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January 31, 2013 8:34 am

EDITORIAL: Firearms Protection Act doesn’t protect people

Written by Ilene Olson

OK, we’ll be the first to admit it. We don’t understand.

We don’t understand how passing House Bill 104, which would block any possible federal restrictions on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, makes any kind of sense.

We do understand that many Wyomingites feel strongly about their rights to possess and bear firearms, and that is their constitutional right. We also understand people’s concerns about safety following the school shooting in Connecticut.

However, it is difficult for us to fathom how we are supposed to feel safer knowing that people in Wyoming would have access to these weapons of destruction when people in the rest of the country wouldn’t, if Congress were to pass a ban on assault weapons.

These aren’t hunting rifles we’re talking about. These weapons were designed to kill with brutal force.

If the federal government did put a ban on assault weapons and Wyoming blocked the ban, that would make the state a target for anyone — including criminals — who wanted to buy them.

The bill’s major sponsor, Kendell Kroeker of Evansville, argues the bill could lead to economic development by attracting gun manufacturers. We contend it is more likely to attract fanatics and criminals who will make us feel far less safe.

HB 104, also known as the Firearms Protection Act, goes so far as to make it a crime for federal employees to enforce a federal law banning assault weapons, should Congress pass one.

The presumption seems to be that anyone who obtained assault weapons in Wyoming would be of good character and sound mind. But we know that won’t always be the case. And, while one of the arguments for the bill is that criminals will find ways to get assault weapons regardless of any law, it’s also true that making it easier for law-abiding citizens to purchase assault weapons also makes it easier for people who have no intention of obeying the law.

Even if the bill were to pass, that effort likely would prove to be a waste of lawmakers’ time. The Legislature’s own advisers in the Legislative Service Office issued a legal analysis saying the U.S. Supreme Court recognizes federal laws as the supreme law of the land.

“When there is a conflict between a state law or Constitution and a constitutional federal law, the federal law trumps or pre-empts the state law,” the analysis states.

Despite those facts, the House Judicial Committee on Tuesday voted 8-1 to pass the bill and send it to the floor of the House, with local committee member Rep. Sam Krone, R-Cody, also voting in favor. 

We hope the majority of representatives in the full House will take a more rational view of the proposal.

18 comments

  • Comment Link January 31, 2013 9:24 am posted by Disgusted taxpayer

    Under no circumstances does any civilian,especially in America,need a high capacity magazine,or the weapons they go in.If the Rambo wannabes need to satisfy their incessant need for firepower,I hear the Marines are looking for a few good men,and women.

  • Comment Link January 31, 2013 7:42 pm posted by A disgusted tax payer that does not want to give more power to the government than they already have

    Maybe you should read up on the 2nd amendment. It mentions nothing about hunting being the reason for our right to bear arms. Look at history and you will find the governments that have taken the guns away from thier civilians, usually end up killing millions of thier own people.

    Ottoman Turkey:
    (1915-1917)
    1-1.5 million Armenians

    Soviet Union:
    (1929-1953)
    20 Million anti-communists/anti-Stalinists

    Nazi German & Occupied Europe:
    (1933-1945)
    13 million jews, gypsies & anti-nazis

    China
    1949-1976
    20 million Anti- Communists Rural Populations Pro-Reform Grou

    Do some research. The list goes on and on.

  • Comment Link January 31, 2013 7:58 pm posted by PAT

    IT IS MY SECOND AMENDMENT RIGHT TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS . THEREFORE INFRINGEMENTS ARE AGAINST THE CONSTITUTION PERIOD

  • Comment Link February 01, 2013 7:24 am posted by Shocked Wyoming Citizen

    I can't believe that either of these comments are being made by a native of Wyoming. The first thing you really need to realize is; this bill isn't as much about what guns a person should or shouldn't have or what they need. It's about the 10th amendment to the constitution. The one about state's rights. Believe it or not, the federal government works for THE STATES!!! Not the other way around. The constitution and bill of rights doesn't give US and the states it's rights. We already have the rights. It puts limitations on the federal government. That's the whole purpose of the constitution. So the federal government wouldn't be able to dictate.

    Having said that, to answer your concerns about people not needing "assault Weapons". I could argue against you, very easily, but you probably wouldn't get it. So let me ask you a question. No one NEEDS a 300 horsepower car like a cadillac, corvette, mustang, etc... You only NEED a car that can go UP TO 75mph. After all, that's the max speed limit. And more children and people die in automobile accidents than from firearm related homicides. So why isn't anyone whining about the car companies.

    While you're at it, help me understand that if Obama, Feinstein, and others care so much for our children; which they don't, why aren't they doing something about the 2000 children who die every year in car accidents. What about the 1600 each year who die from "Child Abuse". Do you want me to give you the numbers of all the other preventable deaths to children from drugs, alcohol, gangs, etc... By the way; it's a LOT MORE than the 115 per year average of children who die from gun related homicides. Obama and others are feeding on your emotions and they are doing this for political gain. They don't care about our children. If they did, they'd propose a limit of speed limit or horsepower instead of a limit of bullets in a magazine.

  • Comment Link February 01, 2013 9:07 am posted by Disgusted taxpayer

    Hiding behind "the children" is getting really old,Shocked. This has turned into a dog & pony show for both parties and their pathetic liars.While you are at it,why not mention the fact that more people die from car accidents caused by the millions of idiots who drive and flap their horse lips on cell phones than they do by drunk drivers. RINO's are comical at best,same old stuck record and same old BS stories.I still say NO civilian needs any HC magazine,or the weapon they are used in.I could go on like Bush and say the Constitution is just a ******* piece of paper or like Cheney who said deficits don't matter,but that's a whole other ball of wax.Hurry and buy those AR's and lots of ammo before Obama comes to get your guns.

  • Comment Link February 01, 2013 1:34 pm posted by phg

    this entire exercise in the wyoming legislature is a waste of time and resources. for those who have read and understand the constitution, what is in play here is not the second or tenth amendment. as noted by the legislative service office and quoted in the editorial, what is at play here is the supremacy clause of the united states constitution which clearly states that when there is a conflict between state and federal law, federal law controls. the states have absolutely no power to overrule or disregard federal law. the legislators in the wyoming house all know this; therefore, other than preening for their gun rights friends at home, they must realize that they are simply acting out a farce that has no chance of being ruled constitutional as soon as it is challenged in court, which it will be. one would think the legislators would have a better use for their time and the taxpayer's money than this.

  • Comment Link February 01, 2013 1:40 pm posted by Shocked Wyoming Citizen

    Who; I can't believe your ignorance. Or you willingness to give more power to the federal government. You simply don't get it. It doesn't matter if a person NEEDS IT or not. The fact that the government doesn't want you to have it, is enough reason to have it. You don't NEED a fast car. You don't NEED Alcohol. You don't NEED a lot of things. Yet, more people die from other things than guns. Did you know; more homicides are committed WITHOUT A GUN; such as with a knife, hammer, baseball bat, etc... than with a gun. Sorry; but your ignorance totally hurts your argument.

  • Comment Link February 01, 2013 3:22 pm posted by Disgusted taxpayer

    Ignorance is bliss...better check the mirror.One who fails to think outside the RINO box is truly ignorant.

  • Comment Link February 03, 2013 8:36 pm posted by A Wyoming Patriot

    The bill in question is actually simply an amendment to an existing Wyoming Statute. The merits of the statute that seems to be the target of this opinion piece and the related discussion are actually very sound. It is more or less a statement by the State of Wyoming to the Federal Government that the State of Wyoming will not tolerate any infringement of our rights which are protected under the Constitution. Any and all gun control laws have absolutely nothing to do with guns but everything to do with CONTROL. NEED is not even a part of the equation. RIGHTS is the only thing that matters.

  • Comment Link February 04, 2013 7:12 am posted by Shocked Wyoming Citizen

    Well, Disgusted; once you grow up and learn that "RIGHTS" have nothing to do with what you "NEED", you might start to understand. The "Government" doesn't give us rights. Our creator gives us rights, and WE, THE PEOPLE, give the government THEIR RIGHTS.

  • Comment Link February 04, 2013 8:54 am posted by Disgusted taxpayer

    OK,I get it now,all you gun loving freaks think you should be allowed to pack any sort of hand cannon or anything that spits lead out at whatever rate you feel mesmerized to use.This is typical Wyoming rednck mentality,and not surprising since most idiots in Wyoming are against any kind of change,especially one that may interfere with tier silly redneck ways.Too bad for you all,because what you hate the most will happen sooner or later and there isn't a dang thing you will do about it,so may as well get used to it.I don't like a lot of things you RINO's do either,or have done,but no amount of moaning will stop small mentalities from running with the flock.The same applies to your mentality over HC magazines and the Rambo type weapons you think you must have,just because some piece of paper says you can.It still doesn't make it right since the demented society in this country is incapable of handling these weapons,even vets are turning on each other anymore.Hear this,shocked,when I grow up I sure don't want to be like you,incapable of thinking outside any box.BTW,your "creator" hasn't done such a bang up job,you better converse with him,or her.Have a nice day.

  • Comment Link February 04, 2013 7:01 pm posted by Disgusted taxpayer

    Your creator gave you rights? I suppose the Constitution had nothing to do with these rights then.Boy,I,m glad you informed me of that,shocked.Turn on the radio more,Rush needs the audience.

  • Comment Link February 05, 2013 12:17 pm posted by Shocked Wyoming Citizen

    Wow!!! Disgusted. Have you ever READ the constitution. The Bill of Rights does NOT GIVE CITIZENS rights. They put LIMITATIONS on the federal government. Hate to tell you, but no, the constitution does NOT give us rights. In the declaration of independence is specifically says: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." The bill of rights was written to LIMIT the federal government. That's why it says "SHALL NOT INFRINGE" or "Congress WILL NOT". It's limitations for the government. NOT for the CITIZENS.

    This is why we can't debate. You don't know what you're talking about, so you think we are all Rambo want to be's. Obviously, you believe that all rights should have limits, and those limits should come from the government. It's a shame that you don't know anything about the constitution, declaration, rights, bills, laws, government, civics, etc.... You'd probably make a good debater. Unfortunately, you can't debate if you don't know what you're talking about.

  • Comment Link February 06, 2013 8:14 am posted by Disgusted taxpayer

    Neither do you.

  • Comment Link February 11, 2013 9:30 am posted by Another Disgusted Taxpayer

    Typical liberal response, demonize and call names. Forget the facts, they only get in the way. Point out the mistakes of past politicians when applicable, yet ignore the current mistakes of your own liberals. Then repeat the process.

    Nothing like the all knowing, all accepting liberal who hate anyone who doesn't agree with them.

  • Comment Link February 13, 2013 8:27 am posted by Just a number

    If you want to live in a "gun free" society, move to another country.

  • Comment Link February 19, 2013 10:12 pm posted by Ryan Gossens

    If the Wyoming government doesn't protect our constitution then they'll be voted out..... call them all and tell them the Fed gov isn't going to stop at 10 round magazines. They are communist, lying manipulators and they want to take all the guns. Pass the law and protect our history and heritage. Sincerely the G-Man
    Lovell Wy.

  • Comment Link February 25, 2013 3:12 pm posted by carlos

    Words: for liberals, dictators, and fascists are not used to convey meaning, but rather emotions. Adding words like: weapons to kill with brutal force, weapons of war and weapons of destruction are a redundancy. All guns are instruments of doom, death, and destruction. We should not apologize about this fact. They are necessary to keep citizens free from tyranny, and to fight enemies both foreign and domestic. Also to fight evil as it can not be talked or debated or regulated.

    Now lets talk about the real issues: mental health, family cohesion/values, federal government over spending/over regulating, and taxing job creators. Its the ECOMONY!!

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