On March 10, the Oklahoma House passed legislation to legalize carrying a handgun openly on one’s hip without a concealed carry permit.
According to The Washington Times, the measure is being referred to as “constitutional open carry” and the vote for passage was 73-15, a landslide victory for abolishing the permit requirement.
The bill is sponsored by Representative Jeff Coody (R-Grandfield), who described the measure as “the ultimate freedom bill regarding open carry.” He said:
It is similar to open carry laws in more than 30 other states and would allow gun owners to exercise their Second Amendment right to carry firearms openly, such is [sic] in a holster, without having to comply with existing state government licensing requirements.
The measure was supported by Representative John Bennett (R-Sallisaw), who stressed that people should not have to get a permission slip from the government to carry a holstered sidearm for self-defense. Bennett said, “It’s our God-given right to defend our self.”
Representative Emily Virgin (D-Norman) opposed the bill. She argued that allowing law-abiding citizens to carry openly without a permit “could increase incidents of domestic violence.”
Constitutional open carry now goes to the Senate for deliberation and a vote.
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.