Biteman Releases Statement on Governor’s Veto

State Representative for House District 51 Bo Biteman (Photo Ron Richter ©)

As Sheridan Media previously reported, Governor Matt Mead vetoed House Bill 137, the Wyoming Repeal Gun Free Zones Act. The bill would have allowed the concealed carry of firearms in government meetings.

In his veto message, Mead said the bill was “murky” and subject to interpretation, and that it removes local authorities’ ability to regulate firearm possession in government meetings. The sponsor of the bill, Representative Bo Biteman of Ranchester released a statement Friday in response to the Governor’s veto.

Biteman said “the Governor’s local control argument is troubling and this is where I respectfully disagree with him. I do not, nor did the majority of either chamber, want to allow local governments the ability to infringe upon a Wyoming citizen’s right to self defense”.

Biteman went on to say that “a fundamental right is a fundamental right, regardless of where you live in Wyoming. The bill reaffirmed and enforced Wyoming citizens’ fundamental right to keep and bear arms and our natural right to self defense. As an elected representative of the people of the 51st District, I was disappointed to see this reasonable legislation fall to a veto.”

Biteman also addressed in his statement the Wyoming Association of Municipalities opposition to the bill, saying that “their opposition should come as no surprise given the pro gun control stance taken by WAM’s national parent organization, the National League of Cities.

He said the NLC “supports strict gun control measures such as 30-day waiting periods on all firearm purchases, bans on assault “style” weapons, bans on certain types of ammunition and magazines that can hold more than 10 rounds, and outlawing the ownership or possession of certain firearms by people under 21 years of age”. Biteman added that “when it comes to guns, WAM does not share the same constitutional conservative values as most Wyoming folks do.”

Biteman’s complete statement has been attached below.

statement_on_hb_137_veto.pdf501.66 KB