A Wyoming bill that would allow school employees with concealed carry permits to bring guns to school passed its first hurdle in the House of Representatives on Friday. With the Education Committee’s 6-3 vote, the bill now moves to the House floor, according to the Wyoming Tribune Eagle.
The bill’s sponsor, Republican Rep. John Eklund, said the measure would allow local school boards to decide whether to allow firearms on school property.
“Presently, there are communities with little enforcement nearby,” Eklund told the Tribune Eagle. “Some of them have response times of an hour or longer. The design of the bill is to fill in the gap.”
The bill would repeal a law requiring public K-12 schools to remain “gun-free zones.” In the country’s most sparsely populated state, the intent is to allow trained employees to react quickly to a dangerous situation.
Opponents counter that even people with permits do not necessarily know how to respond to a crisis and allowing guns could lead to accidents in the classroom. Some parents have even threatened to pull their kids out of school if guns are permitted on campus. Then there’s the concern that leaving the decision up to local school districts could lead to a patchwork of varying rules that would be hard to follow.
The bill must clear three more votes before moving on to the Senate.
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