On May 17, 2017, SB 35, the recognition of military, guard and reserve members to carry concealed weapons based on a military, reserve, or national guard valid I.D. card, was signed into law by Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin. SB 35 was popular in the legislature. It passed the Senate on March 15, 2017, 40-2. It was amended on 11 April in the House. It passed the House on 19 April, 2017, 85–0. The amended version then passed the Senate unanimously, 46-0. It was signed by Governor Fallin on May 17, 2017.
The act goes into effect on November 1, 2017.
The bill will become part of Oklahoma carry law, which is about 14 pages long. Here is the definition of who may carry with a valid military I.D. From state.ok.us (pdf):
- The person is twenty-one (21) years of age or older, and is either:
- Active military, or
- A member of the Reserve or National Guard to include Drill Status Guard and Reserve, Active Guard Reserves or Military Technicians, and presents a valid military identification card that shall be considered a valid handgun license issued pursuant to the Oklahoma Self-Defense Act
People from other states who have a valid military I.D. are recognized. The reciprocity section at the end of the bill makes that clear. From state.ok.us (pdf):
Any person entering this state in possession of a firearm authorized for concealed or unconcealed carry upon the authority and license of another state or a valid military identification card as provided for qualified persons in Section 1290.8 of this title is authorized to continue to carry a concealed or unconcealed firearm and license in this state; provided the license from the other state or valid military identification card as provided for qualified persons in Section 1290.8 of this title remains valid.
There are about 2 million active military and reserves in the United States, and about 460,000 national guard members. A significant number of them will be under the age of 21, but about 1.5 million will be 21 or older.
This increases the pool of people able to carry concealed weapons in Oklahoma by about 1.5 million, or about 10% more than already exist. The number of people in the United States with carry permits exceeds 15 million.
Another incremental step to extend the right to carry in Oklahoma would be to include veterans with an honorable discharge.
It could happen, but it seems more likely that Oklahoma will pass a “permitless” or Constitutional Carry reform first.