Trio Of Gun Bills Win Initial Approval In Wyoming House
Three controversial gun bills passed first reading in the Wyoming House of Representatives Monday.
House Bill 136 would allow people to carry concealed firearms onto college campuses and to college sporting events.
An attempt to amend the bill to leave the decision up to the boards of trustees of the state's seven community colleges and the University of Wyoming was turned back, with supporters of the original bill saying the amendment was really a backdoor effort to gut the bill.
Rep. Tyler Lindholm (R-Crook/Weston Counties) pointed out that while the trustees for the states community colleges are elected officials, the UW Trustees are appointed and do not answer to the voters.
House Minority Floor Leader Cathy Connolly (D-Albany County) expressed concern about the safety of students at a K-8 school located on the university campus. House Bill 136 passed on a voice votes and still faces two more readings before a decisive third vote is taken.
House Bill 137, which would repeal gun-free zones at governmental meetings was amended to say the change would only apply when the meeting is being held on public property. That means if a city council, for example, is holding an event at a private restaurant or business the decision whether to allow firearms would be left up to the business owner.
House Bill 194, which would allow local school board to decide whether to allow teachers and other district employees to carry guns on school property also passed on first reading. Supporters of that bill says it is mostly designed to allow people at isolated rural schools which may not have law enforcement immediately available to be able to defend themselves from armed attackers.
Rep. Mike Madden (R-Buffalo) pointed out during discussion of the bills that the house has repeatedly passed various gun bills over the last seven years, only to see the measures continually fail to make it through the Wyoming Senate.