Preemption is something we’ve spent a fair bit of time talking about here. After all, it’s an important bit of legislation that prevents a patchwork of gun control laws that no one can keep track of.
The state of Wyoming has preemption. However, the University of Wyoming believes the law doesn’t apply to them.
So far, the courts have agreed with the university. Opponents have argued, unsurprisingly, that the courts are wrong and have continued to press their claims that the school falls under the same regulations.
Unfortunately, no matter how much they argue, they lost the argument.
The Wyoming Supreme Court denied a writ of review on behalf of Uinta County resident Lyle Williams, who challenged the University of Wyoming’s ability to regulate firearms on its campus.
The Supreme Court’s Tuesday decision, based on a 3-2 vote among justices, denies reconsideration of a ruling by Tori Kricken, the Albany County district court judge, who said earlier in July that the university can regulate and prohibit firearms on campus.
Williams was cited in 2018 for open-carrying a gun inside the university’s convention center during the state Republican party’s annual conference. Williams was one of many attendees who open-carried a gun with the intention of getting a citation and challenging UW’s gun policy.
The misdemeanor trespassing charge brought attention to UW’s gun policy and the first real challenge to its ability to regulate firearms on campus.
Williams’ attorneys argued the Supreme Court should review the order because the issues raised garnered media attention and called into question whether UW can regulate firearms. While the case might present important questions, Wyoming’s Attorney General argued that those were addressed in a previous ruling from the district court in which Kricken wrote statute provided that only Wyoming firearms were exempt from regulation by local entities.
Honestly, that was the most ridiculous ruling I’ve ever heard.
Regardless, though, the courts have ruled as much as they’re going to. That puts the onus for fixing this on the legislature. They’re now the ones who can fix this, and it needs to be fixed.
Especially the inane argument that the law only applies to Wyoming firearms. I’ve addressed that bit of stupidity before.
Now, though, the legislature needs to step in and make the necessary corrections so that this kind of thing doesn’t happen again. I get that they may have been waiting for the legal situation to settle, but now it has. Now we see the insane legal reading of the law and it’s up to lawmakers to put an end to it.
While some expected lawmakers to jump in immediately, I was willing to let them wait for the courts. Now, though, there’s no excuse. Now the legislature needs to step up and act. It’s not even a difficult bit of legislation to work out and I don’t see massive opposition to it. Not in Wyoming, after all.
All it will take it the political will to make it happen. The question then is, do lawmakers have that will?