Wyoming Senate: Initial Split Votes On Gun Bills
The Wyoming Senate on Thursday issued a split decision on a pair of bills that would expand the rights of people with concealed carry permits to carry firearms into various venues.
But even the bill which passed still faces two more readings before a final decision is made by senators.
House Bill 136 would allow people with the permits to carry guns onto college campuses, including to college sporting events. While no one spoke on the floor of the Senate on that bill on Thursday, it went down to defeat by a vote of 17-13.
University of Wyoming officials, including Athletic Director Tom Burman and Vice-President Chris Boswell, have spoken out against the bill in recent weeks.
Both officials specifically expressed concerns about guns at sporting events, citing concerns about the emotions (and in some cases alcohol) that are part of athletic events.
But Senators did give initial approval to House Bill 137, which would repeal gun free zones at government meetings. Rock Springs Democratic Senator Lisa Anselmi-Dalton spoke against the bill on the Senate floor, raising the specter of "the shootout at the OK corral" at government meetings. Laramie Democrat Chris Rothfuss cited statements by former Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia that "the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited."
But Lander Republican Senator Cale Case said there are no metal detectors at meetings of the legislature or other government meetings across the state. He said that means there is nothing to keep people from carrying concealed weapons into meetings now, except the law, which criminals by definition might not follow.
Several Senators said they would feel safer knowing people at meetings could defend themselves by shooting back.
Even though the bill passed first reading on Thursday, House Bill 137 still faces two more readings before a third and decisive vote is taken.