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WY, all 3 gun rights bills passed the house!

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February 2, 2013 in Guns

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I wanted to pass along some great news – all 3 gun rights bills passed the house! HB103, 104, and 105 all passed with more than a ¾ majority! I’ll give some updates on each of the bills below, but first I would like to offer a way that you can help. There is a good chance that if these bills go to the wrong committee they will die. So please e-mail Senator Tony Ross. He is the President of the senate and he is the one who will assign them to committee. Please ask President Ross to assign them to a favorable committee so they can get to the Senate floor and get a fair hearing. His e-mail address is Tony.Ross@wyoleg.gov. Please address him as President Ross in your e-mail.

Here is the update of each bill and what happened:

HB104 – Firearm Protection Act:
This is the bill that says that we will not allow a federal ban of semi-automatic weapons or magazines to be enforced in Wyoming. If anyone tries to enforce it, they will be guilty of a misdemeanor. (The original bill called for the penalty to be a felony, it was reduced to a misdemeanor). During the debate, an amendment was added to exclude federal officials from the bill. This would have effective gutted the bill – what is the point of saying we will not allow a gun ban to be enforced if we then give an exception to allow federal agents to enforce it? I ran an amendment to get federal agents and federal officials put back in the bill. This amendment narrowly passed, 31-28 (with 1 absent). So the final bill that passed the House was restored! The final version of the bill passed 46-13.

HB103 – State Preemption.
This is the bill that states that no local government in Wyoming may put additional restrictions on firearms. This provides that all gun laws will be consistent throughout the state. It passed 53-6.

HB105 – Students’ and Citizens’ self defense act:
Here is what happened with HB105 and why I supported it with the changes:

The original bill did 3 things – it allowed for anyone with a concealed carry permit to carry a firearm into:
- A sporting event on public property
- A public school
- A public university or community college.
2 major amendments were added to the bill on 2nd reading:
- It is currently prohibited to carry a concealed weapon to a meeting of the legislature. This restriction was removed. It is against the rules in the capitol to carry a firearm. (This is something we need to change and it will be brought in a bill in the future. I don’t feel safe not being allowed to carry in the House, we are sitting in a fishbowl.) But by removing that restriction, committee meetings during the interim that are not held in the capitol will not be allowed to ban firearms. Good amendment, it is a step in the right direction.
- The other amendment only affected the public school provision. It restricted it so only an employee of the school district with a permit could carry a firearm.
On 3rd reading (final passage) we amended the bill again:
- The amendment that only allowed employees of the school district with a permit to carry was expanded to also allow parents and guardians who have a permit to also be able to carry a firearm.
- An amendment to make it so everyone with a permit could carry (with an exception for students) failed.

So the final bill is a step in the direction we need to go, and provides needed protection for our children. Every single school shooting has taken place in a gun free zone. The shooter knew that there would be no one there with a gun to oppose him. The bill as passed (and it still has to pass the senate) makes it so a potential shooter will not know. There is now the possibility that he will face armed resistance. I believe that is a HUGE deterrent and makes our children safer. So I was glad to support the bill and glad it passed.

Kendell Kroeker
Wyoming House of Representatives, district 35


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