Removing Barriers Blog

Cornerstone Credit Union League Seeking Changes to Oklahoma Open Carry Bill
Posted May 06, 2016 by CUNA Advocacy

Along with a coalition of businesses, the Cornerstone Credit Union League is seeking to combat a bill that would relax Oklahoma’s current open-carry gun laws. The bill, HJR1009, could pose particular issues for credit unions as it may lead to the stripping of businesses’ right to prohibit open carry on their property. 

Currently, businesses can bar open carry by prominently posting a sign. If this latest measure becomes law, it will likely restrict the rights of a business owner to keep guns out of the workplace, lead to guns being carried at public and private events and even allow guns to be carried on campus. The bill requires any limitation on carrying a gun to pass the "strict scrutiny" constitutional review by the courts - the hardest level of review for a statute to meet.

Oklahoma legal experts believe Oklahoma laws that permit financial institutions, sports arenas, casinos, businesses, churches and school campuses to disallow possession of handguns on their premises would be struck down as unconstitutional. Therefore, bills like HJR10009 could lead to anyone over 21 and without a felony record, to openly carry a gun without first obtaining any formal training or permit. 

The proposal was initiated with the backing of the NRA as well as local 2nd Amendment enthusiasts. While HJR1009 passed the House, the title was stricken in the Senate, which opens the bill for changes and prevents it from moving forward until the title is restored. The bill is now in conference where the league is working to ensure it dies.