Wyoming Pushes Back

Yesterday, the Wyoming legislature (fondly known as our “Cowboy Congress”) pushed back at the Obama Administration with HB104, the “Firearms Protection Act.” It passed the House overwhelmingly, 46-13, and will cruise on to the the Senate, where I predict it will pass as well.  Then on to our governor, who, when I last saw him, was the winning bidder in a live auction for a new shotgun.

If enacted, any federal law “which attempts to ban a semi-automatic firearm or to limit the size of a magazine of a firearm or other limitation in this state shall be unenforceable in Wyoming; providing a penalty; and providing for an effective date.”

Not only that, “Any official, agent or employee of the United States government who enforces or attempts to enforce any act, order, law, statute, rule or regulation of the United States government upon a personal firearm, a firearm accessory or ammunition that is owned or manufactured commercially or privately in Wyoming and that remains exclusively within the borders of Wyoming shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, shall be subject to imprisonment for not less than one (1) year and one (1) day or more than five (5) years, a fine of not more than five thousand dollars ($5,000.00), or both.

So a gauntlet has been thrown down. I’m sure there are members out there who will debate the legality of a state opting out of federal gun laws. Personally, I kind of look forward to the prospect of throwing some feds into the state penitentiary.

We’ll see what happens next. Things just might get western.

  1. TheSophist
    C.J. Box

    TheSophist:  And Texas is too big to ignore. · 5 minutes ago

    I think I’ve just been insulted!

    Nevertheless, it’s gratifying to hear Texas may wisely follow Wyoming’s leadership. · 32 minutes ago

    It’s sort of like… the advance scout vs. the main columns… :D

  2. Winchester1886

    Makes me proud to have Wyoming as a next door neighbor!

    Attention squishy, wimpy easterners – this is how it’s done.

  3. Israel P.

    Doesn’t a court challenge have to wait for an event that violates the federal law? That would mean that some federal agent has to sit in a Wyoming jail while this works its way through the court system.

  4. La Dernière Lettre

    What can’t we ban extended magazines?  Who on earth needs them other than soldiers?

  5. Spin

    This is great to see.  As some states continue to cede sovereignty to the federal government, and as indeed the federal government just takes it, I hope we see more and more of this.

  6. Spin

    If the argument for banning something is simply “most people don’t need one”, then what limit is there on what the government can tell us to do or not do?

    La Dernière Lettre: What can’t we ban extended magazines?  Who on earth needs them other than soldiers? · 26 minutes ago

  7. La Dernière Lettre

    Well, they can tell us to buy health insurance.  They tell us not to buy certain drugs.  I think we already jumped down that rabbit hole a long time ago.

  8. Paul DeRocco
    Yeah…ok.: Good luck.

    Arizona passed a law SB1070, which in many ways mirrored federal law, and that got Arizona shamed and scorned. Obama even asked someone from a foreign country to join in mocking such primitive views. I trust Wyoming will survive the boycotts.

    The logic behind the Arizona decision doesn’t apply here. There is nothing in the Constitution specifically making gun regulation a Federal matter, as there is concerning immigration. So this is just another test of the elasticity of the commerce clause. And indeed, it is worded as such, by granting protection only to guns and ammo manufacturered and remaining within Wyoming borders.

  9. raycon and lindacon

    Does Wyoming have any companies, apart from individual gunsmiths, who can manufacture a fire arm from parts and materials mined, smelted and cast entirely within the borders of the state?

    The Commerce Clause can and has been used for any pretext the Fed’s choose.  Bottom line on this is critical mass.  Please, Texas, North Dakota, Alabama, and others join this effort.  If Wyoming is alone in this, then they can easily be overcome. 

    Remember, on September 4, 1957, Governor Orval Faubus defied the court, calling in the Arkansas National Guard to prevent nine African American students–”The Little Rock Nine”–from entering the building.  Ike ground him down.  Glad he did, but this is what Wyoming will face. 

    But with more states, the risk for the Feral government escalates.

  10. raycon and lindacon
    La Dernière Lettre: Well, they can tell us to buy health insurance.  They tell us not to buy certain drugs.  I think we already jumped down that rabbit hole a long time ago. · 6 minutes ago

    Edited 5 minutes ago

    The question is, are you now comfortable living within the confines of that rabbit hole? 

    Or, like most conservatives, do you see that rabbit hole as the battle we must fight?

  11. Raw Prawn
    La Dernière Lettre: What can’t we ban extended magazines?  Who on earth needs them other than soldiers? · 57 minutes ago

    If you’re swimming with sharks, don’t have a nose bleed.

    Who’s to decide what the words “extended” and “needs” mean? 

  12. Skyler

    There is no question the law is unconstitutional, but it makes a powerful statement to the courts who seem to be easily influenced by popular opinion. This was true in Marbury v. Madison and when FDR began the New Deal and when ruling on obamacare. The courts are typically terrified to lose credibility.

  13. La Dernière Lettre

    I don’t own guns.  I don’t have a need for them.  I asked the question about extended magazines because I thought some of the gun owners on Ricochet might have an answer.  Maybe there is a use for them other than killing mass numbers of people?  

    As conservatives, we should fight going down the rabbit hole of having our lives micromanaged by government, but that doesn’t mean we can’t offer responsible solutions in the “gun control” argument.

  14. Eric Hines
    La Dernière Lettre: What can’t we ban extended magazines?  Who on earth needs them other than soldiers? · 2 hours ago

    Not relevant.  Government doesn’t get to dictate to us what our purpose is in having weapons.

    Eric Hines

  15. C.J. Box
    raycon and lindacon: Does Wyoming have any companies, apart from individual gunsmiths, who can manufacture a fire arm from parts and materials mined, smelted and cast entirely within the borders of the state?

    The language of the bill is slightly confusing, but it applies not only to guns and accessories made in the state but also to any resident who owns guns and accessories wherever they were made.  And yes, there is at least one manufacturer in Wyoming, the magnificent Freedom Arms of Freedom, Wyoming.  No kidding.  They make some of the most powerful handguns in the world.  Here’s a link: http://www.freedomarms.com/

  16. Eric Hines
    La Dernière Lettre: Well, they can tell us to buy health insurance.  They tell us not to buy certain drugs.  I think we already jumped down that rabbit hole a long time ago. · 1 hour ago

    Edited 1 hour ago

    That doesn’t make it right.  Nor does it make it irreversible.  That’s just an exercise in power.  There was a government a while back that had imposed taxes and other wrong-headed restrictions on us.  We tossed that government and formed our own.

    Eric Hines

  17. Eric Hines
    La Dernière Lettre: I don’t own guns.  I don’t have a need for them.  I asked the question about extended magazines because I thought some of the gun owners on Ricochet might have an answer.  Maybe there is a use for them other than killing mass numbers of people?

    The question, in this context, is a non sequitur.  As such, there’s no point in addressing it.

    La Dernière Lettre: As conservatives, we should fight going down the rabbit hole of having our lives micromanaged by government, but that doesn’t mean we can’t offer responsible solutions in the “gun control” argument. · 28 minutes ago

    Exactly.  Which is why this government micromanagement needs to be stopped.  It’s a direct assault on individual liberty.  The Federal government can offer no responsible solutions beyond doing a far better job of enforcing existing law.  It is illegal to commit murder.  It is illegal to sell guns to criminals.  Yet the Feds do a terrible job of enforcing the former, and they’re actively violating the latter.

    Eric Hines

  18. C.J. Box
    La Dernière Lettre: What can’t we ban extended magazines?  Who on earth needs them other than soldiers? · 2 hours ago

    Last I checked, we have a Bill of Rights, not a Bill of Needs.

  19. John Murdoch

    People who live in rural America.

    There’s a mistaken assumption that “self-defense” only means defending yourself against thugs trying to kick down your door. In some rural areas wild animals are making a comeback–including packs of coyotes, and (in an interesting adaptation) packs of feral dogs led by coyotes.

    I know this to be an issue in southwest Georgia.

    If you are confronted in a remote pasture by a pack of 6 to 8 wild dogs–or worse, coyotes–wouldn’t a high-capacity magazine be a really good thing?

    La Dernière Lettre: What can’t we ban extended magazines?  Who on earth needs them other than soldiers? · 2 hours ago

  20. John Murdoch
    La Dernière Lettre: I don’t own guns.  I don’t have a need for them.  

    As conservatives, we should fight…but that doesn’t mean we can’t offer responsible solutions in the “gun control” argument.

    I don’t own guns either. (I have a mentally retarded child at home who has astonished us with her ability to find dangerous things. Like car keys.)

    I don’t think we should cede that we are presently in an irresponsible state–that there is a gun control problem that any of the current (reheated, refried, rehashed) proposals address. Magazine size of semi-automatic rifles has no bearing on crime–baseball bats are used to kill far more people every year. Banning some semi-automatic guns, but not others, based purely on cosmetics is silly. Banning those semi-automatics in particular because they’re adjustable to be used by women is intolerably sexist.

    That the left is clamoring for “something to be done” is not ample justification for our offering “responsible” proposals to only do half. I think we should insist on a reasonable correlation between cause, effect, and solution.

Want to comment on stories like these? Become a member today!

You'll have access to:

  • All Ricochet articles, posts and podcasts.
  • The conversation amongst our members.
  • The opportunity share your Ricochet experiences.

Join Today!

Already a Member? Sign In