WY: SAPA Bill Advances While Gun Group Comes Under Fire

In Wyoming, lawmakers are advancing a measure they’re calling the Second Amendment Protection Act, which would bar state agencies and political subdivisions from using “any personnel or funds appropriated by the legislature of the state of Wyoming or any other source of funds that originated within the state of Wyoming to enforce, administer or cooperate with any act, law, treaty, judicial or executive order, rule or regulation of the United States government that infringes on or impedes the free exercise of individual rights guaranteed under the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.”

Unsurprisingly, the legislation has drawn opposition from gun control groups like Everytown, which calls the bill a “dangerous measure” that would prevent the enforcement of “federal gun safety laws.”

More surprising is the fact that Wyoming Gun Owners is also opposed to the bill, because they say it doesn’t go far enough….

WyGO endorsed another measure, labeled the Second Amendment Preservation Act, that is basically a mirror of a law approved in Missouri last year; a law which is currently being challenged by several St. Louis-area government bodies as well as the federal Department of Justice….

To [WyGO spokesman Aaron] Dorr, the Protection Act is a toothless outrage that’s merely an election-year ploy supported by moderate Republicans, but it strikes me as odd that a state that’s already one of the most Second Amendment-friendly places in the country would be governed by folks who are secretly gun grabbers or hostile to your right to keep and bear arms. Could it be that these lawmakers may actually believe that the Second Amendment Protection Act is both more legally viable and practical to implement than the Second Amendment Preservation Act would have been?

I think that’s a definite possibility, though I’m sure that there are some personality conflicts in play here beyond the differences in legislative language. Dorr and his family’s network of state-level 2A organizations (which includes Wyoming Gun Owners) have been accused by Republican lawmakers in several states (including Wyoming) of existing to enrich themselves more than actually working to promote solid Second Amendment measures, and the current fight over the competing SAPA bills is just part of a broader back-and-forth between WyGo and many Republicans in the legislature that’s been going on for years.

From where I sit, it doesn’t look to me like those fights have been all that productive, given that neither version of SAPA has been approved despite being introduced in both 2020 and 2021. We’ll see if that changes this year, or if the objections from the likes of Everytown and Wyoming Gun Owners are once again enough to keep the status quo in place.

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