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
Except 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 40, 21 O.S. § 1289.16, 21 O.S. § 1289.25, 21 O.S. § 1289.17.