Tribal Issues


I recall seeing an article where the Tribes took the government to court, saying that we weren’t abiding by the treaties, and the court agreed. This apparently gave the Tribes sovereignty over something like half of Oklahoma.

What does this mean for concealed carry through Oklahoma? Can it actually be done safely? As I understand it, it is basically blanketly illegal to carry on Indian land in New Mexico, so now I’m a bit worried.


Just Google it, all kinds of articles and opinions. What a mess!!! :roll_eyes:


Important: I Am Not A Lawyer (IANAL), but I have been known to talk to lawyers. My reply here is based on my own online research and discussion with an attorney, described below.

The case referred to is McGirt v. Oklahoma, decided by the US Supreme Court on July 9, 2020. While the case involved only the Muskogee Creek Nation, the resulting decision affects each of the Indian nations with reservations in Oklahoma. The issue is tribal sovereignty by the Five Civilized Tribes, which include the Cherokee, Choctaw, Seminole, and Chickasaw, as well as the Muscogee Creek Nations, and whose combined land covers almost half of the state of Oklahoma.

Prior to the McGirt decision, the State of Oklahoma had felony jurisdiction within each of the Indian reservations in the state. After McGirt, the state’s jurisdiction within the reservations ended, for both law enforcement and courts This situation has caused both the state and the individual tribal governments to scramble to establish tribe-state agreements, and for the tribes to add a large number of new laws to their own legal codes, replicating what had been in Oklahoma law. The Oklahoma governor still has serious concerns about some of the results of McGirt. A lot of the details are still being worked on.
The US Department of Justice has a January 2022 article addressing the case:
What Does a Recent Supreme Court Decision Mean for Tribal, State, and Federal Law Enforcement?

In March 2022 I spoke with one of the attorneys in the Office of the Attorney General of the Cherokee Nation (CN) in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, as CN citizen, myself. What I learned from him applies only the Cherokee Nation territory in Oklahoma. You will have to research the other tribal nations’ laws in Oklahoma for how each one is handling the mess.
In 2021 the Cherokee Nation updated their laws to add much of what was previously only in Oklahoma state laws on a variety of criminal laws and procedures.
The CN now recognizes CCW permits or licenses from other states, similar to Oklahoma reciprocity. However, they also have their own laws about prohibited locations, such as casinos. You have to check with them.
While Oklahoma has adopted Constitutional or permitless carry, the CN has not. You must have a recognized state CCW permit or license to carry concealed on the CN reservation. For now, I assume this is the same in the other Oklahoma reservations.

Tribal governments and reservations is a complex topic, even without the impact of MGirt. For specific research in a state or tribe, I suggest looking a the links available from the top of the home page, and in particular that site’s Tribal Law and Concealed Carry pages.


Hello Craig, thank you very much for posting. I seldom venture into Reservation areas, but it is very helpful to know that I need to exercise caution. BTW, I do recommend if one has a permit in a permitless carry state, to keep it, especially for travel out of state (now within!) Inattention to speed or an incident were one could be pulled over it may help to avoid an overzealous officer’s attention.

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How timely! I just received the mail below from the Cherokee Nation Attorney General. Understand this discussion will be about the broad legal implications of the recent court decisions, and not limited to firearms laws.

Osiyo ginali (Greetings friend),

Our next event, “ᏣᎳᎩ: Wherever We Are, Aftermath of McGirt Edition,” is tomorrow, ginali (friend) – and I hope you’ve signed up to attend.

This will be a timely, important discussion about McGirt v. Oklahoma, Oklahoma v. Castro-Huerta, and the future of Tribal Sovereignty. Our event kicks off at noon CT on Saturday, July 30th – click here if you haven’t RSVPed yet!

You’ll hear insights from Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr., Deputy Chief Bryan Warner, Marshal Shannon Buhl, former U.S. Attorney Trent Shores, Marshal’s investigator Shawnna Roach, and myself, alongside OsiyoTV Host and Executive Producer Jennifer Loren.

Many of us are rightfully concerned about how these recent court decisions will affect our tribe’s future. This conversation really couldn’t come at a better time, so bring your questions and your curiosity. I look forward to seeing you there.

RSVP today to attend “ᏣᎳᎩ: Wherever We Are, Aftermath of McGirt Edition” tomorrow!

Wado (Thank you),

Sara Hill
Attorney General
Cherokee Nation