After receiving threats and attacks concerning Senators’ patriotism and support of gun rights, Senate Majority Floor Leader Phil Nicholas decided that the Senate would not debate a pair of gun rights bills. One bill would allow local law enforcement to arrest federal officials enforcing federal gun laws in the state and the other gave the state power to keep local officials from developing their own gun regulations. Nicholas says the bills were poorly drafted and gave one example:
While Wyoming Governor Matt Mead favors gun rights, he said that he is very concerned about a couple of gun rights bills making their way through the legislature.
One bill would allow school employees, parents of a student or their guardian, who hold a concealed weapon permit, to have guns in schools. Mead said that there are better ways to ensure school safety and he wants the state to look closer at those solutions.
The Wyoming House of Representatives has passed a series of gun rights bills. The House amended one bill that will allow guns in schools, allowing not only full-time school personnel to carry concealed firearms but parents and guardians, well. Everyone must have a concealed carry permit. Evansville Rep. Kendall Kroeker says it's a good day.
"One this that we've seen that has been the case with 100% of the shooting that have taken place on school campuses is that every single one of them was in a gun free zone," said Kroeker.
The Wyoming House of Representatives continues working on a bill that would allow concealed weapons in Wyoming schools and colleges. It would only apply to people who have permits to carry concealed guns. Casper Representative Steve Harshman successfully amended the bill to say that only permanent employees of a school district who hold a concealed carry permit may carry a concealed firearm within a school district building and they must notify administrators. The amendment also made it clear that K-12 students shall not carry concealed firearms. The district superintendent will also in
The Wyoming House of Representatives has given initial approval to four bills that would address gun rights in the state. Among the bills is a measure that would attempt to block a federal gun bill banning semi-automatic weapons and limiting the size of gun magazines. Sponsor Kendall Kroeker of Evansville says this would apply to guns in Wyoming.
“Because of that I believe there is no federal authority in the Constitution to give the federal government the ability to ban such weapons or place restrictions upon them.”
In preparation for President Obama’s announcement proposing gun control legislation last week, Wyoming lawmakers acted fast to propose bills making any such law unenforceable in the state. Wyoming’s Congressional delegation has also said that this legislation is not the way to go.
Wyoming Representative Cynthia Lummis has said that it would be better to focus on services for mentally ill people.
President Obama unveiled gun control legislation today, keeping his promise to focus on the issue after last month’s school shooting in Connecticut. The legislation seeks to strengthen existing laws, expand background checks for gun sales, limit ammunition magazine size, and ban assault weapons.
In anticipation of that move, Wyoming lawmakers have already drawn up legislation that would make federal gun control laws unenforceable in the state and remove restrictions on concealed carry of guns in certain areas.
HOST: The massacre in Newtown, Connecticut has rekindled the gun-control debate in Washington. Matt Laslo reports that Wyoming lawmakers are either staying mum, or oppose some of the proposals being unveiled.