Gun Laws in Wyoming
As part of American history, some states have the unique distinction to be deemed a “frontier state.” This meant that they were part of the massive western expansion in the 1800’s. Although some of these states like Colorado, Utah and Arizona ended up with a burgeoning population, others like Montana and Wyoming still to this day have less people spread out over more area.
The result is that Wyoming gun laws are more geared towards the hunter and outdoorsman as opposed to the urban dweller. This doesn’t mean it’s still the “wild west” but that Wyoming citizens are carrying on the proud heritage of gun ownership.
Wyoming is located in the West of the United States and includes the foothills of the Eastern Rocky Mountains and the High Plains. Wyoming is the least populous state and is bordered on the north by Montana, on the east by South Dakota and Nebraska, on the south by Colorado, on the southwest by Utah, and on the west by Idaho.
Wyoming Gun Laws for Sale and Possession
Residents of Wyoming are not required to obtain a permit or license to own or purchase any type of handgun, rifle or shotgun. Additionally no permit is needed for anyone to carry a handgun. However, for a concealed carry you will need to obtain a license. There is no waiting period of the purchase of a gun in Wyoming. Anyone purchasing a firearm must submit to the FBI’s National Instant Check System. This will quickly determine if a person has any outstanding warrants or is a convicted felon which would prevent them from owning or buying a firearm.
Unlike other states, if you are an adult with children in your house, you are not required to keep your firearms locked in a storage cabinet or with a trigger lock. If for any reason a minor uses a gun in the commission of a crime, the adult gun owner will be criminally libel for those actions.
The gun shop owner or dealer needs to maintain records of every firearm purchase. These records include the contact information, type of firearm sold and the date of purchase. All of these records should be made available to any officer of the law for review.
Wyoming Concealed Carry Permit Restrictions
Any lawful gun owner who is a resident of Wyoming can apply for a concealed carry permit from the office of the state Attorney General. A background check will be run on anyone who applies for a concealed carry permit. Once that permit has been issued, the gun owner needs to carry it with them when they are also carrying the weapon. If the permit is lost or there is a change in contact information, the permit holder must notify the Attorney General’s office within 30 days or risk losing the permit.
Even with the permit, there are certain places in Wyoming that are off limits for a concealed weapon. Included in these places are any schools or college campuses or other public institutions prohibited by federal law such as court houses and detention centers.
As of 7/1/11 Wyoming has enacted a constitutional carry law, although it only applies to Wyoming residents. Wyoming permits Wyoming residents who are at least 21 years old and legally allowed to possess a firearm to carry a handgun without a permit, openly or concealed.
Carrying Firearms in Vehicles
Wyoming permits anyone who may legally possess a firearm to carry a loaded handgun in a motor vehicle without a permit. Wyoming residents can carry handguns openly or concealed, but nonresidents without a permit may only carry handguns if they are visible from outside the car and not concealed on their body. It is illegal to hunt, shoot, or attempt to kill any wildlife from any public highway.
Carry in Restaurants That Serve Alcohol
Yes. You can carry a concealed firearm in a restaurant that serves alcohol. Places like Fridays or Chili’s unless they have a “No Gun Sign,” then You are prohibited from carrying into the establishment. This does not include a bar or the bar area of a restaurant – You are prohibited from carrying a concealed weapon in these areas. You are not allowed to carry while You consume alcohol or are under the influence of alcohol. You are permitted to open carry at any establishment that serves alcohol.
Wyoming has both Castle Doctrine, and SYG laws. There is no duty to retreat when attacked in any place You have a legal right to be, and You may use deadly force in self-defense if You reasonably believe it is imminently necessary to prevent death or SBI, the commission of a forcible felony, or to stop the unlawful & forcible entry into Your dwelling, residence, or occupied motor vehicle.
Open carry is legal in Wyoming. No permit is required for residents. Non-residents must possess a permit or license issued by a state that Wyoming honors and that is a “valid statewide permit” to carry in Wyoming. Places as listed in the “Criminal Provisions” above apply to those who open carry. Any person 21 years of age or older, who is not a prohibited possessor, may carry a weapon openly or concealed without the need for a license.
The requirements for obtaining a license to carry is that the applicant:
(i) Is a resident of the United States and has been a resident of Wyoming for not less than six (6) months prior to filing the application. The Wyoming residency requirements of this paragraph do not apply to any person who holds a valid permit authorizing him to carry a concealed firearm authorized and issued by a governmental agency or entity in another state that recognizes Wyoming permits and is a valid statewide permit;
(ii) Is at least twenty-one (21) years of age;
(iii) Does not suffer from a physical infirmity, which prevents the safe handling of a firearm;
(iv) Is not ineligible to possess a firearm pursuant to 18U.S.C. section 922(g) or W.S. 6-8-102;
(v) Has not been: (A) Committed to a state or federal facility for the abuse of a controlled substance, within the one (1) year period prior to the date on which application for a permit under this section is submitted; (B) Convicted of a felony violation of the Wyoming Controlled Substances Act of 1971, W.S. 35-7-1001 through 35-7-1057 or similar laws of any other state or the United States relating to controlled substances and has not been pardoned; or (C) Convicted of a misdemeanor violation of the Wyoming Controlled Substances Act of 1971, W.S. 35-7-1001 through 35-7-1057 or similar laws of any other state or the United States relating to controlled substances within the one (1) year period prior to the date on which application for a permit under this section is submitted.
By statute, Wyoming will recognize another state’s license to carry if that state recognizes Wyoming’s license:
“A person who wears or carries a concealed deadly weapon is guilty of a misdemeanor … unless: … (iii)The person holds a valid permit authorizing him to carry a concealed firearm authorized and issued by a governmental agency or entity in another state that recognizes Wyoming permits and is a valid statewide permit.” [http://gunla.ws/wy3]
Since there is no national carry license, as with the other states, some states are reciprocal with Wyoming and some are not. Anyone contemplating reciprocal carry should check with the official list maintained by the Wyoming State Police at the point in time the reciprocal carry is to occur.
Wyoming Miscellaneous Gun Laws
It is against the law in Wyoming to take an automatic weapon or any firearm with a silencer into an open field or game preserve. The laws of the state apply to all counties and cities. No city or county is permitted to make any laws which would prevent any lawful resident from owning or purchasing a firearm.