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Fact Sheet on Oklahoma Gun Laws and Statistics on Gun Violence in Oklahoma

This fact sheet provides background information for journalists covering today's shooting at a Fort Gibson, Oklahoma middle school.

Oklahoma Firearm Laws1

  • It is unlawful for any child (any person under the age of 18) to possess firearms except for rifles and shotguns for "participation in hunting animals or fowl, hunter safety classes, target shooting, skeet, trap or other recognized sporting event."

  • The State of Oklahoma preempts municipalities and local entities from implementing gun laws that are stronger than state law.

  • It is unlawful for any person other than law enforcement officers or persons designated by the board of education to possess firearms on school property.

  • Oklahoma has no child access prevention (CAP) law that would hold parents liable for allowing children access to firearms.

  • A "shall-issue" concealed handgun licensing system is in place under which applicants with no criminal or mental disqualifiers must be issued a license to carry a concealed handgun.

  • No permit is required to purchase any firearm.


Firearm-Related Death in Oklahoma

  • In 1996 Oklahoma ranked 17th in rate of firearm-related death, with a rate of 15.64 per 100,000. In 1996 the national rate of firearm-related death was 12.94 per 100,000.2

  • In 1996 Oklahoma ranked 19th in rate of firearm-related homicide, with a rate of 5.80 per 100,000. In 1996 the national rate of firearm-related homicide was 6.02 per 100,000. 3

  • In 1996 Oklahoma ranked 11th in rate of firearm-related suicide, with a rate of 9.09 per 100,000. In 1996 the national rate of firearm-related suicide was 6.29 per 100,000.4



1) 1998 Oklahoma State Statutes

2) National Center for Health Statistics Compressed Mortality File 1996, accessed through the CDC Wonder system from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention web site at wonder.cdc.gov.

3) National Center for Health Statistics Compressed Mortality File 1996, accessed through the CDC Wonder system from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention web site at wonder.cdc.gov.

4) National Center for Health Statistics Compressed Mortality File 1996, accessed through the CDC Wonder system from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention web site at wonder.cdc.gov.




The Violence Policy Center is a national non-profit educational foundation that conducts research on violence in America and works to develop violence-reduction policies and proposals. The Center examines the role of firearms in America, conducts research on firearms violence, and explores new ways to decrease firearm-related death and injury.


   For Release:
   Monday, December 6, 1999

   Contact:
   Paul Lavrakas
   Violence Policy Center