Law Enforcement No Fan Of Unregulated Concealed Weapons
A bill that would authorize the carry of concealed weapons without a permit in Wyoming may very well pass, but not without the concerted efforts of law enforcement to stop it.
Casper Police Chief, Tom Pagel, and Mike Burnett, National Trustee for the Fraternal Order of the Police have testified against the bill before both the Wyoming Senate and the House. Burnett explains that Senate file 47 strips away moderate background checks and required firearms training.
"That's what our problem is, is that it's taking away all of the filtering to make sure we have the right people carrying firearms. Under this new process its all self regulated. A person can decide if they're mentally stable enough, or if they have too much of an anger management problem, or if they're using too many drugs."
Burnett wants the current law and its requirement to check for multiply DUI, domestic violence problems, or multiple assaults to remain. He says the new law will make it self regulatory with no standards set.
"That has been one of the biggest issues. I know that Chief Pagel, when he met with the bill sponsor, Senator Kit Jennings, asked for some of this clarity and the response that Senator Jennings gave was, 'Well, let's pass it and we'll figure that out later.' To me that's not a very responsible way of passing laws."
One amendment to the bill makes first violation a misdemeanor; that is if someone is found carrying when they should not be, a second violation would be a felony.
The bill has passed the Senate and goes now to the House.