Oklahoma’s Make My Day Law Amended to Include Businesses

According to NewsOK, Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin signed into law an amendment to the Oklahoma Make My Day Law that allows the use of deadly force against unlawful felonious attack or entry in a place of business. State Representative Steve Vaughan, the sponsor of the bill, doesn’t pull any punches (given the right situation, he would likely prefer to pull a gun) when he suggests that bad guys not be surprised when an employee draws a gun . . .

“If in a split second of this horrible situation happening, they’re not going to have to think about that,” [legality of self-defense in the workplace] he said. “If you come in and threaten me and you put a gun right to my head or a baseball bat and I take you out, that’s as far as it’s ever going to go.”

In other words, the person defending himself would be “immune from criminal prosecution and civil action for the use of such force” if the force was justified. 21 O.S. Section 1298.25(F).

Vaughan, R-Ponca City, said he encourages business owners and employees to talk about setting up procedures on how to implement the law. Employees also should check with employers to see whether guns are allowed on the premises.

Does this mean that an employee can ask an employer about bringing firearms on the employer’s property without any reprisals or fear of some sort of stigmatism?

Section 1289.27 of Oklahoma Statutes Title 21 forbids a private employer from asking an applicant about firearm ownership. I’d assume the same goes for employees already hired. So if an employer wants to encourage the packing of heat in his or her establishment, maybe they would have to state it as a matter of fact, “If you own a handgun and a CCW and want to carry here, go for it” rather than specifically asking the employee if they own firearms.

If a person works for an employer who has a policy manual, it would be best to check that first before shooting one’s mouth off–figuratively–about carrying a firearm at work. If there is a good relationship between the employee and the employer, maybe a candid chat about carrying at work would be appropriate.

Not sure about protocol when there is no employer directive or policy regarding firearms on the employer’s property. Would it be best for one to carry discretely and never say anything? Or would it be better that the employer knows you’re carrying for self-defense purposes? Not sure on the answer to that. YMMV, I suppose…

[Governor] Fallin said people should have the right to defend themselves at work.

“This measure represents a victory for law-abiding citizens and gun owners and a defeat for the criminals who would threaten them,” she said.

The language of the bill, codified as 21 O.S. Supp. 2010, Section 1289.25 in the Oklahoma Statutes also states,

D.  A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in any other place where he or she has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force, if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.

Makes sense that the law is referred to as the “Make My Day” law. Chalk up one for Oklahoma!