A bill that would allow holders of a concealed-carry permit to carry guns into many areas currently designated as gun-free zones passed its first hurdle on Friday morning when it was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee by a 4-1 vote.

You can read Senate File 67 here.

The bill would allow for the carrying of guns into governmental meetings, schools, publicly-owned hospitals, and other venues by people who own a Wyoming concealed-carry permit. Wyoming allows people without a permit to concealed-carry firearms, but the law would only apply to people with such a permit.

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People who carry a concealed weapon into a city council meeting, for example, and do not have such a permit would be in violation of the law if the bill wins final approval. it would also not apply to privately-owned hospitals such as Wyoming Medical Center in Casper, because private property owners would still have the ability to ban guns on their property.

But it would apply to Cheyenne Regional Medical Center in Cheyenne, which is owned by Laramie County.

A long list of people testified against the bill in committee, including Beth Howard of Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense In America. ''This dangerous bill will force guns into our K-12 schools and onto our university and community college campuses'' Howard said. She went on to say that ''the reality is that the introduction of guns introduces new risks.''

Also testifying against the bill was Cheyenne Regional Medical Center CEO Tim Thornell and Laramie County Community College President Joe Schaffer.

But committee chair Sen Tara Nethercott [R-Laramie County] said before the committee voted ''I do think there might be some misunderstandings or misconceptions associated with what the bill does or doesn't do, and misunderstandings involved with the process of obtaining a concealed carry permit.''

The final committee vote was 4-1 in favor, with Senators Cooper, Nethercott, French, and Kolb voting yes, and Senator R.J. Kost voting "no for now."

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