Oklahoma “Constitutional Carry” Now in Effect

By Michael Maharrey

Today, “Constitutional Carry” went into effect in Oklahoma. The new law makes it legal to carry firearms concealed without a license and will also foster an environment more hostile to federal gun control.

Rep. John Echols (R-Oklahoma City) and Sen. Kim David (R-Porter), introduced House Bill 2597 (HB2597) in February. Under the new law, any person at least 21 years of age, or a person who is at least 18 years of age and in the military, can legally carry a firearm concealed or unconcealed without a permit as long as the person is not otherwise disqualified from the possession or purchase of a firearm. Oklahomans will still be able to get a concealed carry permits if they want them for reciprocity with other states.

The House passed HB2597 by a 70-30 vote. The Senate approved the measure 40-6. With Gov. Kevin Stitt’s signature on Feb. 27, the law went into effect on Nov. 1.

Former Gov. Mary Fallin vetoed a similar measure in 2018, but supporters pushed the legislation through a second time with the election of Gov. Stitt.

EFFECT ON FEDERAL GUN CONTROL

While permitless carry bills do not directly affect federal gun control, the widespread passage of permitless conceal carry laws in states subtly undermines federal efforts to regulate guns. As we’ve seen with marijuana and industrial hemp, a federal regulation becomes ineffective when states ignore it and pass laws encouraging the prohibited activity anyway.

The federal government lacks the enforcement power necessary to maintain its ban, and people will willingly take on the small risk of federal sanctions if they know the state will not interfere. This increases when the state actively encourages “the market.”

Less restrictive state gun laws will likely have a similar impact on federal gun laws. It will make it that much more difficult for the feds to enforce any future federal gun control, and increase the likelihood that states with few limits will simply refuse to cooperate with federal enforcement efforts.

State actions such as passing HB2597 lower barriers for those wanting to the option of defending themselves with firearms and encourages a “gun-friendly” environment that makes federal efforts to limit firearms that much more difficult.


Michael Maharrey [send him email] is the Communications Director for the Tenth Amendment Center, where this article first appeared. He proudly resides in the original home of the Principles of ’98 – Kentucky. See his blog archive here and his article archive here. He is the author of the book, Our Last Hope: Rediscovering the Lost Path to Liberty. You can visit his personal website at MichaelMaharrey.com and like him on Facebook HERE.

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