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Gordon signs bills prohibiting red flag gun laws, protecting firearms purchase privacy

Gov. Mark Gordon addresses attendees before he signs legislation into Wyoming State law on Wednesday, March 6 in the Governor's Ceremonial Conference Room at the Wyoming Capitol Building. (Jared Gendron/Cap City News)

CHEYENNE, Wyo. — Gov. Mark Gordon signed four bills Friday that strengthen Wyoming residents’ Second Amendment rights.

Gordon signed the following bills:

SF0105 protects the privacy and sensitive financial information of people purchasing firearms, firearms parts or ammunition in Wyoming by prohibiting credit card processors from using firearms or firearm-related merchant category codes. It also prohibits government or private entities from keeping any registry of privately owned firearms or the owners of those firearms created or maintained through the use of a firearms code.

SF0109 prohibits red flag gun laws from being enforced or implemented in Wyoming, while SF0073 amends the concealed carry permit regulations to make those who have had their firearms rights restored eligible. SF0086 creates an account to reimburse school districts for costs related to possession of firearms on school property by school district employees.

The governor vetoed HB0125 – Repeal gun free zones and preemption amendments due to concerns that HB0125 exceeds the separation of powers embodied in Article 2 of Wyoming’s Constitution. If the bill were enacted, any specific policy, further regulation or clarification of the law could only be implemented by the Legislature. 

“House Bill 125/Enrolled Act No. 49, erodes historic local control norms by giving sole authority to the Legislature to micromanage a constitutionally protected right,” Gov. Gordon wrote in his veto letter. “Any further clarification of the law, if this bill were enacted, would augment the Legislature’s reach into local firearms regulation.”

Gordon noted the bill would require each state facility, such as the University of Wyoming, Wyoming State Hospital or Wyoming Boys School, to receive legislative approval to restrict carrying firearms or even to set policies as practical as proper weapon storage. It would also repeal the statute that has allowed school districts to establish specific policies allowing concealed carry in their districts.

“Every piece of legislation must stand for critical review, particularly those affecting our constitutional rights,” Gordon wrote. “As delivered to my desk, this bill lacks sufficient review and debate. A bill covering such a sensitive topic does not lend itself to successive tweaks to correct flaws, and therefore I believe the Legislature should be open to debating and fully working this bill through its established processes.”

The governor concluded he will direct the State Building Commission to begin a process to reconsider rules to allow concealed carry permit holders to exercise their rights within the Capitol and other appropriate state facilities. That process will involve significant public input.

Gordon’s veto letter is attached and may be found here.