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University may regulate guns manufactured out-of-state, judge rules

Case highlights bizarre provision in state law

A judge ruled this week that the University of Wyoming may regulate guns manufactured outside of Wyoming, highlighting a strange provision in a state law related to firearm freedoms in that state.

The Wyoming Firearms Freedom Act only prohibits the state’s regulating “firearms, firearm accessories and ammunition that are manufactured in Wyoming,” Judge Tori Cricken ruled this week, according to The Laramie Boomerang.

Cricken declared that, per Wyoming statute, the state’s university may bar a gun from being carried on campus if the gun was crafted somewhere other that Wyoming.

That ruling comes because of a clause in a state law that inadvertently applied firearm freedom protections only to guns made in the state, The Boomerang reports:

Prior to 2010, Wyoming statute indicated that “no city, town or county shall authorize, regulate or prohibit the sale, transfer, purchase, delivery, taxation, manufacture, ownership, transportation, storage, use or possession of firearms, weapons and ammunition.”

The law was then updated in 2010 to also include any “political subdivision or any other entity” as being barred from regulating guns. The 2010 revision also was updated to ban local governments from regulating the “carrying” of firearms.

However, those updates came as part of the Wyoming Firearms Freedom Act, which was mostly intended to exempt guns manufactured within Wyoming from federal regulation.

Written into that law was an applicability clause: “This act shall apply to firearms, firearm accessories and ammunition that are manufactured in Wyoming.”

By superseding the original Section 401, the 2010 gun law unwittingly limited Wyoming statutes on gun regulations to only guns manufactured in Wyoming, Kricken decided.

As one attorney pointed out: “There are very few commercial businesses manufacturing firearms in Wyoming, meaning that the effect of the legislation would essentially not preempt any, and allow all entities to regulate firearms.”

“If, indeed such is the case, then it is within the province of the Wyoming Legislature, not this court, to correct said typo,” Kricken pointed out.

Read the report here.

MORE: Republican delegate sues University of Wyoming over gun ban

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