Oklahoma prohibits possession of a firearm on any public or private school property or while in any school bus or vehicle used by any school for transportation of students or teachers, subject to certain exceptions.1 “School property” is defined as any publicly owned property held for purposes of elementary, secondary or vocational-technical education, and does not include property owned by public school districts where such property is leased or rented to an individual or corporation and used for purposes other than educational.2 “Private school” is defined as a school that offers a course of instruction for students in one or more grades from prekindergarten through grade twelve that is not operated by a governmental entity.3
Exceptions to Oklahoma’s prohibition on guns on school property include:
- Guns designed for hunting kept in a privately owned vehicle and properly stored as required by law, provided such vehicle is driven onto school property only to transport a student to and from school and such vehicle does not remain unattended on school property;
- Guns used in the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation certified hunter training education course or any other hunting, fishing, safety or firearms training courses, or a recognized firearms sports event, team shooting program or competition, or living history reenactment, provided the course or event is approved by the principal or chief administrator of the school where the course or event is offered, and provided the weapon is properly displayed or stored as required by law pending participation in the course, event, program or competition.
- Weapons in the possession of any peace officer or other person authorized by law to possess a weapon in the performance of his or her duties and responsibilities;
- 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; and
- 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 must be stored and hidden from view in a locked motor vehicle when the motor vehicle is left unattended on school property.4
It is also unlawful to carry any concealed or unconcealed handgun into an elementary or secondary school, except where a policy has been adopted by the governing entity of a private school that authorizes the possession of a weapon on private school property or in any school bus or vehicle used by the private school.5. Oklahoma also passed a law in 2015 authorizing a school district board of education to adopt a policy to authorize the carrying of a handgun onto school property by school personnel specifically designated by the board of education, provided that such personnel either (1) possess a valid armed security guard license, or (2) hold a valid reserve peace officer certification.6
In Oklahoma, any student found in possession of a firearm while on any public school property or while in any school bus or other vehicle used by a public school for transportation of students or teachers must be suspended out-of-school for a period of not less than one year, to be determined by the district board of education pursuant to the provisions of this section.7 The term of the suspension may be modified by the district superintendent on a case-by-case basis.8
Finally, no person in lawful possession of a firearm in Oklahoma may carry the handgun into or upon any college, university, or technology center school property, subject to certain exceptions.9 This prohibition does not prevent persons with a valid handgun license and those carrying as otherwise allowed by law from possessing a concealed handgun on any college, university, or technology center school property:
- Set aside for the use or parking of any vehicle, whether attended or unattended, provided the handgun is carried or stored as required by law and the handgun is not removed from the vehicle without the prior consent of the college or university president or technology center school administrator while the vehicle is on any college or university or technology center school property;
- Authorized for possession or use of handguns by college or university or technology center school policy; and
- Authorized by the written consent of the college or university president or technology center school administrator, provided the written consent is carried with the handgun and the valid concealed handgun license while on college or university or technology center school property.10
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- Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 21, § 1280.1(A).
- Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 21, § 1280.1(B)(1).
- Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 21, § 1280.1(B)(2).
- Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 21, § 1280.1(C).
- Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 21, §§ 1277(A)(3) and 1277(C).
- Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 21, § 1277(D).
- Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 70, § 24-101.3(C)(2).
- Id. The school or district administration must consider and apply, if appropriate, alternative in-school placement options that are not to be considered suspension, such as placement in an alternative school setting, reassignment to another classroom, or in-school detention. Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 70, § 24-101.3(A).
- Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 21 § 1277(F).