Oklahoma law provides that a person is permitted to openly carry both loaded and unloaded firearms without a license for any legitimate purpose, if not in violation of any legislative enactment regarding the use, ownership and control of firearms,1 such as the state’s handgun licensing requirements.2

The law explicitly authorizes open carry of both loaded and unloaded shotguns, rifles, and handguns without a license:

  • When hunting animals or fowl;
  • During competition in or practicing in a safety or hunter safety class, target shooting, skeet, trap or other recognized sporting events;
  • During participation in or in preparation for a military function of the state military forces to be defined as the Oklahoma Army or Air National Guard, Federal Military Reserve and active military forces;
  • During participation in or in preparation for a recognized police function of either a municipal, county or state government as functioning police officials;
  • During a practice for or a performance for entertainment purposes; and
  • For lawful self-defense and self-protection or any other legitimate purpose in or on property that is owned, leased, rented, or otherwise legally controlled by the person.3

Oklahoma also allows the open carrying of an unloaded shotgun, rifle or handgun without a license for any legitimate purpose, if not otherwise in violation of the Oklahoma Firearms Act of 1971, (providing, among other things, for the licensing of persons to carry handguns), including when going to or from the person’s private residence or vehicle, or when a passenger in a vehicle riding to statutorily designated places, such as hunting and target shooting activities, hunter safety courses, or a gunsmith.4

In 2012, Oklahoma amended its laws concerning concealed carry of handguns to also permit valid handgun license holders to carry “unconcealed” handguns for purposes other than those enumerated above.5 Oklahoma law prohibits carrying an unconcealed handgun without a valid handgun license, except where otherwise provided by law.6  But the state now permits valid handgun license holders to openly carry both loaded and unloaded handguns in public, subject to certain rules and limitations.7

“Unconcealed handgun” is defined to include any handgun “carried upon the person in a belt or shoulder holster that is wholly or partially visible, or carried upon the person in a scabbard or case designed for carrying firearms that is wholly or partially visible.”8

For more detailed information about eligibility requirements and application procedures for handgun licenses in Oklahoma, see our Concealed Weapons Permitting in Oklahoma section.

Reciprocity

Oklahoma recognizes any valid open carry weapons permit or license issued by another state.9

Any person entering [Oklahoma] in possession of a firearm authorized for concealed or unconcealed carry upon the authority and license of another state is authorized to continue to carry a concealed or unconcealed firearm and license in [Oklahoma]; provided the license from the other state remains valid. The firearm must either be carried unconcealed or concealed from detection and view, and upon coming in contact with any peace officer of this state, the person must disclose the fact that he or she is in possession of a concealed or unconcealed firearm pursuant to a valid concealed or unconcealed carry weapons permit or license issued in another state.10

For a comprehensive discussion of this issue, see our Open Carrying policy summary.

Notes
  1. Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 21, § 1289.6. ⤴︎
  2. Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 21, §§ 1272, 1276. ⤴︎
  3. Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 21, § 1289.6(A). ⤴︎
  4. Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 21, § 1289.6(B). ⤴︎
  5. See 2012 OK S.B. 1733. ⤴︎
  6. Okla. Stat. Ann. tit., 21, § 1290.4. ⤴︎
  7. See Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 21, § 1290.5. ⤴︎
  8. Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 21, § 1290.2(A)(2). ⤴︎
  9. Okla. Stat. Ann. tit, 21, § 1290.26. ⤴︎
  10. Okla. Stat. Ann. tit, 21, § 1290.26(A). ⤴︎