Last week, an elementary school in Moore, Oklahoma, was locked down after a teacher found a loaded gun in a chair at the start of school. A man who surrendered to police, telling them that he accidentally left the gun behind, was arrested on a complaint of possession of a weapon on school property. Mark Thomas Brim, 57, of Oklahoma City, was booked into Cleveland County Jail last Wednesday and held on $5,000 bond. Brim told police that he had been at Plaza Towers Elementary over the weekend helping his wife, the school's IT tech, with some computer problems. He said that the loaded Smith & Wesson .380 semi-automatic weapon must have fallen out of his pocket while he was helping with the computer issues, and that he did not even realize it was missing until his wife notified him that the school had been locked down after a loaded gun was found. According to court documents at Brim's arraignment, his concealed carry permit is expired. On November 1, 2012, when Senate Bill 1733 takes effect, Oklahoma will become the 25th state to allow the open carry of handguns. The state will require a license for the open or concealed carry of guns. Applicants for an open carry permit will be required to take a firearms safety and training course and to submit to a background check. Licenses will be denied to those convicted of felonies or certain misdemeanor crimes. Oklahoma joins thirteen other states as a "licensed open carry" state. Though Oklahoma is considered to be a gun-friendly state, offering more leniency in gun ownership and possession laws, there are certain restrictions to which a gun owner must carefully adhere. Among those is the strict prohibition of guns or weapons on school property. Under Senate Bill 1733, businesses may choose to disallow possession of firearms on the premises, and possession of guns is prohibited on certain properties:
- Property owned or leased by the city, state, or federal government
- Correctional facilities
- College campuses
- Sports arenas during sporting events
According to the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigations (OSBI) website, "It is the responsibility of the applicant to read and become knowledgeable of the provisions of the Oklahoma Self-Defense Act. In addition to the basic eligibility requirements, the law includes a number of conditions that affect an applicant's right to have a handgun license." For those who find themselves in violation of Oklahoma gun possession laws, finding an attorney is an important step in protecting oneself from unfair prosecution. Click here to find an Oklahoma gun lawyer ready to tackle your case.