U.S.A. –-(Ammoland.com)- In Wyoming, Second Amendment supporters have been working to repeal “gun free zones” for years. Bill SF0088 in Wyoming would eliminate most “gun free zones” in the state in 2020. Here are the relevant portions of the bill:
(b) Persons lawfully carrying concealed weapons in Wyoming under W.S. 6‑8‑104(a)(ii) through (iv) may carry a concealed weapon in the following places:
(i) Any meeting of a governmental entity;
(ii) Any meeting of the legislature or a committee thereof.
(c) Persons lawfully carrying concealed weapons in Wyoming under W.S. 6‑8‑104(a)(ii) or (iii) may carry a concealed weapon in the following places:
(i) Any public school, public college or university or professional athletic event, except as provided in W.S. 21‑3‑132;
(ii) Any public elementary or secondary school facility, except as provided in W.S. 21‑3‑132;
(iii) Any public college or university facility.
W.S. 21-3-132 generally prohibits the carry of firearms in K-12 schools, unless the school board allows the practice.
The bill is sponsored by Senator(s) Bouchard, Biteman, James and Steinmetz and Representative(s) Blackburn, Clem, Edwards, Gray, Jennings, Laursen, Piiparinen, Salazar, Styvar and Tass.
In 2019, the legislation was popular. From the Gillettenewsrecord.com:
The bill, Senate File 75, proposes to not only repeal most gun free zones across the state but would allow for the carry of concealed weapons anywhere in the state for permit holders. The bill would also clarify that only the Wyoming Legislature may regulate firearms, weapons and ammunition, therefore overriding local ordinances.
The most significant aspect of the bill might be its level of support. Nearly half of the Senate – 13 members – have signed on as co-sponsors, as well as 23 members of the 60-person House.
Senate Bill 75 was defeated in the committee in 2019, on a three to two vote. From wyomingnews.com:
After SF 75 failed, Bouchard said the arguments against this and other attempts to repeal gun-free zones always predicted terrible ramifications.
“It’s all the same arguments every time we have any kind of gun bill,” Bouchard said.
“The sky was going to fall, danger’s happening. It’s all the same argument, and it’s emotional. They’re not looking at the reality.”
In 2019, Senators Reynolds John Kost (Republican, Disrict 19 ), Michael Von Flatern (Republican, District 24 ), and Lilsa Anselmi-Dalton (Democrat, District 12 ), were the three votes in the Judiciary Committee which defeated the bill.
While a majority of Republican legislators seem willing to sign on to support the elimination of “gun-free zones”, the Republican leadership, especially in the Senate, seems dedicated to defeating the bill in committee.
This pattern has been observed in many states, as the right to bear arms has been slowly and incrementally been restored over much of the United States.
Senator Anthony Bouchard has been actively working to restore Second Amendment rights in Wyoming for many years. In 2020, SF0088 is one of his chosen vehicles for restoring those rights.
Wyoming is a Constitutional Carry state. Blood has not been running in the streets as the right to bear arms has been restored.
The elimination of “gun-free zones” in Wyoming would set an example for the rest of the United States.
About Dean Weingarten:
Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of Constitutional Carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.