Preemption Statute

Wyoming Statutes section 6-8-401(c) provides:

The sale, transfer, purchase, delivery, taxation, manufacture, ownership, transportation, storage, use and possession of firearms, weapons and ammunition shall be authorized, regulated and prohibited by the state, and regulation thereof is preempted by the state. … [N]o city, town, county, political subdivision or any other entity shall authorize, regulate or prohibit the sale, transfer, purchase, delivery, taxation, manufacture, ownership, transportation, storage, use, carrying or possession of firearms, weapons, accessories, components or ammunition except as specifically provided by this chapter.

Wyoming Statutes section 19-13-104(e)(i) states that nothing in the Wyoming Homeland Security Act, sections 19-13-101 et seq., confers upon the political subdivisions of the state, or any employee or agent of the state or any governmental unit within the state, the power to confiscate a firearm from a person unless:

  • The person is unlawfully possessing or unlawfully carrying the firearm in violation of Wyoming law; or
  • The firearm is confiscated by a peace officer acting in the lawful discharge of his or her duties and under the reasonable belief that the confiscation is necessary for the protection of the peace officer, the person carrying the firearm or a third party.

In addition, section 19-13-104(e)(ii) provides that nothing in the Wyoming Homeland Security Act confers upon the political subdivisions of the state, or any employee or agent of the state or any governmental unit within the state, the power to impose additional restrictions as to the lawful possession, transfer, sale, carrying, storage, display or use of firearms, ammunition, or components of firearms or ammunition.

Exceptions

Wyoming provides for exceptions to its preemption statute:

  • Local governments can regulate “riots, disturbances, disorderly assemblies or parades, or any other conduct which disturbs or jeopardizes the public health, safety, peace or morality, in any public or private place.”1
  • Local governments can enforce zoning ordinances that encompass firearms businesses along with other businesses, as long as they are not designed to restrict the purchase or sale of firearms and ammunition.2
  • School Districts can adopt rules and regulations regarding concealed carry by employees with concealed carry permits.3

Interpretation

As of the date that this page was last updated, Giffords Law Center is not aware of any case law interpreting Wyoming Statute § 6-8-401(c).

Other Statutory Provisions

The governing bodies of all cities and towns may regulate, license, tax, or prohibit shooting galleries.4

Rules or regulations adopted by any state department or agency for limiting levels of noise in terms of decibel level that may occur in the outdoor atmosphere shall not apply to a sport shooting range exempted from liability under sections 16-11-101 through 16-11-103.5 While those provisions limit the civil liability and criminal prosecution of any person using or operating the range they do “not prohibit a local government from regulating the location and construction of a sport shooting range after [February 16, 1995].6

Immunity

See our page on Immunity Statutes in Wyoming for information regarding lawsuits against shooting ranges and the gun industry.

Notes
  1. Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 15-1-103(a)(xviii). ⤴︎
  2. Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 6-8-401(c). ⤴︎
  3. Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 21-3-132. ⤴︎
  4. Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 15-1-103(a)(xv). ⤴︎
  5. Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 16-11-102(c). ⤴︎
  6. Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 16-11-103. ⤴︎