Friday, April 02, 2021

Wyoming Improvement of Constitutional Carry Likely: Incrementalism Works





 Great Seal of Wyoming from wikimediacommons US Government public domain, cropped and scaled by Dean Weingarten

Wyoming is on the cusp of a needed improvement of their Constitutional Carry law. In 2011, Wyoming was only the third state to restore Constitutional Carry.

Constitutional Carry is a close approximation of the state of law that existed when the Second Amendment was ratified in the United states, in 1791. At that time, there were no permits required to carry weapons in most public spaces, either openly or concealed.

States and the Federal government did not impose legal burdens on the carry of weapons, openly or concealed, for two generations after the ratification of the Second Amendment. 

Gradual infringements on the carry of arms were passed in some states in fear of slave revolts, newly freed slaves after the Civil War, and during the Progressive era. 

Only one state refused to infringe on Second Amendment rights. It always had one of the lowest crime rates in the United States. It was Vermont.

As a growing movement called for constitutional limits to the advancing tyranny of the administrative state, Alaska restored Constitutional Carry in 2003. 

Arizona, I am proud to say, restored Constitutional Carry in 2010. 

Wyoming was the third state to restore Constitutional Carry, in 2011. The bill was not perfect. It had a flaw. It only applied to Wyoming residents. A person had to have been a resident for six months before it applied. 

This compromise was required to get the bill passed. It was 95% of Constitutional Carry. The residency requirement would probably be ruled unconstitutional on equal protection grounds, if challenged in court. This correspondent has not found any evidence it has ever been challenged. 

It appears the flaw is about to be rectified.

The Wyoming legislature is in the process of passing HB116. HB116 removes the residency requirement for Constitutional Carry. It has already passed the Wyoming House, 56-4. It has passed the Senate Judiciary Committee, 5-0. It will likely pass the Senate and be signed into law. It is a very simple change in the law:

(a) A person who wears or carries a concealed deadly weapon is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of  not more than seven hundred fifty dollars ($750.00),  imprisonment in the county jail for not more than six (6)  months, or both for a first offense, or a felony punishable  by a fine of not more than two thousand dollars 7 ($2,000.00), imprisonment for not more than two (2) years, 8 or both, for a second or subsequent offense, unless:
 (iv) The person does not possess a permit issued under this section, but is a resident of the United States and otherwise meets the requirements specified in paragraphs (b)(ii) through (vi), (viii) and (ix) of this section and possession of the firearm by the person is  not otherwise unlawful.

 The bold letters show the changes to the law. Currently, (b)(i) includes this language

(i) Is a resident of the United States and has been a resident of Wyoming for not less than six (6) months prior to filing the application.  The Wyoming residency requirements of this paragraph do not apply to any person who holds a valid permit authorizing him to carry a concealed firearm authorized and issued by a governmental agency or entity in another state that recognizes Wyoming permits and is a valid statewide permit;

The (b)(i) requrement for Constitutional Carry is eliminated by HB116, eliminating the requirement for Wyoming residency.  It is left in place for the issuance of Wyoming permits, and reciprocity with other states.

There have been only three states which limited Constitutional Carry to their own residents. They were Wyoming, Idaho, and North Dakota. 

Idaho removed their state residency requirement a year ago, in March of 2020. It appears Wyoming will remove their state residency requirement this year, although the bill has not yet been passed and signed into law.

That only leaves North Dakota with a state residency requirement for Constitutional Carry. 

This could change at any time. Iowa is very close to passing Constitutional Carry. The bill does not appear to have a state residency requirement.

Indiana and Tennessee are likely to pass Constitutional Carry reforms this year.  It will not be certain whether either state will have a residency requirement until the final form of each bill is known. 

Several other states have Constitutional Carry in process, which may or may not pass in 2021.

©2021 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

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Anonymous said...

The reason we have a federal constitution is it guarantees all constitutional rights cross all state lines. The second amendment is one of these federally guaranteed rights. To change the second Amendment requires a constitutional amendment No state has the authority to amend the federal constitution and the U.S. Congress has no authority to amend the second amendment without a constitutional amendment. there are no valid federal firearms laws and no state laws can be valid without the required amendment all words defining the second amendment are infringements by definition. There is not one valid law that has more or less than the 26 words used to write the second amendment.
wake up morons the second amendment was passed and ratified to give the citizens the power to remove and replace a tyrannical government.

Anonymous said...

First item of business to destroy a constitutional Republic and its constitution is to use unconstitutional power, power that does not exist and calling the actions policy changes. Our enforceable laws are not a matter of one administration over another administration desired policies. Long settled fact the law is the law, is the law laws are enforceable and policies can be changed withy any whim. Fact, No president has ever had law making authority. His job is to sign laws passed by congress or veto them. Policies are not law. Our system of checks and balances is in great danger if we are forced to accept policies. The framers gave us a constitution and said it was up to us to keep it. When we allow chip after chip to weaken our rights they begin to add up . We have the right to keep and bear arms because the framers knew how difficult it may become to Keep our constitution The framers made it clear the second amendment would be necessary if we ever have to throw out those in government that think they can get away with slowly taking over and becoming tyrannical. How better to get to tyranny than to take away our weapons. Gun control has nothing to do with safety. it has everything to do with destroying our constitution by tyrants. Liberal commie rash.