Supporters of a bill in the Wyoming Legislature to get rid of most gun-free zones in the state on Monday turned back an amendment that would have allowed schools and colleges to decide whether to allow concealed carry in their facilities.

House Bill 125 would eliminate most gun-free zones in Wyoming. It would require a concealed-carry permit for anyone carrying a concealed weapon on school grounds. In other scenarios, including governmental meetings, anyone allowed to concealed carry a gun in Wyoming could do so. Wyoming law allows anyone allowed to legally possess a firearm in Wyoming to carry a gun without a special permit.

House Speaker Albert Sommers [R-Sublette County] on Monday proposed the amendment on "home rule" for school districts on concealed carry. That essentially would give every district the choice on whether to allow concealed carry.

The bill's sponsor, Rep. Jeremy Haroldson [R-Laramie, Platte counties] spoke against the amendment. He said that by enacting the amendment "We're deciding that rights matter in some places, but not in others. At the end of the day, I have a Second Amendment right to bear arms."  Other opponents of the amendment raised the spectre of a patchwork of local rules on concealed carry in schools, with it being legal in some areas and not in others.

But Rep. Bob Nicholas [R-Laramie County] told lawmakers "I think we need to take a step back from this constitutional argument." He went on to say ''Our Supreme Court has found that our laws...and how you interpret the right to bear arms can be modified and has been modified in public places and in certain locations. This is not a battle about enforcing a mandatory constitutional right.'' He went on to say that the bill "takes a certain political position "and imposes it on every school district in Wyoming."

But in a floor vote, the amendment was defeated on a 43-19 vote on the second reading. House members would have to vote to approve the bill on the third and final reading before sending it on to the Wyoming Senate.

Monday is the last day for bills to be approved in their house of origin in the Wyoming Legislature.

Meet the Four-Legged Heroes of the Cheyenne Police Department

They may not be able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, but make no bones about it, police dogs play a vital role in the fight against crime.

In many situations, they're the first ones to put their lives on the line to protect their human partners, proving that not all heroes wear capes, some wear fur coats.

Gallery Credit: Joy Greenwald

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