The Norman Transcript

Opinion

October 21, 2012

Police, businesses preparefor open-carry in state

NORMAN — In less than two weeks, licensed Oklahoma gun owners will be able to carry their pistols in full view of others. The Nov. 1 Open Carry law puts Oklahoma on par with 24 other states with similar laws.

Police don’t think there will be an abundance of people openly carrying weapons in Norman. If history is a guide, few gun owners will openly display their hardware. It’ll be a novelty for a few weeks then the newness will likely wear off.

The police plan a forum at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 29 in City Council Chambers, 201 W. Gray Street. They want the public to know what they can expect from their police department in response to the new legislation.

Officers and police dispatchers have been trained on how to address public concerns about open carry. The law prohibits carrying guns at public meetings, jails, schools, sporting events, race tracks and bars. Restaurants where the primary source of income is food, and not alcohol, are OK unless signs banning guns are posted.

Already, numerous businesses have posted signs prohibiting weapons on the property. Police say permit owners can carry guns in some public parking lots but can’t take them into public buildings.

Law enforcement officials say they can ask a person openly carrying a firearm to see their license but that person does not have to comply. Only if there is another reason to confront the person does the gun owner have to comply and show their license.

The Oct. 29 meeting should provide some interesting information. But leave your guns at home. It’s inside City Council Chambers where guns are prohibitied.

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