Oklahoma Bill Seeks To Lower Age For Permitless Carry

AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

Permitless carry, also known as constitutional carry, is the law in Oklahoma. Anyone over the age of 21–the age required to carry in most states–can carry a firearm concealed without any kind of permit at all.

However, that still leaves a number of legal adults unable to exercise their Second Amendment rights to the fullest extent possible. After all, while people ages 18-21 may not be able to purchase a handgun from a licensed dealer, they can legally own one. They’re just not allowed to carry them in far too many places.

A bill in Oklahoma seeks to address this issue.

Broken Arrow Senator Nathan Dahm has filed a bill to lower the age for “constitutional carry” to 18 years old.

Dahm said Senate Bill 1093, which was intentionally filed on June 28 to honor Oklahoma’s Second Amendment Day, will “further expand the right of the people of Oklahoma to keep and bear arms.”

“The people have a Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms,” Dahm said in a news release. “Just as they have the right to vote starting at 18, they should not have to wait until turning 21 to exercise their right to self-defense.”

He said, since the age for voting in Oklahoma is 18, so should be the age for constitutionally carrying a firearm openly or concealed.

Makes perfect sense to me.

Look, I get that a lot of people don’t think this is a good idea, including a lot of folks who would argue they’re pro-gun. They’d say stuff like how the brain hasn’t fully formed at 18, which is why people in this particular age group are more likely to make impulsive, rash decisions including a lot of risky behavior.

That may well be true, but we also give them the right to vote and to enlist in the United States military.

If we’re going to trust them with our nation’s future and its defense, we should trust them with a whole lot more. That includes the free exercise of all of their constitutionally protected rights, such as the right to keep and bear arms.

Extending permitless carry to this age group just makes sense. There’s really no reason to except for age being just another excuse for trying to keep abiding adults from their basic constitutionally protected liberties.

Frankly, that’s not acceptable. It never should be.

Needless to say, a couple of pro-gun groups have come out in support of this bill. More importantly, I hope to see plenty of other pro-gun groups come out in support as well.

There are zero reasons why people who are considered old enough to live on their own should be unable to purchase the most efficient means to protect their home, nor should they be barred from being able to carry a gun to protect their own lives or the lives of their family.

In a perfect world, legislation like this wouldn’t be needed, but we don’t have that world. We’ve got this one, and so now we have to work to regain the rights of law-abiding adults who just happen to be on the wrong side of 21.

The most pathetic thing is that we’re having to do this at all.