WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., cosponsored legislation to help protect the rights of gun owners in states like Wyoming from a potential loophole in the Gun-Free School Zones Act.
Enacted in 1990, the Gun-Free School Zones Act makes it a federal crime to possess a firearm within 1,000 feet of a school zone, with a few exceptions, such as for individuals with a license by the state to carry a firearm. However, this exemption does not apply to citizens in states that do not require a license to carry a firearm, often referred to as permitless or Constitutional carry.
That means residents of these states, which include Wyoming and 15 others, could be in compliance with state law but in violation of federal law when they are within 1,000 feet of a school. For example, a traveler driving along Interstate 25 in Cheyenne will come within 1,000 feet of a school. If this driver has a firearm in his or her car, the driver would technically be in violation of the Gun-Free School Zone Act.
The Constitutional Carry States’ Rights Act, led by U.S. Senator Mike Rounds, R-S.D., would protect citizens against such inadvertent violations. The bill would also provide citizens in states that have both Constitutional carry laws and laws allowing firearms in school zones the same legal protections to possess a firearm as those in states that require a permit.
“Many folks in Wyoming exercise their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms every day,” Enzi said. “This legislation would help ensure that gun owners exercising Constitutional carry will no longer be stuck with confusing laws about where they can and can’t have their firearms.”
Original cosponsors of the Constitutional Carry States’ Rights Act include U.S. Senators Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., Mike Braun, R-Ind., Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., Josh Hawley, R-Mo., and Mike Lee, R-Utah.