Legislators Blast Each Other Over Gun Letter; “How Ridiculously Stupid,” One Lawmaker Says

Its high noon in the Wyoming Legislature as one lawmaker called anothers letter ridiculously stupid and from the Obama administrations manual of public deception. In turn, that legislator said hes been double-crossed by him before and is considering filing a formal complaint.

LW
Leo Wolfson

June 22, 20224 min read

Collage Maker 21 Jun 2022 07 11 PM

A recent letter crafted by Sen. Anthony Bouchard, R-Cheyenne and Bob Wharff, R-Evanston, urging U.S. Sens. Cynthia Lummis and John Barrasso to oppose upcoming gun legislation has drawn a strong rebuke from Sen. Larry Hicks, R-Baggs.

“There is not even any draft bill out there yet but the authors are imputing some nefarious motive and intent,” Hicks wrote. “The construct of the letter with capitalized letters is both dictatorial and demanding showing a complete lack of respect and decorum for our U.S. Senators.”

Bouchard and Wharff on June 17 sent the letter to Lummis and Barrasso questioning their commitment to Second Amendment protections. A separate letter authored by Wyoming’s House Freedom Caucus asked the two to oppose pending federal gun control legislation.

“Poorly Orchestrated”

In a response to Rep. Troy McKeown, R-Gillette, who was encouraging support for Bouchard’s letter, Hicks criticized the blunt tone taken Wharff and Bouchard and described their letter as an opportunistic effort to curry votes for their upcoming elections. 

“It (is) nothing more than a poorly orchestrated attempt by the two individuals to buoy up their own political support by not letting a crises going to waste (right out of the Obama administration manual of public deception),” Hicks wrote. “If this was sincere it would have not had their names at the top in order to grandstand.”

The other letter crafted by the House Freedom Caucus to Wyoming’s U.S. senators placed the signatures of the 12 Wyoming legislators supporting it at the letter’s end.

Bouchard responded to Hicks letter on Facebook Wednesday morning, saying Hicks has blocked attempts by others to promote conservative causes.

“The few of us that try to move the ball for conservatives can’t get anything done because of people like you,” Bouchard said to Hicks, referring to him as a member of the “swamp” and “cabal.”
Bouchard said “sooner or later” the voters will discover Hicks’ voting record.

Formal Complaint

Wharff said he was offended by Hicks accusations and is considering filing a formal complaint on the matter. 

“He acts like he’s always played nice,” Wharff said, “like he’s never done anything to me.”

Wharff and Bouchard started their letter by questioning Lummis’ and Barrasso’s stance on gun control, citing reports from “various media outlets that you are supportive of the draconian gun control measures, including red flag gun confiscation being fast tracked through Congress right now.” 

Red flag laws allow friends, relatives and police to recommend to a court that a person’s firearms be confiscated.

Later in the letter, concern about Barrasso’s stance is also expressed because he was standing next to Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, when he proclaimed support for the gun control measures headed to the Senate.

But Hicks maintained that Lummis and Barrasso are staunch supporters of the Second Amendment who respond to constituent questions about their positions.

“How Ridiculously Stupid”

“Sen. Lummis and Sen Barrasso will answer many of our direct calls and provide clear direction on their intent without impugning some stupid assumption based on a media outlet,” Hicks wrote. “Also how ridiculously stupid is it of the authors to impute some motive by Senator Barrasso standing next to Senator McConnell.”

In his email, McKeown had urged Republican legislators to come together and put aside past divisions for the sake of Second Amendment rights. 

Hicks said he supports fighting for the Second Amendment but can’t get behind the letter written by Bouchard and Wharff.

“Those two individuals have never demonstrated the ability to do what you are asking of the rest of us now,” he wrote.

“Double-Crossed”

Wharff said he has been double-crossed by Hicks in the past.

He mentioned one scenario in 2011 when Hicks pulled an amendment at the last moment and without warning Wharff had agreed to with former Sen. Eli Bebout, on an amendment being made to the Wyoming Constitution to grant residents perpetual rights to hunt, fish and trap.

“He’s not what he purports to be,” Wharff said.

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LW

Leo Wolfson

Politics and Government Reporter