Oklahoma Concealed Carry Has Requirements And Regulation
Given that the state recognizes all valid out of state permits and has a handgun license that expires after 10 years, Oklahoma concealed carry is relatively relaxed and has minimal barriers to entry.
That being said, there are restrictions on who may carry when, why, how and for what reason.
Bottom line: get a handgun license before concealed carrying in Oklahoma. But, as with anything in life, there’s a bit more to it than that.
How Concealed Carry In Oklahoma Works: Applications, Procedures And Restrictions
The Oklahoma Self Defense Act allows concealed carry in Oklahoma only with a handgun license issued by the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation.
The Self Defense Act license, however, is long-lasting, expiring after five or ten years depending on the license purchased. It also affords the right to open or concealed carry.
Make no mistake, it’s illegal to carry a CCW (or openly carry) in Oklahoma without a license. Non-residents may not apply for an Oklahoma handgun license, but Oklahoma’s reciprocity is immensely inclusive.
More on that later.
First, here’s how to get the license as an Oklahoma resident applying for the first time, but the process is the same for those with a license that has been expired for three years. The only difference is there is no training requirement for expired license renewals.
The first step is understanding the Oklahoma Self Defense Act and its various eligibility requirements. As a warning, laws shift often, which is an important indicator that this guide is not formal legal advice, but should serve as a stepping stone toward properly exercising Second Amendment rights and their translations through the eyes of state governments, which are also prone to change.
Laws are fickle things.
According to 21 O.S. 1290.9, there are some eligibility requirements for a handgun license:
- U.S. citizenship
- Oklahoma residency verified by an in-state driver’s license or state-issued ID card, or Oklahoma residency as an extension of military service with a out-of-state ID card
- A minimum of 21 years old
- Complete firearms training with a Counsel on Law Enforcement Education and Training certified instructor licensed by the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, as outlined in 21 O.S. 1290.14
- Complete the application for a Self Defense Act license
- Comply with the mandatory background requirements
These requirements are expanded on by 21 O.S. 1290.10, which outlines what will bar an applicant from a handgun license.
- Ineligibility to own a pistol due to felony convictions or adjudication as a delinquent, as outlined in 21 O.S. 1283. Additionally, any ineligibility to own a pistol under state law or U.S. Code will bar the applicant.
- Adjudication as delinquent under 21 O.S. 1283 will also inhibit the applicant
- Any felony convictions in other states, in respect to U.S. Code or as charged in foreign countries -- provided the conviction is a felony charge in Oklahoma.
- Adjudicated as mentally incompetent, as outlined in Oklahoma Mental Health Law, unless formally granted relief under 21 O.S. 1290.27
- False or misleading information on the handgun license application
- Convictions of misdemeanors for assault, battery, aggravated assault, aggravated battery, stalking, violation of Protection from Domestic Abuse Act, illegal drug use or possession or domestic abuse
- Attempted suicide or act that proves the applicant mentally unsound, within 10 years of the application
- Currently undergoing treatment for mental illness diagnosed by a licensed physician
- Character defects like habitual criminal activity
- Failure to pay an assessed fine or refusing to hand over a prior handgun license when ordered to do so
- Felony warrant in this state or under U.S. Code
There are more preclusions under 21 O.S. 1290.11, many of which read similarly to the prior list. Many of which are fairly straightforward or common sense.
So, basically, read the Self Defense Act and have a clean record. Once those are accomplished, complete the mandatory safety course training and the demonstration of live-fire competency. The approved instructor will provide certification of this.
Oklahoma provides online safety course training, but the live-fire component will still be required. The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation provides an updated list of firearms safety instructors.
Some applicants are exempt from the training component, and 21 O.S. 1290.15 outlines all those who may qualify for the exemption.
The application, which can be completed online or will be provided at a sheriff’s office, will require a color photo or two passport style, colored photos. Photos may be taken at a county sheriff’s office, which is where all these materials will be submitted with the respective fees unless the application is submitted online.
The sheriff will take two sets of fingerprints and conduct a background check. The applicant will be charged $25 to cover these services and there will be a fee to be paid to the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation.
A run down on the fees:
- Initial and expired handgun license applications: the 5 year option is $100, the 10 year option is $200
- Renewal application: the 5 year option is $85, the 10 year option is $170
- Expired renewal application for licenses that have been expired for under three years: the 5 year option is $85, the 10 year option is $170
Applications will be processed within 60-90 days and the applicant will receive notification of the results, even if they’ve been declined.
As of November 2014, the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation allows a 90-day grace period to renew the license after it’s expired. After those 90 days have passed and the license is not renewed (in essentially the same process as an initial application without the training certification), it is illegal to concealed carry.
At a total of 256,612 active license holders as of May 2016 with approximately 3,000 new applications every month, according to the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, the licensing authorities have their hands full with processing and administration.
Be patient. Relax. The license will be awarded soon enough, provided all the applicant’s ducks are in a row.
Once the license is in hand, make sure not to carry in prohibited locations.
Oklahoma Concealed Carry Is Not Statewide, There Are Location Restrictions
There are two sections within state law that limit or otherwise dictate where Oklahoma concealed carry is allowed.
The first is 21 O.S. 1290.22. This states that no portion of the Self Defense Act inhibits business or property owners from restricting firearms on their premises. Basically, the management or land owner has the final say on whether or not guns are allowed on their own property.
Businesses, however, cannot restrict firearms stored in vehicles parked in areas designated as parking lots. The concealed carrier may be denied entrance to the business or be asked to leave the business with signage that clearly indicates firearms are prohibited on the premises.
Failure to comply may result in a citation and a fee of up to $250.
Aside from businesses that prohibit firearms, 21 O.S. 1277 states the following locations are a no-go for CCWs:
- Buildings and spaces owned or leased by city, town, county, state or federal government authorities for conducting business with the public
- Any meeting for city, town, county, state or federal officials, school board members, legislative members or otherwise elected officials
- Prisons, jails and detention facilities
- Elementary and secondary school property and school buses
- Sports arenas for pro sporting events
- Anywhere pari-mutuel wagering (a fancy way of saying betting and gambling) is authorized by law
- Any other spaces prohibited by law
Do not carry a firearm where alcohol or liquor is consumed.
However, firearms are generally not prohibited in parking lots, properties adjacent to locations that prohibit firearms, parks, recreational areas or fairgrounds.
Otherwise, those with an Oklahoma handgun license is free to carry in other locations throughout the state.
What about those with out of state CCW permits?
Oklahoma concealed carry reciprocity and how it works
As it stands, Oklahoma concealed carry reciprocity for out of state permits is as straightforward as it gets.
According to 21 O.S. 1290.26, Oklahoma recognizes any concealed or unconcealed weapons permit or licensed issued by any other state. If the nonresident is from a nonpermitting state, Oklahoma law will match the permitting law of that state.
Currently, there are 36 reciprocating states, but that is not a permanent number. It may increase or decrease with developing legislations.
A CCW map is the best bet to stay up to date.
About The Author
Jake Smith (@notjakesmith) is a copywriter in his final year of studying public relations and apparel at the University of Idaho.