BROKEN ARROW, Okla. — A new gun law is about to take effect in Oklahoma.
Starting Friday, Nov. 1, anyone 21 and older — and military service members and veterans who are 18 and older — can legally carry a gun without a permit. This means they can have the gun in public, open or concealed, without needing a background check or training. Exceptions include felons and people who have committed certain crimes, such as aggravated or domestic assault and battery. Undocumented immigrants are also not allowed to have guns in the state.
The new "permitless carry" law, sometimes referred to as a "Constitutional carry" law, is also changing the way police respond to calls where someone has a gun.
“When you call 911, we’re going to ask a series of questions and they’re important information for us to know," said Chris Walker with the Broken Arrow Police Department. "If they appear to be legally carrying a firearm, the police aren’t going to come out and contact the person and violate their rights.”
Some business owners expressed concern about the new law; however, police say they do have a choice.
“Private businesses can exclude anybody at any time for any reason, any lawful reason," Walker said. "One of those is firearms possession. They don’t have to allow someone carrying a weapon into their business.”
The Philbrook Museum of Art in Tulsa has never allowed guns on its property, and that policy will remain.
“People can leave them locked up in their car, but in terms of walking around, whether it's open or concealed, that is something we’ve never allowed on the premises," said Jeff Martin with the museum.
Businesses that don't allow firearms will have a sticker or sign in the window saying they are not permitted.