Interesting Provision in Wyoming’s Concealed Carry Statute

Wyoming Statutes Section 6-8-104 starts off on a serious note intended to get your attention–fast:

A person who wears or carries a concealed deadly weapon is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not more than seven hundred fifty dollars ($ 750.00), imprisonment in the county jail for not more than six (6) months, or both for a first offense, or a felony punishable by a fine of not more than two thousand dollars ($ 2,000.00), imprisonment for not more than two (2) years, or both, for a second or subsequent offense, unless: (emphasis added)

Fine. Imprisonment. Fine again. More imprisonment. All for carrying “a concealed deadly weapon.”

But ahhhh. There’s the word “unless,” and suddenly the clouds disperse and all is right with the world, so long as youIMG_2318

  • Are a peace officer, or
  • Possess a valid Wyoming concealed carry permit, or
  • Have a valid permit from a state that recognizes Wyoming’s permit, or
  • Don’t have a permit, but you “otherwise meet [certain] requirements” under 6-8-104.

That last one may come as a surprise to some. “You mean I don’t need a concealed carry permit to carry a concealed weapon in Wyoming?” they say.

Nope. That’s the magic of the bolded words “otherwise meet [certain] requirements.” Because of those words, and if you

  • Are a citizen of the U.S. and have been a resident of Wyoming for at least six months, and
  • Are at least 21, and
  • Can safely handle a firearm in spite of a “physical infirmity,” and
  • Aren’t prevented by Federal or Wyoming law from possessing a firearm, and
  • Haven’t been convicted of violating controlled substance laws or committed for abusing same, and
  • Don’t chronically or habitually abuse alcohol, and
  • Haven’t been adjudicated incompetent, and finally
  • Haven’t been committed to a mental institution,

you, my friend, can carry a concealed deadly weapon in Wyoming without a permit and consequently without fear of fine or imprisonment. That, and you save the $50.00 application fee.

But . . . But maybe you should consider going through the permit application process and paying the $50.00 fee anyway–plus the cost of a set of fingerprints. If you get stopped by the police for carrying, what would you rather do: Show them your permit and ID and be on your merry way or spend some uncomfortable time with them trying to prove that you meet the requirements I’ve outlined above? Fifty dollars seems a small price to pay to avoid that situation. Besides, try carrying out of state without a permit. Not a good idea. [Added this paragraph later same day.]

A note or two for those of you who do have a concealed carry permit: 1. If a police officer asks to see your permit, you “shall display both the permit and proper identification.” You should already know that, but an occasional reminder can’t hurt. 2. If you move or if you lose your permit or it’s destroyed, you must notify the division of criminal investigation of the Wyoming Attorney General’s office within 30 days or risk having your permit revoked.

There’s more in Wyoming’s concealed carry statute, but this should do for now.

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