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A regional collaboration of public media stations that serve the Rocky Mountain States of Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming.

State Gun Laws In Mountain West Mostly Move To Loosen Restrictions

Automatic rifle show
Cory Doctorow
Creative Commons 2.0
Automatic rifle show

Thursday is the one-year anniversary of the Parkland, Florida school shooting. More than a hundred state-level gun laws have been enacted since then, including several in the Mountain West. 

Since the Parkland and Las Vegas shootings, the Trump administration banned bump stocks at the national level. It's also important to to look at state gun laws, as they can sometimes be a catalyst for federal form, said Adam Winkler, a law professor at UCLA.

Winkler said most of the state laws introduced in the last year have been restrictive, adding that, "there's also been a number of laws passed that make it easier to have access to guns."

That was the case for most of the legislation passed in the Mountain West.

Idaho and Wyoming both expanded their states’ “Stand your Ground” laws which allow the use of lethal force for self-defense. Wyoming also passed a law allowing concealed weapons in houses of worship.  

Some states in the region did introduce some gun control, Winkler said, enacting “more restrictions, such as making it harder for domestic abusers to get their hands on guns.”

That happened in UtahColorado passed a series of strict gun control laws several years ago, after the Newtown massacre. 

This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, KUER in Salt Lake City and KRCC and KUNC in Colorado.

Copyright 2021 KRCC. To see more, visit KRCC.

Ali Budner is KRCC's reporter for the Mountain West News Bureau, a journalism collaborative that unites six stations across the Mountain West, including stations in Colorado, Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, and Montana to better serve the people of the region. The project focuses its reporting on topic areas including issues of land and water, growth, politics, and Western culture and heritage.
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