Saturday, February 9, 2013

Wyoming Lawmakers Shoot Down Guns on Campus Bill

CHEYENNE -- Emotions ran high Friday in the overflowing Senate Education Committee room when state lawmakers tabled what many were calling the most controversial bill of the 62nd Wyoming Legislature.

House Bill 105, titled the Citizens' and Students' Self-Defense Act, would have allowed anyone 21 or older with a concealed carry permit to bring a firearm into any public school, community college and the University of Wyoming.

After nearly two hours of testimony by supporters and opponents of the bill, the committee took no action -- a de facto decision to kill the bill -- after a number of education officials opposed the legislation because of safety and other concerns.

Sen. Hank Coe, R-Cody, said the bill brought up a tough issue and that all lawmakers on the committee had sterling records with the National Rifle Association. Because the lawmakers didn’t vote on the bill, it won't show up as a yes or no vote on their NRA scorecards.

As he faced the members of the Senate Education Committee during his testimony, bill sponsor Rep. Alan Jaggi, R-Lyman, said he felt like Col. George Custer, giving the bill one last stand.

An overwhelming number of high-ranking education officials around the state, some of whom testified Friday, didn't want the bill to see the Senate floor. The Legislation passed the House on Feb. 1.

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