Editor's Note: This article was originally posted with the headline “Wyoming Bill Would Limit Gun Rights.” The headline has been changed to reflect the nature of the article. Gun Digest apologizes for any confusion this may have caused.
Wyoming lawmakers will consider a bill that could have some major implications for state gun owners and their gun rights. According to the Casper Star-Tribune, “A bill drafted for the upcoming legislative session would require judges to inform defendants that a misdemeanor domestic violence conviction would cost them their gun rights. The bill would also classify misdemeanor domestic violence as a serious offense requiring defendants to have lawyers.”
The bill's main sponsor is State Senator Cale Case (R-Lander), who told the Star-Tribune, “To be honest, I think there might be some push-back from the courts to this idea that you can have a lawyer assigned for misdemeanor case, because they don't normally do that.”
Case has heard from constituents, more than once, who were unaware that their right to own firearms was forfeited with a guilty plea in a misdemeanor domestic violence case, thanks to a 1996 federal law.
“They don't know that [a conviction means the loss of their gun rights] when they commit the crime, I'll tell you that,” Case said. “But usually they learn about it as they go through the process. It seems like a minor thing to ask, that they be informed.”