Oklahomans with concealed handgun permits would be allowed to carry their weapons in the open if a bill that easily passed the House of Representatives becomes law.
But members defeated an amendment Thursday that would have allowed for the open carrying of handguns anywhere without a permit.
Senate Bill 1733 would allow anyone possessing a license to carry a firearm under the Oklahoma Self Defense Act to carry the weapon either openly or concealed. It passed 85-3 and is headed for a conference committee.
It also would allow a property owner to openly carry a handgun on his or her land. No concealed carry permit would be required.
“This makes sure that it's very clear that someone can carry on their own property openly,” said Hickman, R-Fairview, the House author of the measure.
Rep. Joe Dorman, D-Rush Springs, said he is aware of rural land
Rep. Mike Reynolds filed an amendment to the measure that would have allowed a person to carry weapons openly for any purpose anywhere.
Reynolds, R-Oklahoma City, said his amendment would make state law conform to the 2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which states the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.
Rep. Steve Martin, author of a companion House bill, complained that the amendment changed the nature of SB 1733 and made a motion to dispose of Reynolds' amendment.
Members voted 61-16 to kill the amendment.
The House passed several other gun-related bills. However, Rep. Marian Cooksey withdrew her bill after she couldn't defeat an amendment that would have allowed legislators to carry a handgun anywhere in the state after completing an approved firearms training course.
SB 1541, by Cooksey, R-Edmond, would have allowed the attorney general or any assistant attorney general to carry a firearm anywhere in the state.
Rep. John Bennett, R-Sallisaw, offered the amendment to Cooksey's bill; Cooksey made a motion to kill the amendment, but it failed. She then withdrew her bill.
Cooksey said she filed the measure because the attorney general's office is the only prosecuting agency in the state not authorized to carry weapons.
The House also passed SB 1760, which would prevent the governor or any local official from confiscating firearms and ammunition during a declared state of emergency, such as after a natural disaster or a terrorist attack.
House Speaker Designate T.W. Shannon, House author of the measure, said the bill is an attempt to prevent what happened after Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans in 2005.
Shannon, R-Lawton, said police went door to door and confiscated guns from residents in an effort to counter chaos and crime in the ravaged city. SB 1760 passed 84-0 and now goes to a conference committee.
The House also passed SB 1743, which allow hunters to use suppressors on firearms when hunting on private land with the landowner's consent.
It passed 77-5 and now goes to a conference committee.
House members also passed HB 1055, but not before approving an amendment that prohibits Oklahomans currently undergoing treatment for a mental illness from obtaining a concealed handgun permit. HB 1055 still provides an exemption for those being treated for post-traumatic stress disorder.
Rep. John Enns, R-Enid, the House author of the measure, said the intent of the bill is to allow people to seek treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder without having to fear giving up their right to get a concealed-
SB 1055 passed 77-5 and now goes to a conference committee.