The Wyoming Senate has narrowly rejected an amendment to a gun bill that would have allowed local governments to decide whether concealed weapons should be allowed at government meetings.

House Bill 137 would allow the carrying of concealed guns into government meetings ranging from local city council proceedings to the state legislature

The amendment calling for making that a local decision was put forward by Sheridan Republican Senator Bruce Burns, who warned against a "one-size fits all solution being foisted upon smaller governments."

Cody Republican Senator Hank Coe worried about allowing guns at county commission meetings which are often held near courtrooms. Gillette Republican Senator Micheal Von Flatern said he has had "nothing but emails against this bill," adding the Gillette City Council, in particular, Is "vehemently"  against allowing guns at meetings.

He said giving local control is "very important. they are the ones who have to face their audience every day."

But Lander Republican Senator Cale Case asked how people would feel about giving local governments the right to eliminate the First Amendment. Natrona County Republican Senator Drew Perkins told senators the Wyoming Constitution goes even farther than the U.S. Constitution in guaranteeing the right to keep and bear arms.

The final vote on Friday was 16-13 against the amendment. The bill now goes on to a third and final reading, with the decisive vote probably happening on Monday.

The House has already passed the bill.


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