Saturday, May 27, 2017

OK: Governor Fallin Signs Defensive Display Bill into Law

Governor Mary Fallin signed Oklahoma's defensive display bill, SB 40, into law on 15 May, 2017.  The bill will go into effect on 1 November, 2017.

The vast majority of defensive gun uses consist of showing the perpetrator that the intended victim is armed. Unfortunately, many states have laws that do not recognize that reality. In many states, merely pointing a firearm at another person, even for self defense, can be a felony, usually aggravated assault. The problem is that prosecutors with an agenda have used the law to punish people for clear self defense situations.  Because of that, states have started to clarify the ability to threaten force without shooting. These laws protect the use of a a weapon in a defensive display.  Arizona, Florida, Iowa, and other states have enacted defensive display laws similar to the Oklahoma bill. 

The Oklahoma law is fairly clear. From
J. A person pointing a weapon at a perpetrator in self-defense or in order to thwart, stop or deter a forcible felony or attempted forcible felony shall not be deemed guilty of committing a criminal act.

K. As used in this section:

1. "Defensive force" includes, but shall not be limited to, pointing a weapon at a perpetrator in self-defense or in order to thwart, stop or deter a forcible felony or attempted forcible felony;
 The bill was popular in the Oklahoma legislature. It passed the Senate  36-5 on March 8.  It passed the House on 82-8 April 25. Governor Fallin signed it on  15 May, 2017.

Estimates of defensive gun uses vary form about 100,000 to 3 million each year(CDC pdf).
Yet only 1,500 to 3,000 people are justifiably killed each year. About five to ten times that many are shot and end up hospitalized. About five to ten  times as many as are shot, are shot at, but missed.  The number of times when no shots are fired are about 90 - 95 percent of all defensive cases.
It is generally considered a much better outcome if an attacker runs away, rather than is shot and/or killed.  Perhaps they will be disuaded from further attacks.  But this law makes it unlikely that innocent defenders will be destroyed by being processed though the criminal justice system.
©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

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Anonymous said...

Dean do you have the Arizona defensive display statute number handy?

Dean Weingarten said...

A.R.S. §13-421. Justification; defensive display of a firearm; definition
(SB 1243, enacted July 13, 2009, effective Sep. 30, 2009.)

Anonymous said...

Thank you very much Dean, you saved me a lot of time. Thanks again!