A bill repealing most of the gun free zones in The Cowboy State for concealed carry permit holders passed the house on a 42-17 vote. The main sponsor of the bill, Allen Jaggi, R-Lyman, above, said that it is a public safety issue. Most of the Republican support emphasized that point. From reuters.com: “Backers of the Wyoming bill argued it would increase the safety of children enrolled in Wyoming’s 48 school districts by allowing school employees, from teachers to janitors, to be armed in class and on campus grounds.” . . .
Supporters pointed to the 2012 massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, where a gunman killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School, as a shooting in which lives might have been saved if school staff members had been armed.
Here are the places where the bill would repeal of gun free zones. From HB114:
(b) Persons holding a valid concealed carry permit issued by the state of Wyoming under W.S. 6-8-104(a)(ii may carry a concealed weapon in the following places:
(i) Any meeting of a governmental entity;
(ii) Any meeting of the legislature or a committee thereof;
(iii) Any public school, college or professional athletic event whether or not related to firearms;
(iv) Any public elementary or secondary school facility; and
(v) Any public college or university facility without the written consent of the security service of the college or university.
An opinion piece in the wyomingnews.com that was against the bill claimed that the bill removed restrictions on people carrying in bars, but the bill doesn’t mention places that serve alcohol.
But HB 114 goes too far. Allowing residents to carry firearms at government meetings, into bars and at sporting events is a recipe for disaster.
House Democrats tried to amend the bill but all adverse amendments were defeated. From the facebook page of Kendell Kroeker, Wyoming House District 35:
HB114 – Wyoming Repeal Gun Free Zones Act passed the house 42-17 (1 excused!). There were 3 amendments run that would have gutted the bill, but we managed to defeat all 3. Now it is on to the Senate.
The University of Wyoming hasn’t formed a unified opinion on the bill. The faculty senate has come out against it, but it has not yet been joined by the Associated Students of the University of Wyoming, or the Staff Senate. From trib.com:
“We did not discuss the legislation because the committee that was assigned to it didn’t make a decision,” ASUW President Ahmed Balogun said. “It was tabled until next week, so we will hopefully have something by then.”
Late last year, ASUW voted against a resolution supporting the Faculty Senate resolution. While the organization has yet to approve of a formal resolution in favor of allowing guns on campus, Balogun remains hesitant to predict an outcome.
One member of the University faculty, Karen Williams, claims that the University day care center could lose its accreditation if the bill is signed into law. From trib.com:
“If there are concealed weapons on campus, our university child care center, which is a teacher training facility as well, will lose its accreditation because it does not fit with national recommendations,” Williams said.
Perhaps we will be able to find out if her claim is true. If there are any people who know the details of how university day care centers are accredited, please feel free to share with us.
Wyoming is one of the states leading the way in restoring Second Amendment rights that were gradually infringed for the last 100 years.
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