You Can’t Carry a Gun if You Are a Convicted Felon
Video Transcribed: Hello, this is Tulsa Criminal Defense Attorney, Brian Jackson. Today, I want to talk to you guys about how to safely interact with the police if you are armed. To start with, it’s worth a quick discussion about the laws in Oklahoma surrounding the carrying of weapons in general, and in firearms in particular.
Shun to Oklahoma law, we are a constitutional carry state. What that means is you are not required to have a permit to be armed with a firearm, either concealed or unconcealed. And the specific language dealing with that is contained within title 21. Now, there are several rules about that.
Obviously, you can’t carry a gun if you are a convicted felon. You can’t carry a weapon if you’ve been drinking or taking other intoxicants. You can’t have a weapon if you’re mentally ill. There are certain places you can’t carry a weapon. For example, into a building where the state does business with the citizens, such as the courthouse, or like for example, the election office or the police station.
You also can’t carry a firearm into a school. But let’s assume that you are carrying a firearm and it is legal. What happens if you encounter the police? Well, the first thing to know is that you should always disclose the fact to the officer, that you are armed at your earliest opportunity, whether it’s a traffic stop or whether it’s a stop on the street. You are legally required to do so. And it’s actually a misdemeanor if you fail to do so. And it can also result in your weapon being confiscated.
However, even without that, it’s a generally good idea if you are armed with a weapon to tell the police, rather than let them discover this fact on their own. And the reason for that is that if you tell them upfront that you armed and they typically will not take that as a threat.
Whereas if they discover later that you were armed and didn’t disclose, they’re more likely to view you as a potential threat and therefore deal with you in a certain way. But under Oklahoma law, you are required to divulge if you are armed.
Obviously, if you are dealing with the police and you’re armed, you want to follow directions carefully. And you want to avoid making any sudden movements, particularly anything that looks like a reaching movement towards your weapon.
That can be perceived as a threat. And it could result in the police resorting to some kind of defensive action, such as the use of a taser, or pepper spray, or even the officer’s sidearm. Additionally, a sudden reach for the gun might also end up with a felony charge for assault with a deadly weapon, if the cop wants to interpret it that way.
So it’s generally a good idea not to make any sudden reaching movements and to keep your hands visible if you know you’re armed. Another thing to be aware of when you’re carrying is that you have to be a lot more careful how you interact with other people, not just the police, because of the fact that you are armed.
So if you get into a conflict with somebody, you now are in a conflict where there is a firearm present. So it’s generally a good idea if you know you have to confront somebody or something like that, not to be armed while you do it. Because of the fact that now you’re talking about a situation where there’s a gun involved.
If you ever do find yourself in a situation where you have to employ deadly force, whether it’s a firearm, or a knife, or some other weapon, the thing to understand is that you want to be the first one to call the cops. Don’t wait for them to be called on you.
And you probably want to limit your statements to, I was in fear for my life, or I was in fear for the life of my family. And I’m very upset. I would like to decline to make a statement at this time until I have an opportunity to talk to a lawyer. And then get a good lawyer who knows something about self-defense law.
One other thing to know when dealing with the police if you’re armed, if the police instruct you to do something, generally speaking, you should comply. But you’re still not required to comply to consent to searches or to make an incriminating statement.
When I say comply, what I mean is, for example, if they tell you to keep your hands away from your weapon, do so. If they tell you to keep your hands visible, do so. That’s what I mean when I say comply. If you need a Tulsa Oklahoma criminal defense attorney, visit makelaweasy.com.