Author Topic: Okla AG Opinion on "45" Caliber  (Read 4002 times)

MIO

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 131
    • View Profile
Okla AG Opinion on "45" Caliber
« on: March 09, 2015, 09:17:58 PM »
The legal definition of ".45 caliber."
 
http://www.oscn.net/applications/oscn/d ... 8257&hits=
 
 
Question Submitted by: The Honorable Jerry Shoemake, State Representative, District 16
2012 OK AG 15
Decided: 10/01/2012
Oklahoma Attorney General Opinions

Cite as: 2012 OK AG 15, __ __
¶0 This office has received your request for an official Attorney General Opinion in which you ask, in effect, the following questions:
1. Does subsection A of Section 1272.1 of Title 21 of the laws of Oklahoma, which prohibits carrying or possessing any weapon in an establishment where low-point beer or other alcoholic beverages are consumed, prohibit an owner or proprietor of such an establishment who has been issued a license to carry a concealed handgun under the Oklahoma Self-Defense Act, 21 O.S.2011, §§ 1290.1 - 1290.26, from carrying a concealed handgun in the establishment?
2. Does Section 1290.6 of Title 21 of the laws of Oklahoma, which prohibits carrying a concealed handgun loaded with ammunition larger than .45 caliber, prohibit carrying a concealed handgun loaded with ammunition with a bullet measuring within a range of .451 to .459 inches in diameter?

I.

Ability of an Owner/Proprietor of a Business
Establishment Where Liquor or Low-Point Beer
Is Sold or Consumed to Carry a Concealed Firearm

¶1 Your first question deals with a business owner or proprietor who has been issued a concealed handgun permit under Oklahoma's Self-Defense Act, 21 O.S.2011, §§ 1290.1 - 1290.26.1

¶2 The Oklahoma Self-Defense Act specifies the effect of a properly issued concealed handgun license:

The authority to carry a concealed handgun pursuant to a valid handgun license as authorized by the provisions of the Oklahoma Self-Defense Act, Sections 1 through 25 of this act, shall not be construed to authorize any person to:

. . . .

2. Carry or possess any pistol in any manner or in any place otherwise prohibited by law;

. . . .

4. Carry or possess any pistol when the person is prohibited by state or federal law from carrying or possessing any firearm[.]

21 O.S.2011, § 1290.7 (emphasis added). As the Oklahoma Self-Defense Act explains, even those properly licensed to carry a concealed handgun might nonetheless be prohibited from doing so by other provisions of law.

¶3 You thus ask what effect, if any, 21 O.S.2011, § 1272.1's prohibitions against possessing or carrying firearms in any establishment where liquor or low-point beer is consumed, has on the ability of an owner or proprietor of such a business establishment, who has been issued a concealed handgun license, to carry a concealed handgun on the establishment's premises.

¶4 The first sentence of 21 O.S.2011, § 1272.1 establishes the statutory prohibitions about which you inquire. It provides:

A. It shall be unlawful for any person to carry or possess any weapon designated in Section 1272 of this title in any establishment where low-point beer, as defined by Section 163.2 of Title 37 of the Oklahoma Statutes, or alcoholic beverages, as defined by Section 506 of Title 37 of the Oklahoma Statutes, are consumed.

Id. (emphasis added).

¶5 Under these general prohibitions, all persons are prohibited from carrying or possessing a handgun, or indeed any other weapon designated in Section 1272 of Title 212 in an establishment where low-point beer or alcoholic beverages are consumed. There are, however, statutory exceptions to these general prohibitions, one of which deals with owners or proprietors of establishments where alcoholic beverages or low-point beer is consumed. The exceptions are provided in Section 1272.1(A) itself as follows:

This provision shall not apply to a peace officer, as defined in Section 99 of this title, or to private investigators with a firearms authorization when acting in the scope and course of employment, and shall not apply to an owner or proprietor of the establishment having a pistol, rifle, or shotgun on the premises. Provided however, a person possessing a valid concealed handgun license pursuant to the provisions of the Oklahoma Self-Defense Act, Section 1290.1 et seq. of this title may carry the concealed handgun into any restaurant or other establishment licensed to dispense low-point beer or alcoholic beverages where the sale of low-point beer or alcoholic beverages does not constitute the primary purpose of the business.

Id. (emphasis added).

¶6 The exception carved out for owners or proprietors of establishments where low-point beer or alcoholic beverages are consumed, makes it clear that Section 1272.1's prohibitions do not apply to the owner or proprietor having a pistol, rifle or shotgun on the premises. As the prohibitions do not apply to owners or proprietors of such establishments, it follows that owners or proprietors who have been issued a concealed handgun license may conceal carry a handgun on the premises of their business.3

¶7 In sum, the provisions of Section 1272.1 of Title 21, which prohibit any person from carrying or possessing any firearm in any establishment where alcoholic beverages or low-point beer is consumed, do not apply to the owners or proprietors of such establishments. Accordingly, the owners or proprietors of such establishments, who have been issued a concealed handgun license under the Oklahoma Self Defense Act, may carry a concealed handgun on the premises of such establishments.4

II.

Ammunition Larger Than .45 Caliber Prohibited

¶8 Your second question is whether Section 1290.6 of Title 21 of the laws of Oklahoma prohibits carrying concealed handguns loaded with ammunition with a bullet measuring up to .459 inches in diameter. Section 1290.6 provides in pertinent part:

Any concealed handgun when carried in a manner authorized by the provisions of the Oklahoma Self-Defense Act, [21 O.S. §§ 1290.1 to 1290.26], when loaded with any ammunition which . . . is larger than .45 caliber . . . shall be deemed a prohibited weapon for purposes of the Oklahoma Self-Defense Act.

Id. (emphasis added).

¶9 Section 1290.6 of Title 21 provides that an individual is prohibited from carrying a concealed handgun when it is loaded with ammunition "larger than .45 caliber." Caliber is defined as "the diameter of the projectile fired from such a weapon." Webster's Third New International Dictionary 316 (3rd ed. 1993). The diameter of a bullet or projectile when determining caliber is measured in inches. See Frank C. Barnes, Cartridges of the World 7 (Layne Simpson ed., Frank C. Barnes & Krause Pub., Inc. 2009) (1965).

¶10 "Generally, statutes are to be interpreted in accordance with the plain, ordinary meaning according to the import of the language used." Hubbard v. Kaiser-Francis Oil Co., 256 P.3d 69, 72 (Okla. 2011). "[W]ords in a statute are given their plain and ordinary meaning (just as with constitutional provisions), except when a contrary intention plainly appears and the words of a statute should generally be assumed to be used by the law-making body as having the same meaning as that attributed in ordinary and usual parlance." Fent v. Okla. Capitol Imp. Auth., 984 P.2d 200, 213 (Okla. 1999) (citations omitted).

In construing a statute, words in common use are to be given their plain, ordinary and commonly understood meaning in the absence of any statutory or well established technical meaning, unless it is clear from the statute that a different meaning was intended, or unless such construction would defeat the manifest intent of the Legislature.

Bd. of Tr. of Firemen's Relief & Pension Fund v. Templeton, 86 P.2d 1000, 1000-01 (syllabus ¶ 2) (Okla. 1939).

¶11 The meaning of the term ".45 caliber" as a term for the measurement of ammunition as commonly and ordinarily used and understood is any ammunition with a projectile having a diameter that measures .450 inches or above but less than .460 inches. See Cartridges of The World, 553-54; see also Speer Bullets 2012 Catalog, 19. Generally, .45 caliber falls within the range of .450 to .459 inches in diameter. Id. For example, the ammunition for the 45 Colt and the 45 Colt ACT, or automatic colt pistol, is listed by experts and ammunition manufacturers as having a bullet measuring in a range from .451 to .454 inches in diameter. Id.

¶12 Additional support for this common and ordinary meaning of ".45 caliber" as used in Section 1290.6 of Title 21 is that the Oklahoma Legislature announced its intent in Section 1290.25 of the Oklahoma Self-Defense Act, 21 O.S.2011, §§ 1290.1 - 1290.26, that the Act is to "be liberally construed to carry out the constitutional right to bear arms for self-defense and self-protection." 21 O.S.2011 § 1290.25. This means the Oklahoma Self-Defense Act must be given a construction that would provide the least restrictions on those carrying and possessing firearms. Section 1290.6 of Title 21 is part of the Oklahoma Self-Defense Act. Therefore, the meaning of ".45 caliber" as used in Section 1290.6 of Title 21 should be construed liberally to include concealed carry of handguns loaded with ammunition with bullets measuring up to .459 inches in diameter, rather than a restrictive reading of exactly .45 and no greater.

¶13 It follows from the above that Section 1290.6 of Title 21 of the laws of Oklahoma permits carrying a concealed handgun loaded with ammunition with a bullet diameter of up to .459 inches.

¶14 It is, therefore, the official Opinion of the Attorney General that:

1. Individuals who have been issued a concealed handgun license under the provisions of the Oklahoma Self Defense Act are authorized to carry a loaded or unloaded concealed weapon in accordance with the Act's provisions. 21 O.S.2011, § 1290.5(A).

2. The prohibitions of 21 O.S.2011, § 1272.1 against possessing and carrying firearms and other weapons in establishments where alcoholic beverages or low-point beer are consumed do not apply to the owners or proprietors of such establishments. Accordingly, an owner or proprietor of an establishment where alcoholic beverages or low-point beer is consumed, who has been issued a concealed handgun license, may carry a concealed handgun on the establishment's premises.5

3. Section 1290.2 of Title 21 of the laws of Oklahoma prohibits individuals from carrying a concealed handgun loaded with ammunition larger than .45 caliber. Id. Handguns loaded with ammunition with a bullet diameter equal to or less than .459 inches in diameter are not prohibited by Section 1290.2, but bullets measuring greater than .459 inches in diameter are prohibited. Id.

E. SCOTT PRUITT
Attorney General of Oklahoma

KARL F. KRAMER
Assistant Attorney General

FOOTNOTES

1 The Oklahoma Self-Defense Act was amended in 2012. See 2012 Okla. Sess. Laws ch. 259, §§ 1 - 44, eff. Nov. 1, 2012.

2 In addition to handguns such as pistols and revolvers, Section 1272(A) of Title 21 prohibits a person from carrying on or about his or her person or in a purse or other container, a:

hotgun or rifle whether loaded or unloaded or any dagger, bowie knife, dirk knife, switchblade knife, spring-type knife, sword cane, knife having a blade which opens automatically by hand pressure applied to a button, spring, or other device in the handle of the knife, blackjack, loaded cane, billy, hand chain, metal knuckle, or any other offensive weapon . . . .

Id.

3 We note that under the amendment to Section 1272.1(A) at 2012 Okla. Sess. Laws ch. 259, § 2(A), effective November 1, 2012, a person possessing a valid handgun license may carry a concealed or unconcealed handgun.

4 Of course, in doing so they must comply with other applicable laws on the use or possession of firearms. See, e.g., 21 O.S.2011, § 1289.9 (making it "unlawful for any person to carry or use shotguns, rifles or pistols in any circumstance while under the influence of beer, intoxicating liquors" and other enumerated substances).

5 We note that under the amendment to Section 1272.1(A) at 2012 Okla. Sess. Laws ch. 259, § 2(A), effective November 1, 2012, a person possessing a valid handgun license may carry a concealed or unconcealed handgun.

Citationizer© Summary of Documents Citing This Document
Cite   Name   Level
None Found.
Citationizer: Table of Authority
Cite   Name   Level
Oklahoma Supreme Court Cases
    Cite   Name   Level
    1939 OK 53, 86 P.2d 1000, 184 Okla. 281,   BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF FIREMEN'S RELIEF & PENSION FUND v. TEMPLETON   Cited
    2011 OK 50, 256 P.3d 69,   HUBBARD v. KAISER-FRANCIS OIL COMPANY   Cited
    1999 OK 64, 984 P.2d 200, 70 OBJ 2100,   Fent v. Oklahoma Capitol Improvement Authority   Cited
Title 21. Crimes and Punishments
    Cite   Name   Level
    21 O.S. 1290.5,   Term of License and Renewal   Cited
    21 O.S. 1272.1,   Carrying Firearms Where Liquor Is Consumed   Discussed at Length
    21 O.S. 1289.9,   Carrying Weapon Under the Influence of Alcohol   Cited
    21 O.S. 1290.1,   Short Title   Discussed at Length
    21 O.S. 1290.7,   Construing Authority of License   Cited
    21 O.S. 1290.25,   Legislative Intent   Cited
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Guest »