Wyoming House: Repeal Gun Free Government Meetings
The Wyoming House of Representatives on Tuesday voted in favor of a bill that would repeal gun free government meetings held in public buildings.
The measure now heads to the Wyoming Senate. House members did amend the measure so that it won't apply to government meetings in schools and other areas where carrying a concealed weapon is illegal.
It would also ban carrying concealed weapons to meetings on private property if the property owner doesn't want to allow them.
But House Bill 86 would allow people to carry concealed weapons to government meetings in public buildings ranging from local city council proceedings to the Wyoming Legislature.
Lawmakers rejected an amendment proposed by Rep. Charles Pelkey (D-Laramie) that would have allowed local governments around the state to decide whether they want to maintain gun-free zones or not. Pelkey argued that in many communities around Wyoming there is little distinction governmental meeting areas and courtrooms, which are specifically exempted from the bill.
He also argued that local communities should be allowed to make decisions on gun free zones themselves.
But Rep. Kendell Kroeker (R-Casper), one of the sponsors of the bill, argued the amendment would be a "huge step backwards for gun rights."
He also said that passing the amendment would create a situation where something which is legal in one community is illegal in another, causing confusion and unintentional breaking of the law. Pelkey's amendment was rejected on a voice vote.
The vote in favor of House Bill 86 was 50-10 on third and final reading. It now must pass three readings in the State Senate before going to Governor Matt Mead, who could choose to veto the bill, If that happens it would require a 2/3 majority in both houses to override the veto.