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The Oklahoman

Q&A WITH DERIC MCCLELLAN

Social media abuzz


over Constitutional
May
21 carry audits
News headlines and Deric
2019 social media have been McClellan is
abuzz lately with videos an attorney
Page of people performing First with Crowe
Amendment and Second & Dunlevy.
B007 Amendment audits. Can
you tell us a bit more
Clip
about this trend? reason) may not be good
resized
It is generally accepted for business. Thus, busi-
46% that the First Amendment ness owners, above all
allows individuals to else, should coach their
record videos of public employees to remain calm
officials in public places. and avoid arguing with
A prime example of this auditors. As for exclud-
is videos taken by indi- ing firearms, Oklahoma
viduals who have been is known as an opt-out
pulled over by the police state, which means pri-
as a way to ensure their vate businesses are free to
safety. However, most enforce their own policy
people would agree this in regard to carrying
is not an “audit.” Rather, firearms on their prem-
a First Amendment audit ises. If a business wishes
is better described as to exclude firearms, either
the process of seeking concealed or uncon-
out an interaction with cealed, the owner of the
either law enforcement or business must post signs
another group of pub- that indicate such a pro-
lic officials in an effort hibition. As for excluding
to assess the legality of video recording devices,
the official’s response to there isn’t a state or
recording in public places. federal law that business
Performers of Second owners can invoke against
Amendment audits take auditors on that basis.
these same principles and However, businesses are
add a firearm to the mix. generally free (absent
More than half the states discrimination) to deny
in the U.S., including service to customers,
Oklahoma, allow indi- or ask them to leave, for
viduals to openly carry any number of reasons.
certain firearms in public What, if any, impact will
places without a permit. the new constitutional
In those states, police carry law in Oklahoma
officers generally cannot have on the climate sur-
legally stop an individual rounding the carrying of
solely for openly carrying firearms in establishments?
a legal firearm in a public The most notable part
place. Thus, a Second of the new law is that,
Amendment audit, when effective Nov. 1, most
done in good faith, is ordinary citizens over
viewed by some as a way the age of 21 will be able
to put these legal prin- to carry a certain kind
of firearms, concealed
ciples to the test. Auditors
frequently upload or unconcealed, with-
their auditing videos to out obtaining a permit
YouTube, and those vid- first. Policy arguments
eos have developed into a aside, as a practical mat-
popular genre of content.  ter the law could well
What actions can pri- increase the number of
vately owned businesses people carrying guns in
take in dealing with audi- public. Business owners
tors, including actions to should be aware of this
exclude firearms and video when deciding whether
cameras from the premises? to ban firearms on their
The key thing for busi- premises, and in develop-
ness owners to keep ing methods to enforce
in mind when dealing those policies in a man-
with First or Second ner that is legal, effective
Amendment auditors is and designed to avoid
that auditors’ motiva- unnecessary altercations.
tions can vary, and an  
angry altercation posted Paula Burkes,
on YouTube (for whatever Business writer

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