You Cannot Possess a Firearm and Be Intoxicated on Alcohol
Video Transcribed: So now you know what you can carry, and you know where you can carry. But what about when you should or shouldn’t carry? My name is Brian L. Jackson. I am one of the Criminal Attorneys in Tulsa, Oklahoma with the Wirth Law Office.
I would like to finish out the series on the SDA by talking about when you should or shouldn’t carry and when you can’t carry. Some examples of times when you really shouldn’t carry to start with.
If you are under the influence of any kind of an intoxicating substance, be it alcohol, be it any kind of a drug, even prescription medications, then you are legally barred from carrying a firearm in Oklahoma.
You may be also legally barred from carrying a firearm under federal law. So guys, those of you with a weed card, if you think weed is exempted because you have the card, you’d be incorrect.
Number one, that is considered still an intoxicant under Oklahoma law. So if you’re high, you can’t have that weapon. Also, it’s noteworthy that although marijuana is legal under state law if you have a card, it is still considered a Schedule I substance under federal law, which means it has no legal uses according to the Drug Enforcement Agency.
For that reason, if you have the card, you are prohibited from purchasing a firearm, and you may be prohibited under federal law from possessing a firearm. So it’s something to keep in mind guys. But under Oklahoma law, which is really where I want to focus, you cannot possess a firearm and be high on marijuana.
You cannot possess a firearm and be intoxicated on alcohol, or be drinking alcohol, or smoking weed, and you cannot possess a firearm and be impaired on any other drug at all that’s an intoxicant. Like I said, even prescriptions.
If you take a Benadryl, and Benadryl get you really buzzed, then you can’t have a firearm, period. That’s one thing to be aware of. Another time when you cannot possess a firearm in terms of time is if you’re subject to a protective order.
If you are subject to a protective order, a final protective order you are outright prohibited under federal law, and you are outright prohibited under state law.
Technically speaking, under state law, if it’s an emergency protective order and it’s not a final, and this goes for federal law as well, since the statutes say final protective order, the emergency protective order does not statutorily remove your right to possess or carry. However, if the order specifically says you cannot possess or carry, then you cannot possess or carry.
And I would also add that if you have an emergency protective order out against you, and it’s still pending, it’s probably not a good idea to be walking around out in public with a firearm even if you’re not expressly court-ordered not to have a weapon.
The reason being is the appearance of that is potentially problematic and even if it doesn’t get you arrested, it could cause you a problem in court later, and it could be misconstrued.
So you probably don’t want to have a firearm on your person while you’re out in public if you’re subject to one of these orders. Another situation, if you have a recent history of serious mental illness, such as a suicide attempt or some other major mental illness that’s not being well managed at the moment, things like serious depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, the statutes under Title 21 specifically prohibit you from being armed.
Another situation where you can’t be armed is if you have a pending felony. And in some cases, even a pending misdemeanor, depending on the conditions of your bond.
If your bond release specifies that you cannot be in possession of a weapon, then you cannot be carrying a firearm. And that is sometimes a condition of bond, especially with certain types of violent misdemeanors or violent felonies.
Now, with a felony, if you’ve got a pending felony, it’s probably a good idea just don’t carry a weapon. With a misdemeanor, if it’s a violent misdemeanor, don’t carry a weapon.
If it’s not a violent misdemeanor, it’s probably a case by case, but you want to talk to a lawyer before you are out in public armed with a pending misdemeanor charge.
Also, and this should go without saying, if you’re convicted of a felony, you can’t have a firearm, period, unless you’ve been pardoned for it. Even if that felony was expunged until you’re pardoned and your rights are restored, that felony is going to remain a problem for you and you cannot have a firearm.
Also, if you get popped for domestic violence, even if it’s a misdemeanor charge, you could potentially lose your right to possess a firearm under those circumstances as well.
So be aware of that. Just because it’s not a felony charge doesn’t necessarily mean it won’t cost you your right to a firearm. If you’re on probation of any kind in the State of Oklahoma, that can also prohibit you from possessing a weapon. That’s a pretty standard term.
And I’ve seen it even in cases involving a traffic citation if it’s in district court. Frequently it will be a condition of probation, your deferral or your suspended sentence, that you cannot possess weapons, and weapons include firearms.
So again, you can’t carry under those circumstances. Those are some prime examples of when you should not be carrying a weapon.
I would also add, and this is more of a common sense thing, if you’re angry, if you’re going to go confront somebody, if you’re in a situation where you could potentially be looking at a fight, don’t be armed.
Now, I know the last one kind of sounds counterintuitive. You know, like you would carry a weapon for self-defense. Let me be clear about what I mean by that.
If you’re going to go confront somebody knowing it’s going to end in a shouting match, that is not a good time to carry a firearm.
Because at that point in time if anything escalates what can happen is, you could end up in a physical confrontation and now there’s a firearm present.
And you may or may not have a self-defense privilege in that situation depending on whether or not a court were to find that you waived that privilege by being the aggressor.
So a good idea is if you’re going to go confront somebody if you know you’re about to go get in an argument, whether it’s with your spouse, with your ex, with some other person that you know you’re about to get in an argument with, don’t go armed. It’s a stupid idea.
It is a stupid idea guy because it can take a situation that might otherwise result in just an argument or a scuffle and turn it into a deadly-force situation where either somebody gets seriously hurt, killed, or you get arrested. So that’s something to be aware of. Do not, do not, do not take a firearm to go get in an argument.
I would also say, if you know that you are having personal problems, like mental health problems, this is not a time to be armed. One, legally you may not be allowed to be armed, but even if that’s not the case, it’s generally a good safety rule that if you’re not in a good frame of mind, you should not possess a weapon, period.
Because you could get in a bunch of trouble for having it, you might do something you regret later, and firearms are permanent. I mean if you point a gun at someone and pull the trigger, that’s forever.
So before you go off and do something half-baked and stupid, keep that in mind. If you know you’re not in a good frame of mind, leave your weapon at home.
And guys, if you have any questions about carrying a weapon in Oklahoma, or you have questions about the Self-Defense Act under Oklahoma law, then I would encourage you to go to makelaweasy.com, and we’ll help you out. Thanks, guys.