guns

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.

Two of the three Republican candidates for State Superintendent of Public Instruction say it should be left up to local school boards to determine if teachers or others can have guns in schools. Bill Winney was adamant that the issue should be decided locally.

“There’s something in me that says a teacher shouldn’t be standing in front of a classroom with a pistol on their hip…I got that. But that’s not the real point…the real point is the authority and local control of our school boards.” 

A bill that would allow local school boards to decide if teachers can have guns in schools has been approved by the Senate Education Committee.

Sponsor Paul Barnard of Evanston says the idea is to make schools safer.  He says teachers would undergo extensive and recurring training.  Barnard says smaller districts especially may benefit from the bill.     

The Wyoming House of Representatives failed to introduce a bill that would have lifted restrictions on carrying guns in school zones, while agreeing to introduce another bill that would leave it up to school districts to decide whether employees with a concealed carry permit can have guns in schools.

The Wyoming State Loan and Investment Board has approved $13 million in grants to help a Colorado producer of ammunition magazines for guns move its manufacturing operations to Wyoming.

Erie, Colo.-based Magpul Industries is moving its production, distribution and shipping operations to Cheyenne and its headquarters to Texas. The company is making good on its vow to leave Colorado after that state enacted gun control laws last year.

Magpul will bring about 90 new jobs to Cheyenne.

Wyoming attracts another gun product business

Jan 3, 2014

Gun magazine manufacturer Magpul Industries is leaving Colorado and moving part of its operation to Cheyenne. 

The company announced that it is leaving Colorado because of the passage of a number of new gun restrictions.  Its production, distribution and shipping operations will move to Cheyenne.  Governor Matt Mead says he and other Wyoming officials started speaking with Magpul a year ago.

Enzi opposes gun legislation

Apr 12, 2013

U-S Senator Mike Enzi says he will continue to oppose new federal gun laws

. He says current gun laws go unenforced and that proposed legislation infringes on the public’s second amendment rights. 

Enzi answered questions about the gun bills from Wyoming citizens in a recorded statement.  He says gun rights are cherished in Wyoming…but he shares some concerns about the recent gun deaths of children.                   

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:

The Senate Judiciary Committee passed a pair of gun rights bills with some key changes. 

The Committee reworked a bill that had been intended to threaten federal law enforcement officials with arrest if they tried to enforce federal gun bans in Wyoming.  The committee amended the bill to say that federal officials could carry out their duties, but that local law enforcement could not assist.  Still, the Wyoming Attorney General was given authority to protect citizen gun rights. 

The Wyoming House has passed a bill that will allow hunters to use silencers and suppressors for various types of hunting in the state.  

Before passing the bill, the House removed an amendment that would not have allowed silencers when hunting for big game. 

But Speaker of the House Tom Lubnau argued that there are plenty of protections if someone violates the law, and if they misuse a silencer or a suppressor, the hunter can be punished.

The Senate Education committee killed a bill that would have allowed those with concealed weapons permits to carry guns in schools and on Wyoming College campuses.  The bill died after nobody made a motion to consider it.  A number of educators at all levels testified that the legislation was a bad idea and that such ideas should be left to local school districts to consider.  University of Wyoming President Tom Buchanan testified that the allowing guns on campus could lead to problems.

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.”

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.

Rebecca Martinez

Now we’ll play the first installation of a segment we’re calling “Upstarts”. It’s an occasional series where we profile Wyoming entrepreneurs and explore what makes them – and their businesses – tick. Wyoming Public Radio’s Rebecca Martinez spoke with 38-year-old Nathan Heineke, owner of N.L. Heineke Incorporated, where he designs and builds upscale custom hunting rifles in Laramie. He started his business eight years ago, and business is good but, he says it could be a while before he starts to see a profit.