“Constitutional Carry” in Oklahoma

Abby shoots her .380 at our pond recently. We both legally carry firearms, and neither of us care if you are black or white, young or old: if you threaten our lives, we will defend ourselves.
Abby shoots her .380 at our pond recently. We both legally carry firearms, and neither of us care if you are black or white, young or old: if you threaten our lives, we will defend ourselves.

My fellow Oklahomans and I are aware that Governor Kevin Stitt signed the so-called “permitless carry” bill February 28, which allows Oklahoma residents 21 and older to carry open or concealed firearms without a permit, background check or training. The law takes effect November 1.

This was the first item Stitt signed into law.

As a safe and sensible firearms owner with a handgun license, I thought I would weigh in. I will not take sides on this law. The lines are drawn and the law is signed, and opinions about this law are very inflexible. As I hope I often do, I want to offer some sanity outside of the rhetoric.

  • If you want to carry a firearm, get some training. I don’t mean go to the river and empty your grandfather’s .357 into a paint can. I mean you should get some real, vetted training that includes force-on-force encounters, and at least somes elements of how the law regards deadly force encounters.
  • The training my wife and I were required to receive to get our permits wasn’t useful. No one came out of that class more knowledgeable about the real world of self defense, since the class was required to hit certain points, and was left to ignore others

    The .380 ACP vs the 9mm Parabellum vs the .38 Special; all cartridges in 9mm diameter, all capable of ending the life of another human being.
    The .380 ACP vs the 9mm Parabellum vs the .38 Special; all cartridges in 9mm diameter, all capable of ending the life of another human being.
  • The shooting portion of our permit class might have been the weakest part of it all. We were all asked to shoot 50 rounds at paper targets at an indoor range. No, that was not a typo. Shooting 50 rounds at paper is equivalent to backing a car out of the driveway to get your driver’s license.
  • Some of the people in our class had no business handling a firearm because of their inexperience or ineptitude, while others had no business handling a firearm due to their arrogance or violent inclinations, yet all of them passed the class.
  • Carrying a firearm isn’t about being a hero or a vigilante. One person in the back of our classroom would occasionally mutter, “I’m only gonna need one shot,” which is not only demonstrably untrue (watch some videos of trained police in deadly force encounters), it also has an air of desire to kill. If you carry a firearm hoping to one day kill a bad guy, you are carrying for the wrong reason, and you are probably dangerous.
  • The internet cannot train you to shoot or how to defend yourself.
  • Never, ever mix guns and alcohol or drugs. Keep your guns safely away from children.
  • It’s never about caliber: if you can’t defend yourself with a .380, you can’t defend yourself.
  • My wife and I carry when it is safe and legal to do so. Know the law. When you cross a state line, you have to know a whole different set of laws. We carry with utmost respect for what it means to possess a firearm, and we understand clearly that use of it only comes as a very last resort.
  • Your best options for self protection are avoidance, deterrence, and de-escalation.

I expect I will have more thoughts on this as it develops.

My number one carry weapon is the compact, capable Ruger LCP.
My number one carry weapon is the compact, capable Ruger LCP.

 

3 Comments

  1. Richard, I certainly appreciate your insight on this topic. I, as a firearms instructor and a SDA instructor, have my personal thoughts on this law. I am very much a supporter of the second amendment. I agree the SDA course is very lacking I several respects. Of course, I have always told my classes that the SDA course curriculum was not designed to make a person a better shooter but rather to pass on some bare bones information. It certainly could and should be much better. It seems to me, from my experience with LE Officers and civilians, the weak link for all of us is handgun handling skills. There is exponentially more factors to handgun self defense than lining sights up and pressing the trigger! Most people think this to be a very simple task. It is however, as you know, very complex. Just ask our friend Wes. I will piggy back on your thoughts, train-train-train. Practice with your firearm if you ever expect it to save your life. Thanks for your words of wisdom. Tracy

  2. Not that you were looking for my approbation, but I agree 100% with your bullet points (with the caveat that I wasn’t in your class so I can’t comment on the opinions regarding its participants or efficacy).

    I won’t make any predictions about the future outcomes of Oklahoma’s new law, but I am deeply curious as to what those outcomes turn out to be and how various interests will spin those outcomes. I will pay attention.

  3. “The training my wife and I were required to receive to get our permits wasn’t useful.”

    I’m very sorry to hear this. I did hold out some hope that people going to these classes would at least get *some* betterment from it.

    “Some of the people in our class had no business handling a firearm…”

    Every time I hear a phrase like this, I’m reminded of my former neighbor, who lived in a trailer next to me in Harker Heights, Texas. Yes, he was a former member of the U.S. Army (so purportedly had received *some* training), but he was almost always drunk off his gourd when I saw him, and almost always carrying at least one firearm. I literally feared for my life every time he laid out a dozen or so of them on his rickety wooden porch and proceeded to “clean” (lovingly rub) them while drinking continuously.

    “…which allows Oklahoma residents 21 and older to carry open or concealed firearms without a permit…”

    Curious: is it only Oklahoma residents? I was led to believe by a different article that it was “people” in Oklahoma, with residency not being a requirement. Either way, I hope your fellow Oklahomans handle this better than I think they will…

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