Preemption Statute

Oklahoma has enacted a firearms preemption statute.1 Section 1289.24(A)(1) states:

The State Legislature hereby occupies and preempts the entire field of legislation in this state touching in any way firearms, knives, 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.

Section 1289.24(B) 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, knives, components, ammunition, and supplies.

Moreover, 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 or unconcealed handguns.”2

In 2012, the state added language to its preemption statute clarifying that “the otherwise lawful open carrying of a handgun under the provisions of the Oklahoma Self-Defense Act shall not be punishable by any municipality or other political subdivision of [Oklahoma] as disorderly conduct, disturbing the peace or similar offense against public order.”3

Exceptions

Municipalities may, however, adopt an ordinance:

  • Relating to the discharge of firearms within the jurisdiction
  • 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.4

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.”5 No municipal ordinance relating to the improper transportation of a firearm or knife may include a provision for confiscation of property.6

Interpretation

The Oklahoma Attorney General has opined that the boards of Oklahoma’s public libraries may ban patrons from bringing concealed weapons into the libraries.7 While Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 21, § 1289.24(A) preempts firearm-related ordinances by “political subdivisions,” which may include a county or multi-county library, the Attorney General stated that “a plain reading of [Oklahoma’s concealed weapons licensing and preemption statutes] expresses a specific legislative intent to allow Libraries [sic], as property owners, to control the possession of weapons on property owned or controlled by the library” to the extent of the boundaries of their property.8

Finally, Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 21, § 1289.24(D) provides that when a person’s rights under section 1289.24 have been violated, the person shall have the right to bring a civil action against the responsible persons, municipality, and political subdivision jointly and severally for injunctive relief, monetary damages or both such remedies. The Attorney General has opined that section 1289.24(D) does not impose civil liability on a municipal or county law enforcement officer if the officer acts in conformity with state law in seizing a firearm transported in violation of section 1289.13A (improper transportation of a firearm) or other state firearm-related statutes.9

Other Statutory Provisions

In 2012, Oklahoma adopted a law prohibiting municipal and state officials from prohibiting or suspending the sale, ownership, possession, transportation, carrying, transfer, and storage of firearms, ammunition, and ammunition accessories during a declared state of emergency, that are otherwise legal under state law.10

Immunity

For state laws prohibiting local units of government (i.e., cities and counties) from filing certain types of lawsuits against the gun industry, see our page on Immunity Statutes in Oklahoma.

Notes
  1. Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 21, § 1289.24 ⤴︎
  2. Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 21, § 1290.25. ⤴︎
  3. Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 21, § 1289.24(A)(3). ⤴︎
  4. Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 21, § 1289.24(A)(2). ⤴︎
  5. Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 21, § 1289.24(C). ⤴︎
  6. Id. ⤴︎
  7. OK Op. Att’y Gen. No. 95-96, 1996 Okla. AG LEXIS 32 (April 24, 1996). ⤴︎
  8. 1996 Okla. AG LEXIS 32, *2-*3. ⤴︎
  9. OK Op. Att’y Gen. No. 03-46, 2003 Okla. AG LEXIS 41 (Nov. 3, 2003). ⤴︎
  10. Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 21, § 1321.4(B). ⤴︎