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Controversial Gun Bills Pass Wyoming Senate Committee

Andy Reynolds/Think Stock
Think Stock

A pair of controversial gun bills have cleared their first hurdle in the Wyoming Senate

Both bills passed the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday morning by identical 4-1 votes and will now move on to the full Senate. They have already passed the Wyoming House.

House Bill 136 would allow those with concealed carry permits to carry firearms onto college campuses, including to sports events on campus. The bill would apply to all seven of the state’s community colleges as well as the University of Wyoming.

Opponents of HB 136 argue college campuses and sporting events, with their sometimes high emotions, are no place for guns.

HB 137 would repeal the gun-free zones regulations that currently apply to government meetings ranging from local city council and county commission meetings to proceedings of the Wyoming Legislature.

Similar bills have passed the state House over the last seven years without ever clearing the Wyoming Senate.

Wyoming Association of Municipalities Executive Director Rick Kaysen, who testified before the committee meeting, has repeatedly said that while¬†he supports the Second Amendment, he doesn’t see any reason why firearms are needed at government meetings.

But supporters of both bills argue they actually increase public safety by giving people the ability to defend themselves against terrorists or any other active shooters.

Bill supporters also argue that virtually all mass shootings in the United States have happened in gun-free zones, which they say proves the futility of such policies.

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