Gun safety permits offered online without any gun handling experience
OKLAHOMA CITY —
Oklahoma law says to carry a firearm, either concealed or openly, you have to go through training. That training is dictated by The Council on Law Enforcement Education, or CLEET. Oklahoma is far from the only state that allows for firearm permits. That means the state recognizes permits from other states and other states accept our permits for Oklahomans passing through other jurisdictions. That is called reciprocity.
"That's where it gets difficult for us sometimes," said CLEET Director Steve Emmons. Emmons says they deal with issues of reciprocity all the time in training for law enforcement or other firearms requirements.
"You can't write a law that is so comprehensive that it would cover every potential difference," Emmons told Fox 25.
The legislature has worked to strengthen the reciprocity rules. For example, some states require no permits to conceal carry or open carry. The state law requires people to prove they live in such a state if they claim they do not need a permit to have a gun. However the law does not address loopholes in training from other states.
Fox 25 found a company in Texas advertising to Oklahomans that they can get a legal permit to carry a concealed weapon by applying for the Virginia Non-Resident permit. That permit does not require an applicant to prove they can handle or even fire a gun safely. The online test allows you to take it multiple times until you pass.
"It's imperative that they are able to show that they are able to show they are able to handle the weapon properly," Emmons said. CLEET requires an 8 hour course in firearm safety. We found many instructors short-changing those requirements.
When we took a two-hour class, our instructor told us the biggest flaw in the CLEET requirements is that the state does not require applicants to prove proficiency. Our instructor asked not to be identified, but said is concerned about people passing gun safety courses without being able to hit the target.
Emmons told Fox 25 CLEET is aware there are instructors that are offering short, but the agency only has one investigator to look into these concerns. That investigator is also tasked with monitoring private security officers and now bail bond enforcers. CLEET plans to ask the legislature for more funds so it can hire another investigator to make sure instructors follow the rules.