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
A 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