gun control

St. Louis Circuit Attorney's Office/Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International

Gun regulation is currently a hot topic as school shootings keep on grabbing national attention. And not one political side can agree whether guns are already too regulated or are not regulated nearly enough. In order to take a step back and understand where we are now as a country with gun regulation, Wyoming Public Radio’s Kamila Kudelska spoke with two gun historians. 

This Saturday, hundreds of thousands of people are expected at rallies for gun control across the country. And no one is speaking louder than those who inspired the rallies and who feel they have the most at stake: teens.

Cortney Borer in Centennial, Wyoming.
Maggie Mullen

This weekend, hundreds of thousands of teens are expected to march on Washington D.C. and around the country, calling for gun control. The Mountain West News Bureau spoke with two students in Montana and Wyoming who do not plan to march, and are worried gun control reform could change their way of life.

Guns in Walmart
Bob Beck

This year the Wyoming Legislature is dealing with a couple of pro-gun bills. So what else is new? It seems like lawmakers are discussing gun bills all the time, but supporters of the legislation say that’s because there are still self-defense and safety issues that need to be resolved.  

Newsday.com

A recent study by the website www.wallethub.com has ranked Wyoming as the second most economically dependent state in the firearms industry.

The study measured several factors, including gun ownership, gun sales per capita, how many people were employed by the firearms industry, and contributions to Congressional members by gun-rights and gun-control groups. Wyoming ranked in the top five in most categories.

M&R Glasgow, Flickr Creative Commons

 

In the wake of the tragic slayings in Orlando last weekend, gun-control unexpectedly dominated Congress this week.

For Democrats the slaughter of 49 people at the Orlando LGBT club was the last straw and they’re calling for overhauling the nation’s lax gun laws. On Monday, the House dedicated a moment of silence to the victims, and Connecticut Congressman Jim Himes and a few other Democrats walked out of the chamber.

Miles Bryan

Before you can buy a gun at Frontier Arms in Cheyenne, you have to fill out “Form 4473.” It asks questions like “Are you addicted to drugs?” and “Have you been convicted of a felony?” Owner Ryan Allen said, for most questions, there’s no use lying.

“In questions [where] we are talking about an actual crime, it's going to come up,” Allen said. “There are no if, ands, or buts about that.”

Newsday.com

Wyoming ranks number one in the nation in gun-related deaths. That’s according to a new report from the Violence Policy Center. While the national average is just over ten deaths per 100,000 people, Wyoming has more than twice that beating out states like Louisiana, Alaska and Mississippi. The report shows that most western nations like the United Kingdom have rates of less than one death 100,000 people.

The Wyoming State Loan and Investment Board just approved a new agreement that brings a gun ammunitions company to Cheyenne for fewer tax dollars.

The previous agreement was a grant/loan combination of $13 million. The new agreement would be an $8.3 million grant, some of which the company would pay back. 

That’s because of a new plan that would house the company in preexisting facilities.

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.

WPR

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

Bob Beck


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.”

The Wyoming Legislature will take on just about every possible hot-button social issue this week, hearing bills on guns, abortion and same-sex marriage.

House Speaker Tom Lubnau, a Republican from Gillette, says he's scheduled all the contentious social issue bills for hearings this week to save money on security.

Lubnau says the Legislature always increases its security when lawmakers consider gun and abortion issues because of the large crowds that typically turn out.

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.