Whether you’re new to owning a firearm or have had a gun for home defense for years, getting a concealed carry permit may seem daunting. It doesn’t have to be. There are many reasons and ways to carry a concealed weapon, but the first step is knowing the laws. Applying for a concealed carry permit varies by state. Read about the process for getting an Oklahoma Self-Defense Act License (SDAL) below.

Similar to permit requirements, states vary greatly in their processes for how an applicant obtains a concealed handgun permit, what their permits/licenses are called, whether licenses include photographs, whether fingerprinting is required, license duration, license costs and turnaround times. Some states allow an applicant to complete an application online, while others require an in-person visit to the office of the respective issuing authority. There are even states that require the applicant to provide a list of non-related character references.

Concealed Carry Permit Basics

Oklahoma is a shall-issue, permitless carry state. Shall-issue means licensing authorities are compelled to issue a license as long as an applicant meets the basic requirements set out by state law. Licenses are processed at the county level by the local sheriff’s office.

Open carry is legal without a license for anyone that can legally own a firearm and is at least 21 years old (or at least 18 years old for members or veterans of the U.S. military). That is for purposes of lawful self-defense and self-protection or any other legitimate purpose such as hunting, fishing, educational or recreational purposes. Some areas are off-limits, including public government buildings.

Oklahoma has permitless carry. It allows anyone who is at least 21 years old (or at least 18 years old and a member of the military or honorably discharged veteran) that can legally own a firearm to carry openly or concealed without a license. Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation’s Self-Defense Act Licenses (SDAL) are issued to residents and military personnel and their spouses stationed in Oklahoma only. A person must be 21 or older, have completed a firearms course and meet other criteria to apply. There are restrictions on the caliber of the firearm a license holder can carry, .45 caliber being the highest. Licenses are not available for non-residents. In terms of reciprocity, Oklahoma recognizes permits issued by all other states. In addition, residents of other permitless carry states can carry in the state.

Federally Prohibited Persons

The Federal Gun Control Act of 1968 and the Federal Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act of 1997 make it illegal for a person who fits into any of the prohibited categories to ship, transport, receive or possess firearms or ammunition. These laws prevent a state from issuing a concealed handgun permit/license as it would be illegal for people who fit in these categories, by federal law, to own or possess a gun.

What Are the License Requirements in Oklahoma?

An applicant must:

  • Be at least 21 years of age or at least 18 years old if a member of the military, reserves or honorably discharged veteran
  • Be a citizen of the United States with established residency in the state of Oklahoma or a lawful permanent resident in the United States and have established residency in the state of Oklahoma
  • Have a valid Oklahoma driver’s license or state photo identification card
  • Be knowledgeable of the Oklahoma Self-Defense Act
  • Have completed an approved firearms training class or obtained an exemption
  • Not have any false or misleading statements on the application for a handgun license
  • Not have a felony conviction or be subject to an outstanding felony warrant
  • Not have been adjudicated incompetent
  • Not have attempted suicide or had any other condition relating to or indicating mental instability or an unsound mind within the last 10 years
  • Not be currently undergoing treatment for a mental illness, condition or disorder
  • Not have any convictions for the following offenses:
    • assault and battery
    • stalking
    • a violation relating to the Protection from Domestic Abuse Act, or any violation of a victim protection order of another state
    • any conviction relating to illegal drug use or possession
    • an act of domestic abuse or domestic assault and battery
  • Not have two or more convictions for public intoxication in last three years
  • Not have two or more convictions for driving under the influence and/or intoxication in last three years
  • Have no significant character defects evidenced by a misdemeanor criminal record indicating habitual criminal activity
  • Meet federal law requirements

Do I Need Firearms Training in Oklahoma?

Yes. You must successfully complete an eight-hour firearms safety and training course from a certified SDAL firearms instructor and demonstrate competency and qualification with a pistol authorized for carry by the Oklahoma Self-Defense Act [Okla. Stat. tit. 21-53-290.14]. Training certificates expire after three years.

Course content shall include:

  • A safety inspection of the firearm to be used by the applicant
  • Instruction on handling, safety and storage
  • Dynamics of ammunition and firing
  • Methods or positions for firing a handgun
  • Information about the criminal provisions of Oklahoma law relating to firearms
  • The requirements of the Oklahoma Self-Defense Act
  • Self-defense and the use of appropriate force
  • A practice shooting session
  • A familiarization course

Per Okla. Stat. tit. 21-53-290.15 there are training exemptions for:

  • Firearms instructors
  • Active duty or reserve duty law enforcement officers and retired law enforcement officers
  • Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training (CLEET) certified armed security officers, armed guards and correctional officers
  • Active-duty members of the military, National Guard or military reserve who are legal residents of Oklahoma, or that have been honorably discharged within 20 years preceding the date of the application
  • Retired peace officers in good standing from a law enforcement agency located in another state who are legal residents of Oklahoma and have received training equivalent to the training required for CLEET certification in this state
  • Any person who is otherwise deemed qualified for a training exemption by CLEET

A Concealed Carry and Home Defense Fundamentals Class from the USCCA meets permitting requirements in Oklahoma. Find a class near you!

How Do I Get a Concealed Handgun Permit in Oklahoma?

Step 1: Read the Oklahoma Self-Defense Act.

Step 2: Complete the firearm safety class if necessary. The date on the certificate must be within the last three years.

Step 3: Download the application, apply online or complete an application. (Applications are also available at sheriff’s offices or by emailing the OSBI.)

Step 4: Take the completed application or online summary sheet to the sheriff’s office of the county in which you reside. You will need the following:

    • Two color passport-style photos
    • Driver’s license or state ID card
    • Training certificate

You will be notified by mail if your application has been approved.


For more information, visit the USCCA Oklahoma gun laws page now…