The Las Vegas shooting shook the country. It did not, however, change the view of Wyoming’s congressional delegation about limits on guns.

“Every day across Wyoming, we responsibly exercise our right to keep and bear arms,” U.S. Sen. John Barrasso said via email. “I will continue to support policies that protect our constitutional right to protect our homes and families. Right now our focus should be on [the families impacted by the shooting] and providing law enforcement with the federal resources needed to investigate this tragedy.”

There are three gun bills being debated in various committees in the U.S. House of Representatives: the Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act, better known as the SHARE Act; the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017; and the Gun Show Loophole Closing Act of 2017.

On the surface the SHARE Act seeks “to provide for the preservation of sportsmen’s heritage and enhance recreation opportunities on federal land, and for other purposes,” the bill reads.

Further into the bill, however, is language that would loosen restrictions on suppressors, or what some people call silencers, purportedly to reduce the threat to hunters of hearing loss, and the deregulation of sales of armor-piercing bullets.

U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney sponsored the SHARE act — which was supposed to be voted on June 14, the same day a gunman opened fired on a congressional baseball game in Washington, D.C. — and the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017. That bill would amend the federal criminal code to allow a qualified person to carry a concealed handgun into any other state that allows people to carry concealed firearms.

The bill specifies that a qualified person who lawfully carries or possesses a concealed handgun in another state is not subject to the federal prohibition on possessing a firearm in a school zone, and may carry or possess the concealed handgun in federally owned lands that are open to the public.

“My first priority regarding any current and future firearm legislation in the House will always be to protect the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens in Wyoming to keep and bear arms,” Cheney wrote in a statement to the News&Guide.

“The SHARE Act is incredibly beneficial to sportsmen and women in Wyoming,” she wrote. “It allows them more access and opportunity to responsibly engage in their Second Amendment rights on federal lands. Similarly, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act protects the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Wyoming citizens as they cross state lines.”

Before a speech at the Greater Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce on Oct. 6, a group of 10 Wyoming residents protested Cheney’s support of the bill.

“As a state of avid hunters, anglers, campers and fishers, we refuse to allow our sports and concerns on hunter safety to be weaponized by Congresswoman Cheney,” Sara Burlingame of Wyoming Equality said in a statement. “This legislation would endanger the lives of everyday Wyomingites and law enforcement by easing restrictions on interstate gun transportation, the sale of suppressors or ‘silencers,’ and the classification of armor-piercing ammunition. Congresswoman Liz Cheney needs to stop prioritizing the NRA and their funding over preventing mass shootings and gun violence in our country.”

A third bill, the Gun Show Loophole Closing Act of 2017, which is widely supported by Democrats, would require criminal background checks on all firearms transactions occurring at gun shows.

“Gun shows at which firearms are exhibited or offered for sale or exchange provide a convenient and centralized commercial location where criminals and other prohibited persons obtain firearms without background checks and without records that enable firearm tracing,” the bill reads.

Though he has not had a chance to co-sponsor the Gun Show Loophole Closing Act as a member of the Senate, U.S. Sen. Mike Enzi “believes we need to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill,” said his director of communications, Max D’Onofrio.

“However, the right of the American people to keep and bear arms is a fundamental right guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution,” he said, “so he also believes that Congress should not limit the right of law-abiding citizens to own firearms. Sen. Enzi will keep those things in mind should the Senate consider any legislation dealing with firearms or firearms accessories.”

Additional legislation banning “bump stocks,” which the Las Vegas shooter used to modify his semi-automatic rifles to shoot up to 700 rounds a minute, was introduced to the House of Representatives on Monday by Rep. Carlos Curbelo, R-Florida, and Rep. Seth Moulton, D-Massachusetts. With widespread bipartisan support, including from the National Rifle Association, it appears the bill will have enough momentum to pass.

More comprehensive gun control, however, does not enjoy the same level of bipartisan support.

Contact John Spina at 732-5911, or @JHNGtown.

Cody Cottier covers town and state government. He grew up with a view of the Olympic Mountains, and after graduating Washington State University he traded it for a view of the Tetons. Odds are the mountains are where you’ll find him when not on deadline.

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(14) comments

rich quinlan

More innocent souls murdered while the congress , NRA , and gun nuts do nothing. When is the right time to discuss this and enact common sense gun reform. Blood is on the hands of those who refuse to act.

Chad guenter

How about repairing a morally bankrupt nation with no regard for human life, Mr. Quinlan? How about removing the glorification of death and destruction from entertainment and children's video games.
A major percentage of the nation's populace are on antidepressant/SSRI type medications, how about fixing this nations mental illness problems?
Your apparent only solution is to violate to God given rights of Individuals protected by the 2nd Amendment, individuals who have harmed no one.

Again Mr. Quinlan, what is YOUR interpretation of the 2nd Amendment?

Chad guenter

Mr. Quinlan?????

rich quinlan

Tell us ... how your possession of 100 shot clips , bump stocks , armour piercing rounds , tracers , make the state of wyoming any safer in todays world , also tell us all what fantasy role you have in your "militia" .

— This comment has been editor to remove an inappropriate personal insult. — Eds.



(Edited by staff.)

Chad guenter

Mr: Quinlan: Calling me a whackjob, doesn't strengthen your argument. I asked you for YOUR interpretation, you still haven't clarified it, just make ad hominem attacks.
Mine is literal. YOU and I along with all able bodied Americans are "the militia". Our RIGHT to keep and bear arms is supposed to be absolute. The right to own fully automatic military weapons such as M4 rifles or others like it should still be intact. Military arms are exactly what the 2nd Amendment is about, not hunting or recreational shooting.
Because we have a standing Army (which the founders despised the idea of BTW) does not negate the rights of the people.
I don't own a bumpstock, 100 round magazines, tracers, etc. but I'm not going to tell others they cant own them if they want them.
The problem we face in this nation is not gun related, it is a societal mental/ethical/and respect for human life breakdown.
Because or society is creating these monsters does not over ride my and millions of others RIGHT to own whatever firearms we choose.

Chad guenter

I really hope that others committed and adhering to the Constitution will read this article and comment.

Chad guenter

Mr. Quinlan: As a self described "normal" gun owner, what is your interpretation of the 2nd Amendment?

Chad guenter

Still waiting Mr. Quinlan, for your interpretation of the 2nd Amendment.

Chad guenter

Since the article left this out I will add for context.

"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

rich quinlan

I dont recall reading anything in the 2nd amendment regarding these items. These arguments are well known to us normal gun owners who dont fall for the NRA loon squad like yourself. Responsible gun owners dont need all these false facts and you know it.

Chad guenter

I don't recall reading anything about radio, tv, internet, etc. regarding freedom of the press. And does the 1st Amendment also cover religions that didn't exist when the the Bill of Rights was written. Mr. Quinlan: Should the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints not be protected because it didn't exist when the 1st Amendment was written?

Your argument holds zero weight unless you want to go after all the other Amendments as well regarding after the fact advancements in technology and new religions.

Chad guenter

And another thing, I am a responsible gun owner, I am not an NRA member, and only my friends usually call me a "loon". I don't know what "false facts" you are talking about.

rich quinlan

Thre are legitimate rights for US gun owners to protect. There are also no entitlements to possess military grade weapons , ammunitions , or high capacity weapons. A reasonable person supports a ban on silencers , fully auto weapons , high capacity clips , and armour piercing munitions. There is no legitimate reason that a non law or military person would ever require these items and the known dangers to general society from loons having access to these dictates thier strict regulation. No hunter or enthusiast needs more than six rounds ever. Enact some sensible controls. They wont prevent every event but if they prevent any it would be worth it. Cant believe Wyo elected Cheney , what a horrible rep.

Chad guenter

Mr. Quinlan: All those firearms and items you list as "military" and unnecessary, are EXACTLY what the 2nd Amendment was supposed to protect. All able bodied Americans are "the militia", and our right to keep and bear arms, was never supposed to be infringed.
Most "laws" restricting firearms ownership and possession are unconstitutional by their very existence.

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