Even a small caliber gun can kill a human being. Firearms need to be stored and used with the utmost care in order to prevent serious or fatal injuries. Unfortunately, not all gun owners take the precautions they should when loading, using, or putting away their weapons. When a person is careless, it only takes a fraction of a second for a bullet to maim or fatally wound a victim.
If you or one of your family members was accidentally shot in Oklahoma City, you may be able to get compensated for your medical bills, your pain and suffering, the earnings you lost, and other hardships your injuries have burdened you with. The gun injury attorneys of Hasbrook & Hasbrook can help. With more than 75 years of combined experience representing gunshot wound victims in the Oklahoma City area, our attorneys bring extensive knowledge and aggressive legal advocacy to every matter we handle.
To set up a free legal consultation with Hasbrook & Hasbrook, call our law offices right away at (405) 698-3040. We are here around the clock to help accident victims recover fair compensation for their injuries.
Oklahoma Firearms Laws and Restrictions
Senate Bill 1733 took effect on November 1, 2012. The bill amends Oklahoma’s previous gun laws to allow both concealed carry and unconcealed carry (open carry) by anyone possessing a handgun license. At the same time, legislators also introduced several laws allowing for out-of-state residents to bring loaded handguns into Oklahoma while visiting or passing through. Oklahoma also allows all drivers, with the exception of convicted felons, to transport unloaded firearms in their vehicles as long as the weapons are in open view.
While Oklahoma’s gun laws are somewhat permissive, there are still certain places within Oklahoma City where carrying a gun is strictly banned, even if the person has the appropriate licenses and permits. Guns are not allowed in any of the following locations:
- Bars, pubs, taverns, and any other location where alcohol consumed on the premises is the establishment’s main source of income.
- County jails, prisons, detention centers, and correctional facilities.
- Elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools (including school buses).
- Government buildings (city, state, and federal).
- Sports arenas, when events are taking place.
- Any other business that decides to prohibit guns on the premises. Such businesses are not required to post signage — verbal bans are considered sufficient.
All Oklahomans have a duty to obey these laws and refrain from carrying weapons into places where they are prohibited, or from carrying a weapon without the appropriate license. But merely following these laws is not enough. Just as motorists are expected to exercise caution and common sense while driving, gun owners have a duty to exercise caution and common sense when using or handling their weapons.
If recklessness or carelessness causes a negligent discharge, the person who fired the weapon may be liable for compensating resulting personal injuries or wrongful death. Depending on the circumstances — for instance, if the person who fired the gun was a two-year-old child — parties other than the shooter could be liable. Liability for an accidental discharge can arise from a variety of factors, such as intoxication, inexperience, design defects, manufacturing defects, defective bullets, and inadequate supervision of children or novice shooters.
OK Accidental Gun Death and Fatal Bullet Wound Injury Statistics
The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) tracks unintentional firearm deaths. According to an OSDH report:
- There were about nine accidental gun deaths per year during the period from 2004 to 2010, with a total of 60 fatalities.
- Nearly all of the victims — 56 out of 60 — were males. Most of these males were between the ages of five and 25. The death rate for males aged 15 to 24 was more than three times higher than the rate for males aged 45 to 54.
- Most fatal accidental shootings — about 67% — took place in a residential setting, like somebody’s yard, house, or apartment. While less common, accidents were also documented in natural areas (e.g. forests, fields) and in cars/on roads.
- About 9% of accidents involved a ricocheting bullet, a defective gun, or a gun that fired when it was dropped.
- Nearly three quarters of Oklahoma fatal gun accidents occurred in one of three scenarios:
- Children and teenagers playing with unsecured guns (37% of fatalities).
- Showing the gun to another individual (18% of fatalities).
- Hunting accidents (15% of fatalities).
- Other leading causes of preventable gun deaths included:
- Gun went off while cleaning (8% of fatalities).
- Accidents while loading or unloading the gun (7% of fatalities).
- Target shooting accidents (7% of fatalities).
Contact an Oklahoma Personal Injury Attorneyof Hasbrook & Hasbrook for Help with Your Case
If you or one of your loved ones suffered a gunshot wound after a hunting accident or shooting range accident in Oklahoma City, you should speak to an experienced personal injury lawyer about the compensation that may be available to you. Call the law offices of Hasbrook & Hasbrook at (405) 698-3040 to set up a free and confidential legal consultation today.