A bill that would get rid of most gun-free zones in Wyoming has passed the Wyoming House of Representatives and will now move on to the Wyoming Senate.

The vote in favor of the measure on Tuesday afternoon was 54-7.

You can read House Bill 125 here.

Rep. Chestek Argues Against The Bill

Rep. Ken Chestek [D-Albany County] spoke out against the bill in the floor debate. Chestek told the house that he is not ''anti-gun," adding that he is fine with Wyoming residents having guns for hunting, recreation, or self-defense. ''I am pro-safety" he went in to say. "And what this bill does is make our schools and campuses less safe." He later added "How could more guns make a place safer? It doesn't make sense to me."

While no one directly responded to Chestek on Tuesday, supporters of House Bill 125, including sponsor Jeremy Haroldson, have repeatedly argued that having members of the public armed is one of the best ways to protect the public, since a good guy with a gun will often stop a bad guy with a gun. Regarding school safety in particular, supporters of House Bill 125 point out that many Wyoming schools are anywhere from a few minutes to 45 minutes away from the nearest law enforcement agency. They say that having armed citizens on the scene will provide a measure of safety in such situations.

The bill does mandate that anyone carrying a gun into a school must have a concealed carry permit. That doesn't apply to carrying a firearm into governmental meetings or other public settings, into which anyone allowed to concealed carry under Wyoming law could take a firearm if the bill becomes law.

Wyoming law allows anyone who is over 18 and allowed to own a gun under state and federal law to concealed carry.

While the bill would eliminate most gun-free zones, there are exceptions. Courtrooms, places where alcohol is served and private property where the owner implements a gun-free policy would still be off-limits to firearms.

How They Voted In the House

Here is how they voted on the bill in the House on Tuesday afternoon:

Ayes: Allemand, Allred, Andrew, Angelos, Banks, Brown, Bear, Berger, Chadwick, Byron, Davis, Conrad, Eklund, Crago, Clouston, Heiner, Haroldson, Harshman, Hornok, Jennings, Knapp, Larsen, Lloyd, Lawley, Larson, JT, Newsome, Neiman, Northrup, Locke, Niemiec, Oakley, Obermueller, O'Hearn, Olsen, Ottman, Penn, Pendergraft, Rodriguez-Williams, Singh, Slagle, Smith, Stith, Strock, Styvar, Tarver, Trujillo, Walters, Ward, Washut, Western, Winter, Wylie, Zwonitzer, Dan, Zwonitzer, Dave, Speaker Sommers
Nays: Chestek, Henderson, Nicholas, Provenza, Sherwood, Storer,

A Year in Photos: 2023

Gallery Credit: Kolby Fedore, Townsquare Media

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