Concealed Carry Bills Move Forward

Feb 28, 2017

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The Wyoming Senate gave final approval to a pair of bills that will allow guns in public places. 

One will allow school boards to designate certain individuals to carry concealed weapons in schools. The idea is to help protect rural school districts in the state. Senators did approve one amendment that was worded in such a way that some worried that it was allowing those with concealed carry permits onto school grounds. 

Cheyenne Senator Tara Nethercott said it does nothing of the sort.

"It’s really kind of meaningless legislation written into the statute, but so be it, it really doesn’t expand the scope of it. So those protections regarding members of the public coming on to a public school still cannot come on with concealed carry," said Nethercott.

The Senate also passed a measure that will allow guns in government meetings, if someone has a concealed carry permit. The Senate added one amendment that allows the University of Wyoming and Community colleges to decide if guns are allowed when meetings occur on their campus, but defeated an attempt to leave it up to local government to be able to opt out of the law. 

Lander Senator Cale Case says city councils aren’t allowed to opt out of other constitutional rights.

"Imagine if it were a different right, imagine if it were for free speech. What if they had to put up a sign that said free speech is not permitted there because the local council voted? What if they put up a sign that said you don’t have the right to a jury trial? It doesn’t work that way, it’s either a right or it’s not."

If the House approves Senate changes to the bills they will go to the governor for his consideration.