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Burns explains gun vote rationale
Re: Lundberg letter, Press, Feb. 28
Recently there was a letter in the Sheridan Press chastising me for my vote on three gun bills this past legislative session. The bills were controversial and I’d like to explain my votes.
Under current law the University of Wyoming and the seven community colleges have the authority to allow, or not allow, guns on campus and under what circumstances. House Bill 136 would have removed that authority and allowed those with concealed carry permits to carry weapons on campus. The Senate, and I, didn’t think this “one size fits all” scheme was a good idea and voted the bill down.
House Bill 137 allows those with concealed carry permits to carry arms into any governmental meeting, city council, county commission, zoning commissions, etc. I brought an amendment to allow local governments the authority to set the rules for their respective meetings, but it failed. As a result, I voted against the bill although it passed the Legislature.
One of the concerns I have with both bills is that Wyoming has reciprocity with more than 27 states on concealed carry permits. We don’t know the standards to obtain a permit in all those states, but anyone from any of those states would now be able to legally carry a concealed weapon into any governmental meeting in Wyoming and the presiding mayor or commissioner will have no say over it.
Another bill, House Bill 194, allows guns in schools, but only under circumstances set by local school boards. For that reason, I voted for that bill and it passed the Legislature.
I know my positions will not please everyone, but I hope they will, at least, now understand why I voted the way I did. I recently received an email accusing me of being a moderate. An accusation to which I plead guilty.
Sen. Bruce Burns, District 21