Guns in schools bill approved in Wyoming Senate committee

The Wyoming Senate Education Committee unanimously approved a bill Wednesday that would authorize Wyoming school boards to decide whether or not people can carry guns in schools.

The Casper Star Tribune reports that House Bill 194, sponsored by Republican Rep. John Eklund, was proposed to help protect remote school districts that are far from police.

Democrat and Republican lawmakers on the committee amended the bill to require people to receive at least 24 hours of training, including active shooting and basic firearms training, before they could carry guns on school property.

Supporters of the bill say that it will make schools safer, while opponents, such as the Wyoming Education Association, say the measure is too risky.

“We’ve got students who shouldn’t be around guns,” said Kathy Vetter, president of the association.

Brian Farmer, executive director of the Wyoming School Boards Association, said a number of school boards would consider having guns in schools if the measure passes in the Legislature.

While that doesn’t necessarily mean they will ultimately choose to allow guns, Farmer says school boards like making the decision at the local level.

The bill now heads to the Senate floor for three votes. If passed, it would then head to Gov. Matt Mead’s desk for signature.