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Senate panel OKs 'campus carry' legislation

Feb 15, 2017 - From staff and wire reports

A Senate committee has endorsed two proposals that would allow people with concealed carry permits to carry weapons on Wyoming college campuses and to state and local government meetings.

The rule would apply to the Central Wyoming College campus in Riverton, the CWC Lander Center, and the CWC Sinks Canyon Center outside Lander.

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 4-1 Wednesday to send House Bills 136 and 137 to the full Senate for additional debate. The bills already have passed the House.

The committee's action followed nearly two hours of public testimony on both proposals.

Supporters say law-abiding citizens who must meet stringent requirements to earn a concealed carry permit shouldn't have their rights infringed upon.

They say the measures would improve self-defense in active shooter situations.

Opponents say allowing guns on college campuses and at government meetings would increase the danger of a shooting, whether intentional or accidental, and hinder responding police officers.

University of Wyoming president Laurie Nichols and the state's seven community college presidents this week wrote a letter urging defeat of the bill. They say they don't want concealed weapons on college campuses. They cited evidence contrary to the opinion that guns would make campuses safer.

CWC president Brad Tyndall was among those signing the letter, which was published Tuesday in The Ranger.

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