Last Friday, March 6, the Wyoming Legislature adjourned its 2015 General Session with disappointing results for gun owners.
As previously reported, pro-gun House Bill 114, originally introduced by state Representative Allen Jaggi (R-19), was gutted in the Senate Education Committee on February 25 and replaced with an anti-gun substitute bill containing “legislative findings” that your Second Amendment right is not an “absolute” right.
The substitute bill was completely unrecognizable from Representative Jaggi’s original intent. HB 114, as introduced, sought to restore trained, law-abiding concealed carry permit holders’ constitutional right to possess a firearm for self-defense on nearly all state-owned property. This legislation would have explicitly recognized the right of an individual who possesses a valid concealed carry permit issued by the state of Wyoming to lawfully carry a concealed weapon in the following locations: (1) any meeting of a governmental entity; (2) any public K-12 school; and (3) on the campus of any public college or university.
HB 114 overwhelmingly passed in the House Judiciary Committee on January 28 by an 8 to 1 vote, and then passed in the state House on February 2 by a 42 to 17 vote. It was then, unfortunately, referred to the anti-gun Senate Education Committee where it was completely rewritten with anti-gun provisions, then passed by a 3-2 vote. NRA stood opposed to the substitute version of HB 114 and it was defeated on the Senate floor by a 3 to 25 vote last Wednesday, March 4.
The NRA believes that absolute prohibitions of lawfully possessed concealed weapons on public property represent a broad infringement of an individual’s constitutional Right to Keep and Bear Arms and fundamental right to self-defense, and will work to once again introduce similar legislation next year.