Oklahoma could become the 14th state to allow residents to openly carry handguns in public if a bill adopted on March 14 by the State Senate is approved later this month by the State House of Representatives.

If adopted and signed by Republican Governor Mary Fallin, Oklahoma would be the first state since 2005 to allow permit holders to openly display handguns.

The bill was approved in a 34-9 vote and would allow those who have a concealed-carry permit to openly or concealed carry a handgun. It will require those who get a license to take educational courses, including weapons safety, weapons familiarization and how to operate the weapon. Applicants would also be required to pass a background check.

There are 28 states with no laws specifically allowing or prohibiting open-carry of handguns. Eight states and the District of Columbia explicitly outlaw open carry.

Oklahoma is among 17 states where state legislatures are considering bills that will allow residents with concealed-carry permits to openly carry their sidearms.

Meanwhile, on March 15, South Dakota Republican Gov. Dennis Daugaard vetoed a bill that would have allowed any resident 18 and older with a valid state drivers’ license to carry a concealed handgun without obtaining a permit.

If Daugaard had signed the bill — approved by the state’s Senate and House — South Dakota would have joined Vermont, Alaska, Arizona, Montana, and Wyoming as states that allow open carry without a permit.

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