2 pro-gun bills pass in Wyoming state Senate

Wyoming gun owners cheered around the state as two pro-gun bills were passed in the Wyoming Senate, one that would allow citizens to carry guns at government meetings and another that would authorize Wyoming district school boards to decide whether district school employees can carry guns in schools.

The Casper Star Tribune reports that House Bill 137, which would allow lawful gun owners to carry weapons at government meetings, passed the third of three Senate votes Monday.

Before the third vote, lawmakers added an amendment that would authorize the University of Wyoming and community colleges to decide whether to allow or prohibit guns in government meetings held on campus. Representatives, who already approved a prior version of the bill, will now vote on the amended bill in the House.

House Bill 194, which would authorize Wyoming district school boards to make decisions regarding school employees carrying guns in schools, also passed a series of three votes in the Senate on Monday.

However, lawmakers added an amendment that left many confused as to how the bill should now be interpreted, the Casper Star Tribune Reports.

Some lawmakers say the amendment will now allow any lawful gun owners who do not work for the school district to carry guns on school property, while school boards would still have the authority to decide whether or not school employees could carry guns on that same property.

Other lawmakers, such as Republican Sen. Tara Nethercott, argued the amendment only authorized district school boards to decide if school employees should be allowed to carry guns on school property and did not pertain to anyone else.

“It doesn’t alter the current prohibition, for members of public, as found in statute,” she said.

Sen. Michael Von Flatern says the amendment could be construed a number of different ways.

“You can see by the interpretation, it’s not clear,” Von Flatern said. “But it’ll take a judge to interpret it, no doubt.”

If both the amended bills pass again in the House, they will then be sent to Gov. Matt Mead’s desk for signature.