A good year for the 2nd Amendment in Oklahoma
Overall, supporters of the 2nd Amendment had a good year in the Oklahoma Legislature. Several good bills were passed in the legislature and signed by the Governor. You can find a detailed wrap-up of the legislative year at the Oklahoma Second Amendment Association website. A special thanks to them for all the hard work they put into getting some good bills passed and at least one bad bill defeated. Here’s a quick rundown of what happened:
- SDA instructors will have more flexibility in their fee schedules and in obtaining instructor licenses.
- Any business, employer, or house of worship that allows concealed and/or unconcealed carry is immune from any liability arising from that decision.
- Carrying in a business with a “no guns” policy will be a simple trespass violation. The current law is unclear on this subject.
- County sheriffs will be able to issue temporary handgun carry permits to people who have a Victim’s Protective Order and have completed an SDA class. Temporary permit holders will have to apply for a regular license, but won’t have to wait for the regular license to be issued in order to protect themselves.
- The administrative fine for license holders who don’t notify the police when they are carrying was removed. WARNING: Criminal penalties for this violation still apply.
- Private K-12 schools will be able to set their own firearms policies and they will be immune from liability for allowing weapons on school property.
- “Meetings of government officials” was removed from the list of prohibited places. Be aware that meetings held inside government buildings will still be prohibited places since government buildings are still on the list.
- The above changes will be effective November 1, 2013.
- Additionally, 2nd Amendment supporters killed an unnecessary and misguided bill that would have added parks and other recreation areas where a youth sports activity is taking place to the list of places where carry is prohibited.
Many thanks are owed to the citizens who called their lawmakers and made their pro 2nd Amendment voices heard and to the Oklahoma Second Amendment Association for everything they do to organize and promote the defense of the 2nd Amendment in Oklahoma.
Former Oklahoma teacher pleads guilty to possession of firearm on school property.
You can read the whole story in the Lawton Constitution, but here’s basically what happened according to the story. Former Lawton Ike High School teacher, William S. Trice II, who has a license to carry a handgun, apparently forgot he left his pistol in his briefcase and ended up taking it to school. When Trice opened the the briefcase another teacher saw the pistol and reported him to authorities. Trice says he immediately took the pistol to his vehicle and secured it. It was later found by police. Trice subsequently plead guilty to the felony charge.
The Bottom Line
Oklahoma State Law is very clear about carrying firearms on school property. From OS Title 21 § 1280.1:
A. It shall be unlawful for any person to have in his or her possession on any public or private school property or while in any school bus or vehicle used by any school for transportation of students or teachers any firearm or weapon…
D. Any person violating the provisions of this section shall, upon conviction, be guilty of a felony punishable by a fine not to exceed Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00), and imprisonment in the custody of the Department of Corrections for not more than two (2) years. Any person convicted of violating the provisions of this section after having been issued a handgun license pursuant to the provisions of the Oklahoma Self-Defense Act shall have the license permanently revoked and shall be liable for an administrative fine of One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) upon a hearing and determination by the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation that the person is in violation of the provisions of this section.
It’s a felony in Oklahoma to possess a firearm on school property. Period. As a handgun license holder, Mr. Trice was educated about Oklahoma Law in the Oklahoma Self-Defense Act Course he was required to take to get his license. I don’t know if Mr. Trice intentionally violated the law or not. If so, he got caught and will have to pay the penalty. If he really did forget he had a gun in his briefcase that is as bad, if not worse than, intentionally violating the law. Not knowing the gun was in the briefcase implies that he didn’t know the whereabouts of his deadly weapon. Those of us who own firearms have a responsibility to ALWAYS know where our guns are, because we are responsible for how they are used or misused. Even more so if we have been trusted to carry guns in public. It makes all gun owners look bad when people who should know better violate the law, intentionally or not.