Oklahoma Concealed Carry (How to Get One & Why)

Oklahoma Concealed Carry

In 2019, Oklahoma became a “permitless carry”, also known as a “constitutional carry” state. That means people eligible to carry a handgun aren’t required to possess an Oklahoma concealed carry permit (SDAL, or Self-Defense Act License) to do so.

That doesn’t mean there aren’t good reasons to get one, however.

Once House Bill 2597 was signed into law, many Oklahoma gun owners decided (understandably) that there was no longer any reason to obtain an Oklahoma CCW (SDAL) license. But while that’s certainly true (and quite welcome) from a legal perspective, there are good reasons to go ahead and get one.

“Reciprocity” is one of the big ones, for instance. That term refers to other states that might honor a CCW permit. You can carry your weapon openly or concealed in Oklahoma by virtue of being an eligible citizen – but can you do so in Missouri? What about Arkansas? Are they constitutional carry states? Do they allow open carry, or do they require the handgun to be concealed? What about the other 47 states?

We’re going to address that and other reasons you might go ahead and get your Oklahoma concealed carry even though you are already allowed to carry a gun by virtue of the Second Amendment and the Oklahoma Self-Defense Act.

What’s an Oklahoma SDAL?

The SDAL is the Oklahoma concealed carry permit for the state of Oklahoma. Before permitless carry was signed into law, an SDAL was required for someone for Oklahoma concealed carry. This applied to both open and concealed carry. Of course, an SDAL did not and does not allow just anyone to carry wherever they want. There are specific details of the law you must be familiar with regarding who can get an SDAL and where someone with an SDAL can legally carry it.

Who can get an Oklahoma SDAL?

To get an SDAL, you must be 21 years of age or older. Applicants must meet other eligibility requirements as well, including:

  • Be a citizen of the United States.
  • Applicants must be residents of Oklahoma. For example, they must possess a current Oklahoma driver’s license or state ID card and maintain residency in the state. Applicants with permanent military orders for Oklahoma who have a driver’s license from another state are also eligible.
  • Successfully complete an approved firearms safety course and pass the qualifications test using a handgun that allows open or concealed carry under the Oklahoma Self-Defense Act. Original proof of attendance—not a copy—and passing the qualifications must be provided with the application.
  • Pay a required fee and complete the application paperwork. Please note there may be a separate fee paid to the law enforcement agency in charge of fingerprinting.
  • Adhere to the provisions of the Oklahoma Self-Defense Act.

It’s important to note that the application paperwork includes passport-style photos and fingerprints to be taken by the relevant law enforcement office. Applicants must make an appointment to handle that part of the process and have their signature witnessed by a member of law enforcement.

Oklahoma Concealed Carry

How long does it take to get an Oklahoma SDAL?

Generally speaking, it takes several months to complete the application process and receive your SDAL. It’s possible to speed up the process in specific cases. According to 2022 Oklahoma Statutes Title 21. Crimes and Punishments §21-1290.12. Here is the procedure for application:

“Notwithstanding the provisions of the Oklahoma Self-Defense Act, or any other provisions of law, any person who has been granted a permanent victim protective order by the court, as provided for in the Protection from Domestic Abuse Act, may be issued a temporary handgun license for a period not to exceed six (6) months. A temporary handgun license may be issued if the person has successfully passed the required weapons course, completed the application process for the handgun license, passed the preliminary investigation by the sheriff and court clerk, and provided the sheriff proof of a certified permanent victim protective order and a valid Oklahoma state photo identification card or driver license.”

Who can’t get an Oklahoma SDAL?

According to Oklahoma state law there are mandatory preclusions to getting an SDAL. The following things are some of the factors that can make a person ineligible for an SDAL:

  • Ineligible to possess a pistol due to a felony conviction.
  • Felony convictions in other states or in foreign countries.
  • Adjudicated mentally incompetent.
  • Making false or misleading statements on the application.
  • Convictions including but not limited to those for assault and battery, stalking, violations of the Protection from Domestic Abuse Act, convictions related to illegal drug use or possession, being the subject of an outstanding felony warrant, character deficits such as a habitual criminal record, or an act of domestic abuse under Oklahoma state laws or the laws of other states.

For a detailed list, you can read Title 21 § 1290.10 Mandatory Preclusions of the 2023 Oklahoma Self Defense Act.

Do you need an Oklahoma SDAL?

Although it’s been legal for eligible people to carry a handgun without an SDAL since 2019, there are still a lot of benefits to having a current SDAL. Benefits include:

  • Reciprocity with participating states, meaning you can legally carry your handgun in those states when you have a current SDAL
  • A sign of good faith as a lawful firearms owner when interacting with law enforcement
  • In certain circumstances, an SDAL allows you to carry on school grounds. Details are listed under subsection C of 21 O.S. 1280.1—Possession of a Firearm on School Property: “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.”

Also under subsection C: “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 shall be stored and hidden from view in a locked motor vehicle when the motor vehicle is left unattended on school property…”

It’s worth putting the time into obtaining an SDAL and keeping it current. Reciprocity is an important factor as is having the right to carry in locations that would otherwise be prohibited. With more than half the country now practicing permitless carry, it might seem as though there’s no reason to get your carry permit. However, the benefits of having an SDAL far outweigh any downside.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *