A measure that would prohibit governmental entities from running “gun buyback” programs has been filed for consideration by the Legislature during its upcoming session.
House Bill 28 would prohibit any Wyoming government body, including the University of Wyoming, from buying firearms from citizens.
The programs have been used in some large cities around the country in an effort to reduce the number of firearms on the street, however, no such program has been staged in Wyoming.
Bill sponsor Rep. Tyler Lindholm, R-Sundance, said he wants to make sure it is difficult in the future to launch a “buyback” in Wyoming.
“It’s not really a concern right now,” he said. “But if it is ever a concern, where organizations such as governments, whether local or state, are starting to do this … I want to make it as painful as possible for them to be able to peel back our … legislation.”
The measure has supporters among firearms retailers such as Ryan Allen of Cheyenne’s Frontier Arms.
Allen said in such programs, governments often end up paying far more for firearms than they are worth.
“The broken firearms, the inert, the $20 to $35 firearms … they’re paying four to five times what they’re worth,” he said.
“There will be some people who take advantage of the incompetency of government and bring in grandpa’s old over-and-under (shotgun) that’s been broken for the last 30 years and get $500 for it,” he said.
Both agreed that the more important issue is that of preserving Second Amendment rights.
“In regards to gun violence, the answer’s pretty clear at that point, you should let people defend themselves, let them practice their own God-given right,” Lindholm said.
“Firearms and gun ownership is part of our culture here in Wyoming,” Allen said. “So hopefully that doesn’t change.”
The Legislature’s budget session begins Feb. 10. Because Lindholm’s bill is not related to the budget, it would have to win support from two-thirds of the House to even be considered.