Wyoming Gun Laws

Introduction

Wyoming is located in the West of the United States and includes the foothills of the Eastern Rocky Mountains and the High Plains. Wyoming is the least populous state and is bordered on the north by Montana, on the east by South Dakota and Nebraska, on the south by Colorado, on the southwest by Utah, and on the west by Idaho.

A. State Constitution

Regarding the right to bear arms, the Wyoming Constitution states:

“The right of citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and of the state shall not be denied.”

[http://gunla.ws/wy1]

B. Scope of Preemption

The controlling language of Wyoming’s preemption statute is set forth as follows:

“The sale, transfer, purchase, delivery, taxation, manufacture, ownership, transportation, storage, use and possession of firearms, weapons and ammunition shall be authorized, regulated and prohibited by the state, and regulation thereof is preempted by the state.”

[http://gunla.ws/wy2]

C. Reciprocal Carry

The requirements for obtaining a license to carry is that the applicant:

(i) Is a resident of the United States and has been a resident of Wyoming for not less than six (6) months prior to filing the application. The Wyoming residency requirements of this paragraph do not apply to any person who holds a valid permit authorizing him to carry a concealed firearm authorized and issued by a governmental agency or entity in another state that recognizes Wyoming permits and is a valid statewide permit;

(ii) Is at least twenty-one (21) years of age;

(iii) Does not suffer from a physical infirmity, which prevents the safe handling of a firearm;

(iv) Is not ineligible to possess a firearm pursuant to 18U.S.C. section 922(g) or W.S. 6-8-102;

(v) Has not been: (A) Committed to a state or federal facility for the abuse of a controlled substance, within the one (1) year period prior to the date on which application for a permit under this section is submitted;  (B) Convicted of a felony violation of the Wyoming Controlled Substances Act of 1971, W.S. 35-7-1001 through 35-7-1057 or similar laws of any other state or the United States relating to controlled substances and has not been pardoned; or  (C) Convicted of a misdemeanor violation of the Wyoming Controlled Substances Act of 1971, W.S. 35-7-1001 through 35-7-1057 or similar laws of any other state or the United States relating to controlled substances within the one (1) year period prior to the date on which application for a permit under this section is submitted.

By statute, Wyoming will recognize another state’s license to carry if that state recognizes Wyoming’s license:

“A person who wears or carries a concealed deadly weapon is guilty of a    misdemeanor … unless: … (iii)The person holds a valid permit authorizing him to carry a concealed firearm authorized and issued by a governmental agency or entity in another state that recognizes Wyoming permits and is a valid statewide permit.” [http://gunla.ws/wy3]

Since there is no national carry license, as with the other states, some states are reciprocal with Wyoming and some are not. Anyone contemplating reciprocal carry should check with the official list maintained by the Wyoming State Police at the point in time the reciprocal carry is to occur.  Wyoming’s reciprocity agreements can be viewed here: [http://gunla.ws/rrjy]

D. Constitutional Carry

As of 7/1/11 Wyoming has enacted a constitutional carry law, although it only applies to Wyoming residents.  Wyoming permits Wyoming residents who are at least 21 years old and legally allowed to possess a firearm to carry a handgun without a permit, openly or concealed. [http://gunla.ws/wy4]

E. NFA Items

Wyoming permits ownership of all NFA items, provided they are legally obtained pursuant to federal law.  Hunting with suppressors is legal.

F. Carrying Firearms in Vehicles

Wyoming permits anyone who may legally possess a firearm to carry a loaded handgun in a motor vehicle without a permit.  Wyoming residents can carry handguns openly or concealed, but nonresidents without a permit may only carry handguns if they are visible from outside the car and not concealed on their body.

G. Self-defense Laws

Wyoming has a Castle Doctrine but no SYG law.  There is no duty to retreat when in Your dwelling.  You may use force, including deadly force, in defense of yourself or others if You reasonably believe it is necessary to prevent imminent death, SBI, or to stop the unlawful & forcible entry into Your dwelling.

[http://gunla.ws/wy5]

H. Criminal Provisions

Under Wyoming law, a license to carry a handgun is not valid in any of the following places or circumstances, whether it is issued by Wyoming, or a person is carrying pursuant to a reciprocity between his or her state of license and Wyoming:

  • Any facility used primarily for law-enforcement operations
  • Any detention facility, prison, or jail
  • Any courtroom, although this does not apply to the judge of said courtroom
  • Any meeting of a governmental entity
  • Any meeting of the legislature or a committee thereof
  • Any elementary or secondary school, college or professional athletic event/facility not related to firearms
  • Any elementary or secondary school facility
  • Any college or university facility, except with written consent of the security service of that college or university
  • Any portion of establishment licensed to dispense alcoholic liquor and malt beverages for consumption on the premises that is primarily devoted to that purpose (like the bar area of a restaurant)
  • Any place for public worship, without written consent of the administrator
  • Any place prohibited by federal law

For a list of places where carrying firearms is prohibited, see:

[http://gunla.ws/wy6]