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ABOUT THE AUTHOR Bryan L. Ciyou is a trial and appellate attorney at the Indianapolis law firm of Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. He earned his BA with distinction and graduated through the honors program, along with his JD,... Read More

Wyoming Gun Laws

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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.

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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]

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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]

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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]

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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]

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E. NFA Items

Wyoming permits ownership of all NFA items, provided they are legally obtained pursuant to federal law. It is illegal to hunt with a fully-automatic weapon or a suppressor.

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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. It is illegal to hunt, shoot, or attempt to kill any wildlife from any public highway.

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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]

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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 place for public worship, without written consent of the administrator
  • Any place prohibited by federal law
  • In all state parks, campgrounds, recreational grounds, historic landmarks, or historic sites unless otherwise designated by the Fish and Game Commission

For a list of places where carrying firearms is prohibited, see: [http://gunla.ws/wy6]

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I. Duty to Inform Officers

No. Permitees must carry their permit, together with valid identification at all times when they are carrying a concealed firearm. You must display both the permit and proper identification upon request from any LEO.  [http://gunla.ws/wfnm]

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J. Do “No Gun Signs” Have the Force of Law?

Yes. If a property or establishment has a “No Guns” sign or the person in lawful possession communicates to you that guns are not allowed, you are prohibited from carrying on to the property or into the establishment. Failure to obey such signs or verbal warnings constitutes criminal trespass. [http://gunla.ws/35ob]

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K. Carry in Restaurants That Serve Alcohol

Yes. You can carry a concealed firearm in a restaurant that serves alcohol. Places like Fridays or Chili’s unless they have a “No Gun Sign,” then You are prohibited from carrying into the establishment. This does not include a bar or the bar area of a restaurant – You are prohibited from carrying a concealed weapon in these areas. You are not allowed to carry while You consume alcohol or are under the influence of alcohol. You are permitted to open carry at any establishment that serves alcohol. [http://gunla.ws/srul]

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L. Open Carry

Open carry is legal in Wyoming. No permit is required for residents. Non-residents must possess a permit or license issued by a state that Wyoming honors and that is a “valid statewide permit” to carry in Wyoming. Places as listed in the “Criminal Provisions” above apply to those who open carry. Any person 21 years of age or older, who is not a prohibited possessor, may carry a weapon openly or concealed without the need for a license.

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FIND GUN LAWS BY STATE

Table of Contents

About the author
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Bryan L. Ciyou is a trial and appellate attorney at the Indianapolis law firm of Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. He earned his BA with distinction and graduated through the honors program, along with his JD,... Read More