By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
The Wyoming Gun Owners organization is celebrating the recent signing of a bill to let visitors to the state carry concealed weapons without a permit.
House Bill 116 was signed into law by Gov. Mark Gordon on Tuesday. The bill removes extends to all law-abiding American citizens Wyoming’s privilege to carry a concealed firearm without a permit.
WYGO posted about the bill’s signing on Tuesday, praising two particular legislators for their work on it.
“BOOOM!!! Moments ago, House Bill 116 was signed into law meaning that Wyoming’s Constitutional Carry laws (one of the oldest in the country) now applies to ALL law abiding gun owners!!!” the organization wrote on its Facebook page. “MAJOR SHOUT OUT to Rep. Bob Wharff and Senator Anthony Bouchard for leading this fight on the inside and a massive shout out to the members of WYGO for hammering this bill into law!!!!! WAY TO GO!!!!!!!!!!!”
Wharff, R-Evanston, was the sponsor of the bill. Bouchard, R-Cheyenne, along with six other Wyoming senators (including Sen. Lynn Hutchings, R-Cheyenne) co-sponsored the legislation.
More than a dozen state representatives co-sponsored the bill, including Bouchard’s primary election opponent in his effort to unseat U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney, Rep. Chuck Gray, R-Casper.
Bouchard is the founder of WYGO, although he is no longer involved in any management positions due to his work as a senator.
The group posted a second time on Tuesday about Wharff and Bouchard, praising their work in the Legislature.
This was not the only firearm-related legislation Bouchard worked on this legislative session. He originally sponsored Senate File 81, which would give the state the authority to find certain federal gun regulations invalid.
However, he ultimately voted against the bill after it was amended, saying it no longer had the intent of the original legislation.
As originally written, the bill said the state could declare as invalid any federal law that infringed on Second Amendment rights, including taxes on firearms and ammunition, registration of firearms and laws forbidding the ownership, use or possession of firearms by law-abiding citizens.
The bill would also have forbidden law enforcement officers from seizing weapons in response to federal laws and would have allowed officers and their local governments to be sued over such seizures.