Joe Raedle, Getty Images
Joe Raedle, Getty Images

A bill that would allow holders of a concealed-carry permit to carry guns into most areas designated as gun-free zones will face a third and decisive reading in the Wyoming Senate after supporters of the bill turned back an effort to amend the bill to allow schools to prohibit guns.

You can read Senate File 67 here.

The bill would allow for the carrying of guns into governmental meetings, schools, publicly-owned hospitals, and other venues by people who own a Wyoming concealed-carry permit. Wyoming allows people without a permit to concealed-carry firearms, but the proposed law would only apply to people with such a permit.

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People who carry a concealed weapon into a city council meeting, for example, and do not have such a permit would be in violation of the law if the bill wins final approval. it would also not apply to privately-owned hospitals such as Wyoming Medical Center in Casper, because private property owners would still have the ability to ban guns on their property.
On Thursday, Sen. R.J. Kost [ R-Big Horn, Park counties] put forward an amendment that would have allowed school boards to continue to prohibit guns in school zones. Sen. Ogden Driskill [R-Crook, Campbell, Weston counties], the Republican Floor Leader in the Senate, warned that adopting the amendment would "absolutely gut the bill. If you adopt this amendment, there is no use having the bill."
But Sen. Jim Anderson [R-Natrona County], who has a concealed carry permit, said ''I'm for giving the school districts the ability to decide." Anderson recalled that when the legislature authorized school district employees to carry guns into schools a few years ago, it gave districts the ability to allow or not allow them to carry firearms in local schools. Anderson said that has worked out well and he would favor a similar approach on Senate File 67.
The Senate voted down the amendment 22-7. The bill will now face a third and decisive vote in the Senate, probably on Friday. If the Senate approves the measure, it will go on to the Wyoming House of Representatives.


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