GOP Delegate Cited for Carrying Gun on UW Campus
One person was cited by University of Wyoming Police at the Wyoming State Republican Convention on Friday, for carrying a gun on the UW campus.
Uinta County delegate Lyle Williams was cited for being in in violation of the university’s policy on weapons by open-carrying at the UW Convention Center.
UW Spokesman Chad Baldwin said it is UW’s policy that no weapons are allowed on campus, unless an exemption is given to an individual by the UWPD in special circumstances. Baldwin said an exemption was not obtained in this situation.
Michelle Sabrosky, a GOP delegate and Wyoming Gun Owners member said in an interview with KGAB that the delegates who were carrying at the convention were in full compliance with state law.
“We made sure if we were going to go there, we were in full compliance with the law, obviously we are not there to break laws, but we wanted to make sure we could still exercise our rights as guaranteed by our Wyoming constitution and our state laws,” Sabrosky said. “And the state law only applies to concealed carry on UW grounds, so we open carried instead.”
Sabrosky said that UW violated state laws by prohibiting open-carry on its campus, when UW is a public- and not a private- university.
“It’s the university blowing it out of proportion and I think that the main thing is they violated the preemption law,” Sabrosky said. "It’s the state university and I think that’s something that needs to be investigated.”
Baldwin said it is UW’s position that its policy regarding weapons on campus is legal and must be enforced.
Sabrosky said while she thinks the interaction with UWPD was polite and cordial, she disagreed with the fact that UWPD only issued one citation to Williams, when multiple delegates were open carrying.
“Lyle was just picked,” Sabrosky said. “He was the one that the cops said – you are going to have to disarm and you are going to have to put your thing away, the rest of you can carry, which just seems absurd,” Sabrosky said. “If we were breaking the law or breaking rules you would it would be all or none.”
Baldwin said UW Police Chief Mike Samp’s calculation was that the single citation sent the message that was necessary and multiple citations were not needed. Baldwin said the individuals who were open-carrying at the UW Convention Center were told of the university’s weapons policy before-hand.
Sabrosky said this year, the location for the state Republican Convention was approved before going through the regular vetting process for locations.
“Something happened, that didn’t occur, and the location was set before the location vetting process happened,” Sabrosky said.
She said that on Saturday, April 21, the Wyoming Republican Party passed a by-law that states that no party business will be held at a gun-free zone in the future.
Doug Randall and Glenn Woods assisted in reporting this story.