Although the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation denies hundreds of handgun license applications each year, prosecutions are not common, an agency attorney said.
While tens of thousands of Oklahomans are issued handgun licenses each year, hundreds are denied the privilege of legally carrying a firearm on their person.
In 2012, the bureau issued nearly 40,000 handgun licenses to Oklahoma residents.
Denials, which can be caused by not paying the required fees, giving false statements or a laundry list of other reasons, numbered only 462 last year.
According to an annual report that details handgun licenses in Oklahoma, the most common reason for denials in 2012 was providing “false and misleading statements” on the application.
The OSBI report shows that 189 of the gun license denials from last year were due to making such statements.
Seventy-seven people were denied their licenses last year because of prior drug convictions, while dozens of others were denied for other reasons related to their criminal pasts.
The OSBI report does not provide detailed information about individual denials.
The report also shows that some applicants were denied their license because they attempted suicide, were being treated for mental illness or because they had a felon living with them.
Applicants were denied the license for having “significant character defects … as evidenced by a misdemeanor criminal record indicating habitual criminal activity,” the report shows.
Fifteen people were denied a license because they didn't have a valid Oklahoma residence at the time the application was turned in.
Another 35 individuals were denied for failing to “comply in good faith with the provisions of the Oklahoma Self-Defense Act,” the report shows.
One person was somehow able to send their application off to the OSBI but failed to complete the required handgun safety course.
Jessica Brown, the bureau's spokeswoman, said felons trying to get a handgun license aren't prosecuted because there is nothing, specifically, in Oklahoma law that prevents a felon from trying to get a license.
Brown said an agency attorney indicated that a felon may not possess a firearm, but that there is “no mention concerning applying for a license being a crime.”