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Wyoming Gun Laws: Can Towns and Cities Make Local Rules?

Image: Wyoming Gun Laws: Can Towns and Cities Make Local Rules?
Wyoming flag and gun, illustration.

By    |   Sunday, 28 Dec 2014 06:56 PM

Wyoming has some of the most relaxed gun laws in the nation and does not require a state permit to purchase a rifle, shotgun, or handgun. The state allows concealed and open carry and has only minimal regulations for the sale, possession, and use of firearms. In 1972, Wyoming adopted a "home rule" constitutional amendment that allows towns and cities to apply local ordinances that act as law. However, except under certain conditions, home rule does not apply to Wyoming gun laws thus cities and towns may not make their own rules when it comes to firearms.

Wyoming's home rule mandate states, "All cities and towns are empowered to determine their local affairs and government as established by ordinance passed by the governing body…” Further, "The powers and authority granted to cities and town, pursuant to this section, shall be liberally construed for the purpose of giving the largest measure of self-government to cities and towns.”

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However, according to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, Wyoming gun law states, "The sale, transfer, purchase, delivery, taxation, manufacture, ownership, transportation, storage, use and possession of firearms, weapons and ammunition shall be authorized, regulated and prohibited by the state, and regulation thereof is pre-empted by the state."

The conditional exception in which towns and cities are authorized to bend these rules is if there is a need to "…regulate, prevent or suppress riots, disturbances, disorderly assemblies or parades, or any other conduct which disturbs or jeopardizes the public health, safety, peace or morality, in any public or private place."

Otherwise, Wyoming gun law states, "…no city, town, county, political subdivision, or any other entity shall authorize, regulate or prohibit the sale, transfer, purchase, delivery, taxation, manufacture, ownership, transportation, storage, use, carrying or possession of firearms, weapons, accessories, components or possession of firearms, weapons and ammunition."

Wyoming's home rule does not allow towns and cities to make their own gun laws. However, the state remains steadfast in its enthusiastic support for the Second Amendment. In 2013, Wyoming lawmakers drafted the Wyoming Firearms Protection Act in an effort to expand state gun rights. The act provided that "any federal law which attempts to ban a semiautomatic firearm or to limit the size of a magazine of a firearm or other limitation on firearms in this state shall be unenforceable in Wyoming." While the bill did pass the largely Republican House, it failed to pass the state Senate.

This article does not constitute legal advice. Check the current gun laws before purchasing or traveling with a firearm.

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Wyoming has some of the most relaxed gun laws in the nation and does not require a state permit to purchase a rifle, shotgun, or handgun. The state allows concealed and open carry and has only minimal regulations for the sale, possession, and use of firearms.
wyoming, gun, laws, cities, local, rules
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2014-56-28
Sunday, 28 Dec 2014 06:56 PM
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