Opinions on Oklahoma's Open Carry proposal run the gamut

Some Oklahomans say they would feel extra secure around men and women with handguns on display; others say it's not something they can support.
BY ZEKE CAMPFIELD zcampfield@opubco.com Published: March 25, 2012
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Oklahomans have mixed feelings about proposed legislation that would allow for the open display of handguns in public.

“I don't feel like I want to live in a place where people feel like they have to carry a gun,” said Lisa Harrison, a patron of the downtown branch of the library on Wednesday. “I have no problem with hunting – I'm from Oklahoma, I come from a line of hunters, I think it's OK to have guns in your home. I can understand target practice, that sort of thing, but for people to carry guns around town? I just don't like it.”

Another library patron, Jordan Masse, said he imagines people might get confused at the grocery store alongside shoppers wearing guns.

“What's going to tell me that this person here that has a license is one with a license? And this person over here that's just carrying it out could be some felon or something with a gun,” he said.

But five miles west of the library, at H&H Shooting Sports Complex, gun users said they support the legislation. Interestingly, though, none said they were likely to actually carry their handguns on display.

Phillip Williams, of Moore, who works as a security guard, said, “I think some people would kind of not be so quick to get angry at someone if they saw a weapon on them.”

Peggy Osterholt, who lives in Okarche and works for a telephone cooperative in Kingfisher, applied for her concealed weapons permit. The 58-year-old grandmother said she was accosted recently while shopping at an Oklahoma City store. She supports open carry but thinks she will keep her weapon concealed most of the time.

“Security never shows up,” she said.


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