Category: Blog

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.

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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.

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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

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Charging State Subcontractors With Sex Crimes – 2017 Oklahoma Laws #15

State subcontractors and their employees are now included in the definitions of sodomy, rape, and sexual battery.

Forcible Sodomy Definition in Oklahoma

Forcible Sodomy in Oklahoma now includes the following act:

  • Sodomy committed by a state, county, municipal or political subdivision employee or a contractor or an employee of a contractor of the state, a county, a municipality, or political subdivision of Oklahoma upon a person who is under the legal custody, supervision, or authority of a state agency, a county, a municipality or a political subdivision of Oklahoma, or the subcontractor or employee of a subcontractor of the contractor of the state or federal government, a county, a municipality or a political subdivision of Oklahoma.

Rape Definition in Oklahoma

The definition of rape in Oklahoma now includes an act of sexual intercourse involving vaginal or anal penetration accomplished with a male or female who is not the spouse of the perpetrator and who may be of the same or the opposite sex as the perpetrator:

  • Where the victim is under the legal custody or supervision of a state agency, a federal agency, a county, a municipality, or a political subdivision and engages in sexual intercourse with a state, federal, county, municipal, or political subdivision employee or an employee of a contractor of Oklahoma, the federal government, a county, a municipality, or a political subdivision that exercises authority over the victim, or the subcontractor or employee of a subcontractor of the contractor of the state or federal government, a county, a municipality, or a political subdivision that exercises authority over the victim.

Sexual Battery Definition in Oklahoma

Oklahoma sex crime contractor
The definition of sexual battery in Oklahoma now includes the intentional touching, mauling or feeling of the body or private parts of any person who is at least 16 years old in a lewd and lascivious manner:

  • When committed by a state, county, municipal, or political subdivision employee or a contractor or an employee of a contractor of Oklahoma, a county, a municipality, or political subdivision of Oklahoma upon a person who is under the legal custody, supervision, or authority of a state agency, a county, a municipality, or a political subdivision of Oklahoma, or the subcontractor or employee of a subcontractor of the contractor of the state or federal government, a county, a municipality, or a political subdivision of Oklahoma.

SB 273 amended 21 O.S. § 888, 21 O.S. § 1111, & 21 O.S. § 1123. It went into effect July 1, 2017.

Sources: SB 27321 O.S. § 88821 O.S. § 1111, & 21 O.S. § 1123.

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Sex Offender Registration Requirements Change – 2017 Oklahoma Laws #14

 

oklahoma sex offender registrationOklahoma made numerous changes to the sex offender registration requirements in 2017. The following is a list of the changes:

  • If a person subject to the Sex Offenders Registration Act received a suspended sentence or any probationary term, including a deferred sentence, the court must use the the sex offender level assignments established by the sex offender level assignment committee.
  • The court must also order any person subject to the Sex Offenders Registration Act who received a suspended sentence or any probationary term, including a deferred sentence, to report to the local law enforcement authority in the municipality or county in which the offender resides and report to the DOC probation and parole office in the district in which the offender resides.
  • Within three business days after the court orders the judgment and sentence of a sex offender, the court clerk must transmit to the Sex and Violent Offenders Registration Unit of the Department of Corrections a certified copy of: 1) The judgment and sentence; or 2) Plea paperwork, Summary of Facts and Sentence on Plea or Sentencing After Jury Trial Summary of Facts.
  • In the absence of receipt of the mailed verification form by the offender, the offender must
    continue to comply with the reporting requirements as provided the statute. The offender should
    report as required to the local law enforcement agency for current address verification. The Department of Corrections will provide an alternative address verification form to local law enforcement for conformity.
  • Failure to return the verification form or report as required is a violation of the Sex Offenders Registration Act.
  • Any person subject to the provisions of the Sex Offenders Registration Act who changes address, employment or student enrollment status must appear in person and give notification only to local law enforcement.
  • Nothing in the 57 O.S. § 590(B) will prevent the Department of Human Services from conducting and completing a safety evaluation when a registered sex offender resides in the home of a
    minor child.
  • Any person subject to the provisions of the Sex Offenders Registration Act who resides with a minor child as the parent, stepparent, or grandparent of the minor child, provided the minor child was not the victim of the offense for which the person is required to register, must report to the statewide centralized hotline of the Department of Human Services the name and date of birth of any and all minor children residing in the same household and the offenses for which the person is required to register pursuant to the Sex Offenders Registration Act within three days of intent to reside with a minor child.

Summary Of Changes To Oklahoma’s Sex Offender Registration Requirements

Several of these are administrative changes that will not have a huge impact on sex offenders. The change allowing sex offenders to report address changes, etc. to law enforcement makes things a bit easier on sex offenders. Previously, they had to report to both law enforcement and the Department of Corrections. The failure to report as required is an additional way sex offenders can get in trouble. The requirement to report the children with whom the sex offender resides is a significant additional requirement for sex offenders. The change making the failure to report a criminal violation likewise makes the failure to report the children with whom the sex offender resides a criminal violation.

SB 217 modified 57 O.S. § 582.2, 57 O.S. § 584, & 57 O.S. § 590. This law went into effect on November 1, 2017.

Sources: SB 217, 57 O.S. § 582.2, 57 O.S. § 584, 57 O.S. § 590, & 22 O.S. § 991c

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