A bill that makes it legal for people to draw their weapons in self-defense, but not have to shoot an assailant, was signed into law by Gov. Mary Fallin.
Senate Bill 40, authored by Sen. Michael Bergstrom, allows a person to point a weapon at a perpetrator in self-defense or in order to thwart, stop or deter a forcible felony or attempted forcible felony. Under current law, pointing a firearm at someone else is illegal except in instances of deadly force.
Bergstrom says SB40 is a step in the right direction to improve self-defense law in Oklahoma.
“This proposal was one of the most important Second Amendment bills considered by the legislature this session,” Bergstrom said. “Under the current law in Oklahoma, someone defending him or herself can be charged with a “felony pointing” if he pulls his weapon to defend himself or others and chooses not to shoot the individual making the threat. Senate Bill 40 protects our citizens from suffering prosecution for simply defending themselves.”
SB 40 outlines a person’s right to show, but not discharge, a firearm. The measure also specifies “defensive force” as the primary measure for which pointing a firearm would be legal. This includes situations of self-defense or circumstances where brandishing a firearm could dissuade a violent criminal act.
The law becomes effective November 1, 2017.