U-S Senator Mike Enzi says he will continue to oppose new federal gun laws
. He says current gun laws go unenforced and that proposed legislation infringes on the public’s second amendment rights.
Enzi answered questions about the gun bills from Wyoming citizens in a recorded statement. He says gun rights are cherished in Wyoming…but he shares some concerns about the recent gun deaths of children.
After receiving threats and attacks concerning Senators’ patriotism and support of gun rights, Senate Majority Floor Leader Phil Nicholas decided that the Senate would not debate a pair of gun rights bills. One bill would allow local law enforcement to arrest federal officials enforcing federal gun laws in the state and the other gave the state power to keep local officials from developing their own gun regulations. Nicholas says the bills were poorly drafted and gave one example:
The Senate Judiciary Committee passed a pair of gun rights bills with some key changes.
The Committee reworked a bill that had been intended to threaten federal law enforcement officials with arrest if they tried to enforce federal gun bans in Wyoming. The committee amended the bill to say that federal officials could carry out their duties, but that local law enforcement could not assist. Still, the Wyoming Attorney General was given authority to protect citizen gun rights.
The Senate Education committee killed a bill that would have allowed those with concealed weapons permits to carry guns in schools and on Wyoming College campuses. The bill died after nobody made a motion to consider it. A number of educators at all levels testified that the legislation was a bad idea and that such ideas should be left to local school districts to consider. University of Wyoming President Tom Buchanan testified that the allowing guns on campus could lead to problems.
The Wyoming House of Representatives has given initial approval to four bills that would address gun rights in the state. Among the bills is a measure that would attempt to block a federal gun bill banning semi-automatic weapons and limiting the size of gun magazines. Sponsor Kendall Kroeker of Evansville says this would apply to guns in Wyoming.
“Because of that I believe there is no federal authority in the Constitution to give the federal government the ability to ban such weapons or place restrictions upon them.”
In preparation for President Obama’s announcement proposing gun control legislation last week, Wyoming lawmakers acted fast to propose bills making any such law unenforceable in the state. Wyoming’s Congressional delegation has also said that this legislation is not the way to go.
Wyoming Representative Cynthia Lummis has said that it would be better to focus on services for mentally ill people.
Now we’ll play the first installation of a segment we’re calling “Upstarts”. It’s an occasional series where we profile Wyoming entrepreneurs and explore what makes them – and their businesses – tick. Wyoming Public Radio’s Rebecca Martinez spoke with 38-year-old Nathan Heineke, owner of N.L. Heineke Incorporated, where he designs and builds upscale custom hunting rifles in Laramie. He started his business eight years ago, and business is good but, he says it could be a while before he starts to see a profit.