21 O.S. § 1290.8, 21 O.S. § 1290.12, 21 O.S. § 1290.15, & 21 O.S. § 1290.26

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New Prohibited Areas For Carrying Handguns – 2017 Oklahoma Laws #22

In 2017, Oklahoma added more places where it’s unlawful to carry a concealed or unconcealed handgun. Carrying a concealed or unconcealed handgun into a courthouse or courtroom is now prohibited. Handguns are also now banned in publicly owned or operated sports arenas or venues during a professional sporting event, unless allowed by the event holder. Also, handguns are banned where gambling is legal, unless allowed by the property owner.

The new law clarifies that the prohibited places do not include any property set aside for the use or parking of any vehicle, whether attended or unattended, which is open to the public, or by any entity engaged in gambling authorized by law.

Penalties for carrying a handgun in a prohibited place

unlawful carry handgun oklahomaThe change made the carrying of handguns a misdemeanor only in the following locations:

  • Any courthouse, courtroom, prison, jail, detention facility or any facility used to process, hold or house arrested persons, prisoners, or persons alleged delinquent or adjudicated delinquent, except as provided by law and
  • Any public or private elementary or public or private secondary school, except as provided by law.

A person carrying a handgun in any of the following places may now only be denied entrance onto the property or removed from the property. If the person refuses to leave the property and law enforcement is is called, the person may be issued a citation for an amount no greater than $250.00.

  • Any structure, building, or office space which is owned or leased by a city, town, county, state or federal governmental authority for the purpose of conducting business with the public;
  • Any publicly owned or operated sports arena or venue during a professional sporting event, unless allowed by the event holder;
  • Any place where gambling is authorized by law, unless allowed by the property owner; and
  • Any other place specifically prohibited by law.

Previously, the unlawful carrying of handguns into any of the above six areas was a misdemeanor.

Exceptions to places where it’s illegal to carry a handgun

Oklahoma does not prohibit the carrying of handguns in the above places by:

  1. Any peace officer or any person authorized by law to carry a pistol in the course of employment;
  2. District judges, associate district judges, and special district judges, who are in possession of a valid handgun license issued pursuant to the provisions of the Oklahoma Self-Defense Act and whose names appear on a list maintained by the Administrative Director of the Courts, when acting in the course and scope of employment within the courthouses of Oklahoma;
  3. Private investigators with a firearms authorization when acting in the course and scope of employment; and
  4. Elected officials of a county, who are in possession of a valid handgun license issued pursuant to the provisions of the Oklahoma Self-Defense Act when acting in the performance of their duties within the courthouses of the county in which he or she was elected. This doesn’t allow the elected county official to carry the handgun into a courtroom.

There are also restrictions on and exceptions to the carrying of handguns in schools.

Check out this answer page for more information on where it’s unlawful to carry a handgun.

SB 833 amended 21 O.S. § 1277. The change went into effect on August 25, 2017.

Sources: SB 83321 O.S. § 1277

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Handguns In Courthouses – 2017 Oklahoma Laws #21

oklahoma handgun courthouseOklahoma now allows elected county officials to carry a concealed handgun in the courthouse if they possess a valid handgun license. However, they may not bring that handgun into a courtroom. There’s a similar provision allowing state judges to carry concealed handguns when acting in the course and scope of employment within the courthouses of Oklahoma. There’s no similar restriction on bringing handguns into a courtroom for judges, so it’s safe to assume that state judges can legally pack heat in their courtroom.

Check out this answer page for more information on where it’s unlawful to carry a handgun.

HB 1104 modified 21 O.S. § 1277. This change went into effect on November 1, 2017.

Sources: HB 1104 & 21 O.S. § 1277

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Self-Defense Exception Added To Pointing A Weapon – 2017 Oklahoma Laws #20

In Oklahoma, it’s now legal to point a gun at another person in self-defense. This is logical, since it’s legal to shoot a person in self-defense. This new law also establishes that a person pointing a weapon at a perpetrator in self-defense or in order to thwart, stop, or deter a forcible felony or attempted forcible felony cannot be guilty of committing a criminal act. The law enforcement exemption to illegally pointing a firearm is now extended to security guards licensed by CLEET in the performance of their duties.

Defensive Force Defined

A person who uses defensive force, as permitted under Oklahoma law, is justified in using such defensive force and is immune from criminal prosecution and civil action for the use of such defensive force. A law enforcement agency may use standard procedures for investigating the use of defensive force, but the law enforcement agency cannot arrest the person for using defensive force unless it determines that there is probable cause that the defensive force that was used was unlawful. “Defensive force” includes, but is not limited to, pointing a weapon at a perpetrator in self-defense or in order to thwart, stop or deter a forcible felony or attempted forcible felony.

Felony Pointing Firearms

self-defense oklahoma gunExcept for an act of self-defense, it’s unlawful for any person to willfully or without lawful cause point a shotgun, rifle or pistol, or any deadly weapon, whether loaded or not, at anyone for the purpose of threatening or with the intention of discharging the firearm or with any malice or for any purpose of injuring, either through physical injury or mental or emotional intimidation or for purposes of whimsy, humor or prank, or in anger or otherwise.This does not include the pointing of shotguns, rifles, or pistols by law enforcement authorities in the performance of their duties, armed security guards licensed by the Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training (CLEET) pursuant to the Oklahoma Security Guard and Private Investigator Act in the performance of their duties, members of the state military forces in the performance of their duties, members of the federal military reserve and active military components in the performance of their duties, or any federal government law enforcement officer in the performance of any duty, or in the performance of a play on stage, rodeo, television or on film, or in defense of any person, one’s home, or property.

A violation of the pointing firearms statute is a felony. The range of punishment in the Department of Corrections is one–ten years.

SB 40 modified 21 O.S. §§ 1289.16 & 1289.25. It went into effect on November 1, 2017.

Sources: SB 4021 O.S. § 1289.16, 21 O.S. § 1289.2521 O.S. § 1289.17.

Arrested for a firearms charge?

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New Drugs Added To Schedules – 2017 Oklahoma Laws #19

oklahoma drug possessionU-47700 is now a Schedule I drug; Ioflupane, is excluded from Schedule II; and Phenazepam, Etizolam, and Clonazolam are now Schedule IV drugs in Oklahoma. I think the people writing the law might be the only people in Oklahoma who have heard of those substances. I can’t imagine there’s a huge group of people using any one of those. Nevertheless, our intrepid legislature decided to take up their valuable time ensuring there would be criminal penalties associated with the unlawful possession of those substances.

Information on U-47700

Information on Ioflupane

Information on Phenazepam

Information on Etizolam

Information on Clonazolam

Schedule I substances in Oklahoma

Schedule II substances in Oklahoma

Schedule IV substances in Oklahoma

SB 770 enacted these changes. They went into effect on June 6, 2017.

Charged with drug possession in Oklahoma?

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Marijuana Definition Changed – 2017 Oklahoma Laws #18

oklahoma marijuanaThe definition of “marijuana” in Oklahoma no longer includes “any federal Food and Drug Administration-approved cannabidiol drug or substance.” Succinctly, CBD oil is not considered marijuana in Oklahoma.

Marijuana (or “marihunana” as the statute actually refers to it) is defined in Oklahoma as all parts of the plant Cannabis sativa L., whether growing or not; the seeds thereof; the resin extracted from any part of such plant; and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture or preparation of such plant, its seeds or resin. Marijuana does not include:

  1. The mature stalks of such plant or fiber produced from such stalks;
  2. Oil or cake made from the seeds of such plant, including cannabidiol derived from the seeds of the marijuana plant;
  3. Any other compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture or preparation of such mature stalks (except the resin extracted therefrom), including cannabidiol derived from mature stalks, fiber, oil or cake;
  4. The sterilized seed of such plant which is incapable of germination;
  5. For any person participating in a clinical trial to administer cannabidiol for the treatment of severe forms of epilepsy pursuant to Oklahoma law, a drug or substance approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration for use by those participants;
  6. For any person or the parents, legal guardians or caretakers of the person who have received a written certification from a physician licensed in Oklahoma that the person has been diagnosed by a physician as having Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome, Dravet Syndrome, also known as Severe Myoclonic Epilepsy of Infancy, or any other severe form of epilepsy that is not adequately treated by traditional medical therapies, spasticity due to multiple sclerosis or due to paraplegia, intractable nausea and vomiting, appetite stimulation with chronic wasting diseases, the substance cannabidiol, a nonpsychoactive cannabinoid, found in the plant Cannabis sativa L. or any other preparation thereof, that has a tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than three-tenths of one percent (0.3%) and that is delivered to the patient in the form of a liquid
  7. Any federal Food and Drug Administration-approved cannabidiol drug or substance; or
  8. Industrial hemp, from the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of such plant, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3% on a dry weight basis which may not be grown anywhere in the State of Oklahoma but may be shipped to Oklahoma pursuant to Oklahoma law;

While this is a step in the right direction, it’s hardly enough to get Oklahoma where it needs to be with respect to marijuana. Oklahoma still considers the possession of marijuana to be illegal. Be careful if you’re in Oklahoma with marijuana! Law enforcement is still looking to arrest people for it.

HB 1559 amended 63 O.S § 2-101. It went into effect on November 1, 2017.

Sources: HB 1559 & 63 O.S § 2-101

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Risk And Needs Assessment For Prisoners – 2017 Oklahoma Laws #17

Oklahoma added some requirements for the Department of Corrections in 2017 to ensure inmates receive the treatment they need. These include a risk and needs assessment and an individualized case plan.

Risk and Needs Assessment

The Department of Corrections expanded examinations of new prisoners to include a risk and needs assessment and physical and psychological examinations. This is in addition to the previously required inventory of vocational skills and assessment of educational and training needs. A risk and needs assessment is not required for any inmate who had a risk and needs assessment administered by personnel certified by the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services within six months of being sentenced to the custody of the Department of Corrections.

Individualized Case Plan

oklahoma prisoner risk and needs assessmentThe Department of Corrections must administer a risk and needs assessment on each inmate and develop an individualized case plan based on the results of the assessment to guide an inmate’s rehabilitation while in the Department’s custody in order to reduce the likelihood of
recidivism.

The case plan must be completed within 60 days, and must include:

  1. Programming and treatment requirements based on the results of a validated risk and needs assessment administered;
  2. Programming or treatment requirements mandated by the sentencing order; and
  3. Requirements in accordance with the rules and policies of the Department.

The Department must make every effort to ensure that the case plan is achievable prior to the inmate’s parole eligibility date, if applicable. The Department has to provide each inmate with a written copy of the case plan and the inmate’s caseworker will explain the conditions set forth in the case plan. For any parole-eligible inmate, the Department must electronically submit a progress report on each parole-eligible inmate’s case plan to the Parole Board.

SB 603 modified 57 O.S. §§ 530 & 530.1. It added 57 O.S. § 530.5. It went into effect November 1, 2017.

Sources: SB 603, 57 O.S. § 530, 21 O.S. § 530.1, & 57 O.S. § 530.5

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Harsher Punishment For Cop Killers – 2017 Oklahoma Laws #16

Anyone in Oklahoma who is convicted of or pleads guilty or no contest to murder in the first degree, when that person intentionally causes the death of a law enforcement officer, correctional officer, or corrections employee while the officer or employee is in the performance of official duties must now be punished by either death or life without parole. Absent an overwhelming amount of mitigating evidence, that person can’t receive imprisonment for life or deferment of the sentence. Previously, a person who committed the above act would have been eligible for a life sentence. A deferred sentence was not possible—regardless of the amount of mitigating evidence.

murder police officer oklahomaGeneral Definition of Murder in the First Degree in Oklahoma

A person commits murder in the first degree in Oklahoma when that person unlawfully and with malice aforethought causes the death of another human being. Malice is that deliberate intention unlawfully to take away the life of a human being, which is manifested by external circumstances capable of proof.

This new law is known as the “Blue Lives Matter in Oklahoma Act of 2017”. HB 1306 modified 21 O.S. § 701.9. It went into effect on November 21, 2017.

Sources: HB 1306, 21 O.S. § 701.9, & 21 O.S. § 701.7

Charged with a violent crime in Oklahoma?

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