MIAMI, OK--- "I'm sure our calls for service are going to increase dramatically," Sgt. Jason Arnold, Miami Police Department.
Miami Police Officers are bracing for the unknown. A new relaxed gun law goes into effect tomorrow. Oklahoma senate bill 1733 applies to anyone with a concealed carry license under the "Oklahoma Self Defense Act." It allows them to also carry a firearm openly in public. The only requirement, it must be in a holster. Miami officers say they're gearing up to answer more calls than usual from shocked residents.
"Obviously if a person is waving around a gun or there's a disturbance of some type call us, but if a person is walking down the street and their gun is secured, I'm not saying don't call us, but it might not be necessary to call us," states Sgt. Jason Arnold.
Authorities say their goal is to educate the public on the new measure, but it won't be an easy task.
"Since this is new to everyone we're going to have to basically educate the public along the way by simply responding to the calls," states Arnold.
They also have another concern, a legal weapon falling into the wrong hands.
"Somebody maybe in the store or something doing what they're doing and you can have a bad guy come up and take their weapon to rob the store or do whatever," states Arnold.
According to OSBI statistics, 141,000 Oklahomans have a concealed carry permit, all will automatically be qualified to openly carry a weapon. It's unknown how many will exercise that right. The law also allows even those without a permit to carry a gun in plain view if they're on their property. The open carry law does not apply to city, state or federal properties, schools, colleges, or sports arenas. Business owners also have the right to ban those bearing weapons to enter their shops.