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Wyoming: Senate Passes Important Pro-Hunting Reform Bill While House Considers Two Right to Carry Reform Bills

Monday, January 28, 2013

Three bills of interest to gun owners and sportsmen in the Cowboy State are moving through the state legislature in Cheyenne. The House Judiciary Committee will have a hearing tomorrow to consider two bills: House Bill 103, introduced by Representative Allen Jaggi (R-19), which would strengthen the state’s authority over firearm laws while prohibiting local counties from enacting their own ordinances in clear violation of the current state firearms preemption statute, and House Bill 105, also introduced by Rep. Jaggi, which would allow law-abiding citizens to carry a concealed firearm in more locations. Please contact members of the House Judiciary Committee and your state Representative today and politely ask them to support HB 103 with Representative Jaggi’s amendment and HB 105 without any amendments.

HB 103 would improve recognition of your firearms freedoms in several ways. If enacted, it would give the state legislature the exclusive authority to enact any firearm-related laws or ordinances and prevent current firearms preemption violations occurring across the state. This would ensure that any restriction on your Second Amendment rights would be voted on publicly by your state Senator and Representative instead of unelected bureaucrats at the local level. Also, this bill would erase any local restrictions on your Right to Keep and Bear Arms that have been illegally enacted in violation of the current firearms preemption statute. HB 103 would make firearms laws uniform throughout Wyoming and protect citizens from towns and counties that attempt to violate the new firearms preemption statute. The NRA supports the technical amendment that will be offered by Representative Allen Jaggi but remains opposed to all other amendments at this time.

HB 105 would expand the places that a law-abiding citizen could carry their concealed handgun for self-defense. If enacted, these additional locations would include athletic events and all schools - elementary, secondary and universities. Although the Cowboy State does not require its residents to have a permit to carry a concealed weapon for self-defense, those who wish to carry in the additional locations would be required to obtain a permit issued by the state. It is no secret that so-called “Gun Free Zones” are attractive targets for violent criminals and madmen who know that they can inflict maximum mayhem with minimal risk of being harmed themselves. Allowing more trained, law-abiding citizens to protect themselves and their families legally should be encouraged in all forms.

Please contact the members of the House Judiciary Committee and your state Representative today and politely ask them to support House Bill 103 with Representative Jaggi’s amendment and House Bill 105 without any amendments.  For your convenience, contact information for the House Judiciary Committee is listed below.

Additionally, the state Senate voted this morning to repeal the state prohibition on hunting with sound suppressors (which are additionally regulated under federal law) while providing additional penalties for those who use them illegally. In a 23 to 7 vote, the Senate passed Senate File 132, introduced by Senator Ogden Driskill (R-01). This bill now goes to the House for consideration, so please contact your state Representative and politely encourage his or her support of this common-sense hunting reform measure.

Currently, more than half of the states across the country allow hunters to use suppressors. Recently Arizona, Oklahoma and Texas adopted new rules allowing for use of suppressors when hunting game. It’s time that hunters in Wyoming are able to enjoy the same opportunities available to sportsmen in more than half of the country. For more information on firearms and suppressors, click
here.

Noise complaints are being used more frequently as an excuse to close shooting ranges, informal shooting areas and hunting lands throughout the country. Increased use of suppressors will help to eliminate many of these complaints and protect hunting and shooting areas well into the future.

In order to acquire a suppressor, a purchaser must submit the appropriate paperwork to the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives where long wait times for approval are unfortunately common (four to six months). Also, purchasers must undergo a background check by the FBI, find a licensed dealer authorized to conduct the transaction and pay a one-time $200 tax for each device. While suppressors do not eliminate the sound of a firearm, they do reduce the muzzle report in a manner similar to the way that a muffler reduces exhaust noise from a vehicle. The benefits associated with suppressor use include increased accuracy due to reduced recoil and muzzle blast, protection from hearing damage and reduced noise pollution.

Please remember to contact the members of the House Judiciary Committee and your state Representative today and politely ask them to support House Bill 103 with Representative Jaggi’s amendment and House Bill 105 without any amendments.


House Judiciary Committee:

Representative Keith Gingery (R-23) – Chairman

Keith.Gingery@wyoleg.gov

 

Representative Mark Baker (R-48)

Mark.Baker@wyoleg.gov

 

Representative Cathy Connolly (D-13)

Cathy.Connolly@wyoleg.gov

 

Representative Marti Halverson (R-22)

Marti.Halverson@wyoleg.gov

 

Representative Kendell Kroeker (R-35)

kendell.kroeker@wyoleg.gov

 

Representative Samuel Krone (R-24)

Samuel.Krone@wyoleg.gov

 

Representative David Miller (R-55)

David.Miller@wyoleg.gov

 

Representative Tom Walters (R-38)

Tom.Walters@wyoleg.gov

 

Representative Stephen Watt (R-17)

Stephen.Watt@wyoleg.gov

 

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