OKC VeloCity | New gun law goes into effect Nov. 1

New gun law goes into effect Nov. 1

By Chamber Staff / Policy / November 8, 2019

More and more businesses are placing stickers on their doors notifying customers that firearms are not allowed.

Many are doing it in response to a new law that went into effect Nov. 1. Sometimes referred to as “constitutional carry”, House Bill 2597 allows individuals to carry a weapon without training or a permit.

Oklahoma will join 14 other states that allow it.

While the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber opposed the new law as it was initially drafted, efforts to protect and enhance a business owner’s ability to prohibit firearms in their establishments were successful. These protections will also extend to high-economic impact events such as professional and Big 12 sports events, horse shows and other events that are required by contract to prohibit firearms.

“The Chamber is fully supportive of the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the responsible expansion of gun-owner’s rights in Oklahoma,” said Mark VanLandingham, Chamber senior vice president of government relations and policy. “However, the Chamber opposed legislation that would allow open/concealed carry of guns into businesses and high-economic impact events that want to prohibit firearms.”

With the passage and subsequent signing by Gov. Kevin Stitt of HB 2597 this past February, VanLandingham and his team worked with members of the Oklahomans for Business and Property Owners’ Rights coalition to strengthen that part of the legislation pertaining to a business owner’s right to prohibit the carrying of firearms into their business.

“Under the provisions of the original bill, if a business owner requested that someone leave their premises because they were armed and they refused, there was very little that the proprietor could do,” said VanLandingham. “There was no fine, no misdemeanor and no jail time.”

Thanks to the efforts of the Chamber’s government relations team and the coalition, that is no longer the case.

“There are now penalties for those who refuse to honor a business owner’s request to leave their firearms outside or depart the premises,” according to VanLandingham. “For a first offense, a violator is subject to a fine of $100 - $250, up to 30 days sentence in a county jail and a misdemeanor charge.”

A second offense would result in a steeper fine and more jail time.

“One of the most important ways we support our member businesses is by participating in the legislative process,” added VanLandingham. “Collaboration is critical to maintaining the momentum and positive growth the Oklahoma City is experiencing. We remain committed to working with all stakeholders to find positive solutions to the challenges facing our state.”

This article originally appeared in the November 2019 issue of The POINT!

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