Keeping California on the Leading Edge of Smart Gun Laws

Posted on Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015

CA-Leg-Update

The 2015 legislative session is in full swing, and the Law Center is committed to shaping California’s common-sense approach to responsible gun ownership and safety. Our attorneys are busy: tracking laws, testifying at public safety hearings, and working alongside lawmakers to pass legislation that will keep the Golden State a model for the rest of the nation when it comes to enacting smart gun laws that save lives.

This year, we are particularly focused on two important bills to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and away from our schools:

SB 347 “prohibited persons”: would require that criminals convicted of firearms-related misdemeanors, like stealing a gun or selling ammunition to children or felons, are not able to possess or purchase a gun within 10 years of their conviction. This bill will protect public safety, given that individuals who commit gun-related crimes are much more likely than law-abiding citizens to commit future offenses, including acts of violence.

SB 707 “gun-free school zone”: would eliminate a dangerous loophole in California’s Gun-Free School Zone Act by prohibiting individuals licensed to carry concealed handguns from carrying their weapons onto school grounds without the written permission of school officials. This bill would help ensure that school administrators have the discretion they need to provide students with a safe and secure learning environment.

To learn more about all of the firearm-related bills introduced in the California State Legislature this year, check out our comprehensive 2015 California Legislative Summary below.

For more info on legislative trends that are currently developing nationwide, read our 2015 State Gun Law Trendwatch.

READ MORE »

Statistics on the Costs of Gun Violence

Posted on Friday, April 17th, 2015

Researchers conservatively estimate that gun violence costs the American economy at least $229 billion every year, including $8.6 billion in direct expenses such as for emergency and medical care.1  Gun violence costs more than $700 per American every year, more than the total economic cost of obesity and almost as much as the annual price tag for the entire Medicaid program.2

Half of these costs are borne by U.S. taxpayers.3  But these costs are not borne evenly; the data shows that states with smart gun laws save lives and funds.  Wyoming, with the nation’s highest rate of gun deaths, also bears the highest gun violence costs per capita of any state: gun violence costs Wyoming around $1,400 per resident every year, twice the national average.4  By comparison, Hawaii, among the two states with the nation’s lowest rate of gun deaths, had costs associated with gun violence of $234 per resident per year, about 1/6th of Wyoming’s.5

In California, the direct costs of hospital use for firearm assault injuries alone was estimated at $87.4 million in 2010.  65% of these costs were borne by taxpayers.6

 

  1. Mark Follman, Julia Lurie, Jaeah Lee & James West, The True Cost of Gun Violence in America (2015), available at http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/04/true-cost-of-gun-violence-in-america. []
  2. Id. []
  3. Philip Cook et al., The Medical Costs of Gunshot Injuries in the United States, 282 JAMA 447 (1999); Embry M. Howell et al., State Variation in Hospital Use and Cost of Firearm Assault Injury, 2010, 1, 6 (2014), available at http://www.urban.org/research/publication/state-variation-hospital-use-and-cost-firearm-assault-injury-2010. []
  4. Mark Follman, Julia Lurie, Jaeah Lee & James West, The True Cost of Gun Violence in America (2015), available at http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/04/true-cost-of-gun-violence-in-america. []
  5. Id. []
  6. Embry M. Howell et al., State Variation in Hospital Use and Cost of Firearm Assault Injury, 2010, 1 (2014), available at http://www.urban.org/research/publication/state-variation-hospital-use-and-cost-firearm-assault-injury-2010. []

Introduction to Gun Violence Statistics

Posted on Friday, April 17th, 2015

The United States experiences epidemic levels of gun violence, claiming over 30,000 lives annually, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For every person who dies from a gunshot wound, two others are wounded. Every year, approximately 100,000 Americans are victims of gun violence. In addition to those who are killed or injured, there are countless others whose lives are forever changed by the deaths of and injuries to their loved ones.

Gun violence touches every segment of our society. It increases the probability of deaths in incidents of domestic violence, raises the likelihood of fatalities by those who intend to injure others and among those who attempt suicide, places children and young people at special risk, and disproportionately affects communities of color.

Mass shooting tragedies like the school shootings at Virginia Tech in April 2007 and Northern Illinois University in February 2008 – or the 1993 office shooting in San Francisco that led to the formation of the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence – receive significant media attention. However, gun deaths and injuries in the U.S. usually occur quietly, without national press coverage, every day.

Other Location Restrictions in Oklahoma

Posted on Friday, April 17th, 2015

Oklahoma prohibits any person from carrying or possessing a firearm in any establishment where low-point beer or alcoholic beverages are consumed, unless the person is the proprietor of the establishment, or the person possesses a valid handgun license and the sale of low-point beer or alcoholic beverages is not the primary purpose of the business.1

The state also generally prohibits any person from bringing a gun into or having a gun in his or her possession in any jail or state penal institution or other place where prisoners are located.2

The state allows any private landowner, the landowner’s designated employee, or a lessee to possess a chamber-loaded firearm on the landowner’s property, provided that no convicted felon carries it.3

Valid handgun license holders are prohibited from carrying a concealed or unconcealed handgun into:

  • Any structure, building, or office space owned or leased by a city, town, county, state, or federal governmental authority for the purpose of conducting business with the public;
  • Any prison, jail, detention facility or any facility used to process, hold, or house arrested persons, prisoners or persons alleged delinquent or adjudicated delinquent;
  • Any elementary or secondary school, except where a policy has been adopted by the governing entity of a private school that authorizes valid handgun license holders to carry and possess a weapon on private school property or in any school bus or vehicle used by a private school;4
  • Any sports arena during a professional sporting event.”));
  • Any place where pari-mutuel wagering is authorized by law; and
  • Any other place specifically prohibited by law.5

For purposes of each of the prohibited locations above, except elementary and secondary schools, technology center school property, and other places specifically prohibited by law, prohibited locations for handgun license holders do not include:

  • Any property set aside for the use of any vehicle, whether attended or unattended, by a city, town, county, state, or federal governmental authority;
  • Any property set aside for the use of any vehicle, whether attended or unattended, by any entity offering any professional sporting event which is open to the public for admission, or by any entity engaged in pari-mutuel wagering authorized by law;
  • Any property adjacent to a structure, building or office space in which concealed or unconcealed weapons are prohibited by license holders as noted above;
  • Any property designated by a city, town, county, or state governmental authority as a park, recreational area, or fairgrounds; provided this provision shall not be construed to authorize any entry by a person in possession of a concealed handgun into any structure, building or office space where concealed handguns are prohibited by license holders; and
  • Any property set aside by a public or private elementary or secondary school for the use or parking of any vehicle, whether attended or unattended; provided, however, said handgun must be stored and hidden from view in a locked motor vehicle when the motor vehicle is left unattended on school property.6

Oklahoma law precludes any person, property owner, tenant, employer, or business entity from establishing a policy or rule that would prohibit any person (except a convicted felon) from transporting and storing a firearm in a locked vehicle on any property set aside for a vehicle.7 Otherwise, Oklahoma does not limit, restrict or prohibit in any manner the existing rights of any person, property owner, tenant, employer, or business entity to control the possession of weapons on any property owned or controlled by the person or business entity.8

Oklahoma has no statutes prohibiting firearms in the following places, although administrative regulations may apply:

  • Parks;
  • Hospitals;
  • Places of worship; or
  • Polling places.
  1. Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 21, § 1272.1. Any person possessing a valid handgun license may carry the concealed handgun into any restaurant or other establishment licensed to sell low-point beer or alcoholic beverages, provided that the sale of such beverages does not constitute the primary purpose of the business. Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 21, §§ 1272.1, 1272.2. []
  2. Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 57, § 21. []
  3. Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 29, § 4-135(E). []
  4. as provided by Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 21 § 1277(C). []
  5. Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 21 § 1277(A). []
  6. Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 21 § 1277(B). []
  7. Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 21, § 1290.22(B). []
  8. Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 21, § 1290.22(A) and (C). []

Guns in Schools in Oklahoma

Posted on Friday, April 17th, 2015

Oklahoma prohibits possession of a firearm on any public or private school property or while in any school bus or vehicle used by any school for transportation of students or teachers, subject to certain exceptions.1 “School property” is defined as any publicly owned property held for purposes of elementary, secondary or vocational-technical education, and does not include property owned by public school districts where such property is leased or rented to an individual or corporation and used for purposes other than educational.2 “Private school” is defined as a school that offers a course of instruction for students in one or more grades from prekindergarten through grade twelve that is not operated by a governmental entity.3

Exceptions to Oklahoma’s prohibition on guns on school property include:

  • Guns designed for hunting kept in a privately owned vehicle and properly stored as required by law, provided such vehicle is driven onto school property only to transport a student to and from school and such vehicle does not remain unattended on school property;
  • Guns used in the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation certified hunter training education course or any other hunting, fishing, safety or firearms training courses, or a recognized firearms sports event, team shooting program or competition, or living history reenactment, provided the course or event is approved by the principal or chief administrator of the school where the course or event is offered, and provided the weapon is properly displayed or stored as required by law pending participation in the course, event, program or competition.
  • Weapons in the possession of any peace officer or other person authorized by law to possess a weapon in the performance of his or her duties and responsibilities;
  • A concealed or unconcealed weapon carried onto private school property or in any school bus or vehicle used by any private school for transportation of students or teachers by a person who is licensed pursuant to the Oklahoma Self-Defense Act, provided a policy has been adopted by the governing entity of the private school that authorizes the possession of a weapon on private school property or in any school bus or vehicle used by a private school; and
  • A handgun carried in a motor vehicle pursuant to a valid handgun license authorized by the Oklahoma Self-Defense Act onto property set aside by a public or private elementary or secondary school for the use or parking of any vehicle; provided, however, said handgun must be stored and hidden from view in a locked motor vehicle when the motor vehicle is left unattended on school property.4

It is also unlawful for handgun license holders to carry any concealed or unconcealed handgun into an elementary or secondary school, except where a policy has been adopted by the governing entity of a private school that authorizes the possession of a weapon on private school property or in any school bus or vehicle used by the private school.5).

In Oklahoma, any student found in possession of a firearm while on any public school property or while in any school bus or other vehicle used by a public school for transportation of students or teachers must be suspended out-of-school for a period of not less than one year, to be determined by the district board of education pursuant to the provisions of this section.6 The term of the suspension may be modified by the district superintendent on a case-by-case basis.7

Finally, no person in lawful possession of a handgun in Oklahoma may carry the handgun into or upon any college, university, or technology center school property, subject to certain exceptions.8 This prohibition does not prevent persons with a valid handgun license from possessing a concealed handgun on any college, university, or technology center school property:

  • Set aside for the use or parking of any vehicle, whether attended or unattended, provided the handgun is carried or stored as required by law and the handgun is not removed from the vehicle without the prior consent of the college or university president or technology center school administrator while the vehicle is on any college or university or technology center school property;
  • Authorized for possession or use of handguns by college or university or technology center school policy; and
  • Authorized by the written consent of the college or university president or technology center school administrator, provided the written consent is carried with the handgun and the valid concealed handgun license while on college or university or technology center school property.9

See our Guns in Schools policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue. 

 

  1. Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 21, § 1280.1(A). []
  2. Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 21, § 1280.1(B)(1). []
  3. Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 21, § 1280.1(B)(2). []
  4. Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 21, § 1280.1(C). []
  5. Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 21, §§ 1277(A)(3) and 1277(C []
  6. Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 70, § 24-101.3(C)(2). []
  7. Id. The school or district administration must consider and apply, if appropriate, alternative in-school placement options that are not to be considered suspension, such as placement in an alternative school setting, reassignment to another classroom, or in-school detention. Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 70, § 24-101.3(A). []
  8. Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 21 § 1277(E). []
  9. Id. []

Guns in Vehicles in Oklahoma

Posted on Friday, April 17th, 2015

Except where otherwise permitted by law, Oklahoma prohibits the transportation of a loaded handgun, rifle or shotgun in a “landborne” motor vehicle over a public highway or roadway.1  However, any person (except a convicted felon) may transport a rifle or shotgun clip or magazine loaded (not chamber loaded) if it is in an exterior locked compartment of the vehicle, in the trunk, or in the interior compartment of the vehicle.2 Any person (except a convicted felon) may transport a rifle or shotgun in a motor vehicle if the firearm is concealed behind a seat or within the interior of the vehicle, and is not clip, magazine or chamber loaded.3 Furthermore, any person (except a convicted felon) may transport a rifle, shotgun or handgun, unloaded and open (meaning in plain view, a firearm case, a gun rack, an exterior locked compartment, or a trunk) in a motor vehicle at any time.4

Oklahoma permits the carrying of an unloaded shotgun, rifle or handgun, open and not concealed and without a license, for any legitimate purpose not in violation of the Oklahoma Firearms Act of 1971,5 including when going to or from the person’s residence or vehicle, or a vehicle in which the person is riding as a passenger, to a place designated or authorized for:

  • Firearms repairs or reconditioning;
  • Firearms trade, sale, or barter, or a gunsmith;
  • Hunting animals or fowl;
  • A hunter safety course;
  • Target shooting, or skeet or trap shooting; or
  • Any lawfully recognized firearms activity or event.6

State law prohibits carrying a concealed or unconcealed handgun without a license, except where otherwise provided by law.7

Any person operating a vehicle, or who is a passenger in a vehicle wherein another person who is licensed to carry a handgun, concealed or unconcealed, and is carrying a handgun or has the handgun in such vehicle, is not considered in violation of possession prohibitions within a vehicle, if the licensee is in or near the vehicle.8

A person stopped pursuant to a moving traffic violation who is transporting a loaded handgun in the vehicle without a valid handgun license, whether the loaded firearm is concealed or unconcealed in the vehicle, shall be issued a traffic citation for $70, plus court costs for transporting the firearm improperly, and the person may be arrested for any other violation of law.9

State law prohibits any person other than an authorized law enforcement officer from boarding a bus with a firearm concealed upon or about his or her person.10

State law also prohibits the transportation of a firearm in a boat, except when hunting animals or fowl in compliance with existing state and federal law.11 Any person in possession of a valid handgun license is not criminally liable for transporting a handgun if the handgun is on or about his or her person while on the boat.12

Finally, no person, property owner, tenant, employer, or business entity is allowed to maintain, establish, or enforce any policy or rule that has the effect of prohibiting any person (except a convicted felon) from transporting and storing firearms in a locked motor vehicle, or from transporting and storing a firearm locked in or locked to a motor vehicle on any property set aside for any motor vehicle.13

  1. Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 21, § 1289.13. []
  2. Id. []
  3. Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 21, § 1289.7. []
  4. Id. []
  5. Providing, inter alia, for the licensing of persons to carry handguns, per Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 21 §§ 1289.1 through 1289.17. []
  6. Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 21, § 1289.6(B). []
  7. Okla. Stat. Ann. tit., 21, § 1290.4. []
  8. Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 21, §§ 1289.7, 1289.13. []
  9. Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 21, § 1289.13A(A). []
  10. Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 21, § 1903(D). []
  11. Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 63, § 4210.3. []
  12. Id. []
  13. Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 21, §§ 1289.7a, 1290.22(B). []

Choose Common Sense over Campus Carry

Posted on Wednesday, April 15th, 2015

 

The debate over allowing guns on campus is raging across America. So far in 2015, 16 states have introduced dangerous bills that would allow hidden, loaded guns on public and private college campuses. But, enacting legislation allowing more guns to be carried on and around schools only increases the opportunity for gun violence.Trendwatch-Map-Schools-4.10

We already know that permissive concealed carry laws are linked to an increase in violent crime, and workplaces that allow guns are significantly more dangerous to workers—more guns on campus place a burden and pose a risk for people who work at schools too. Additionally, the university experience introduces new stressors and social pressures to students, factors contributing to an increase in risky behaviorlike drinking and drug use—that make college campuses a hazardous climate for relaxed access to firearms.

The gun lobby is also pushing an agenda that labels campus carry as a safety measure that would protect women from sexual assault. In theory, victims could use a gun to defend against a sexual predator, but the reality is darker—assailants would be allowed to carry concealed weapons, too. Sexual violence on campuses is also often committed by a person the victim knows, and often linked to situations where people are drinking—a potentially deadly scenario if concealed weapons are present.

 

READ MORE »

Local Authority to Regulate Firearms in Oklahoma

Posted on Wednesday, April 15th, 2015

Oklahoma has a detailed preemption statute that provides:

The State Legislature hereby occupies and preempts the entire field of legislation in this state touching in any way firearms, components, ammunition, and supplies to the complete exclusion of any order, ordinance, or regulation by any municipality or other political subdivision of this state. Any existing or future orders, ordinances, or regulations in this field, except as provided for in paragraph 2 of this subsection and subsection C of this section, are null and void.1

Oklahoma also prohibits any political subdivision from adopting any “order, ordinance, or regulation concerning in any way the sale, purchase, purchase delay, transfer, ownership, use, keeping, possession, carrying, bearing, transportation, licensing, permit, registration, taxation other than sales and compensating use taxes, or other controls on firearms, components, ammunition, and supplies.”2

Municipalities may, however, adopt an ordinance:

  • Relating to the discharge of firearms within the jurisdiction; or
  • Allowing the municipality to issue a traffic citation for transporting a loaded pistol in a vehicle without a valid concealed handgun permit, provided however, that penalties contained for violation of such ordinance shall not exceed the penalties established in the Oklahoma Self-Defense Act.3

In addition, Oklahoma does not prohibit “any order, ordinance, or regulation by any municipality concerning the confiscation of property used in violation of the ordinances of the municipality.”4 No municipal ordinance relating to transportation of a firearm improperly may include a provision for confiscation of property.5

Oklahoma law states that, in enacting the Oklahoma Self-Defense Act (providing for licenses to carry concealed handguns), the state “finds it necessary to occupy the field of regulation of the bearing of concealed handguns.”6

  1. Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 21, § 1289.24(A)(1). []
  2. Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 21, § 1289.24(B). []
  3. Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 21, § 1289.24(A)(2). []
  4. Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 21, § 1289.24(C). []
  5. Id. []
  6. Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 21, § 1290.25. []

Licensing of Gun Owners & Purchasers in Oklahoma

Posted on Wednesday, April 15th, 2015

Oklahoma has no law requiring gun owners or purchasers to obtain a license.

See our Licensing of Gun Owners or Purchasers policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Immunity Statutes in Oklahoma

Posted on Wednesday, April 15th, 2015

Oklahoma provides immunity to the firearms industry:

1. [T]he state Legislature declares that the lawful design, marketing, manufacturing, or sale of firearms or ammunition to the public is not unreasonably dangerous activity and does not constitute a nuisance.

2. The authority to bring suit and right to recover against any firearms or ammunition manufacturer, trade association, or dealer by or on behalf of any governmental unit created by or pursuant to an act of the Legislature or the Constitution, or any department, agency, or authority thereof, for damages, abatement, or injunctive relief resulting from or relating to the lawful design, manufacturing, marketing, or sale of firearms or ammunition to the public shall be reserved exclusively to the state. This paragraph shall not prohibit a political subdivision or local government authority from bringing an action against a firearms or ammunition manufacturer or dealer for breach of contract or warranty as to firearms or ammunition purchased by the political subdivision or local government authority…[and this section] shall not be construed to prohibit an individual from bringing a cause of action based upon an existing recognized theory of law.1

For detailed information about government and private party lawsuits against the gun industry, the status of litigation involving gun industry immunity statutes in various states, or pending gun industry immunity legislation, visit the Brady Center’s Legal Action Project and the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence’s Gun Industry Immunity page.

See our Immunity Statutes policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue. 

  1. Okla. Stat. Ann. tit., 21, § 1289.24a. []