Cheyenne, WY — Gun owners in Wyoming might have some sharp back pain this morning after the lowdown backstabbing they got at the hand of their RINO Republican legislators yesterday.
Let’s set the stage. We’ve written before about how Wyoming has a Swamp problem — every state does. But there are few honorable Republicans who stand apart from the swamp stink, and we’ve mentioned some of them on this site — Senator Anthony Bouchard, Tim French, and a handful more.
Senator Bouchard filed a rock-solid gun bill called the Second Amendment Preservation Act, or SAPA for short. This bill would forbid any government entity in the state of Wyoming from enforcing Federal gun laws.
If Joe Biden and Co. decided to ban AR-15s by executive action, they’d have to send Federal troops door-to-door in far-flung parts of Wyoming to enforce it. Needless to say, there aren’t enough ATF agents to enforce Old Joe’s bidding in Wyoming, much less the entire nation.
This bill would essentially nullify Federal gun control in Wyoming by leaving the Federal Government without the manpower to enforce it.
A nearly identical bill was passed in Missouri last year and it’s got Joe Biden and the rest of the swamp pretty upset — but more on that another time.
Bouchard’s SAPA also stated that if a government entity did try to assist the Federal government in enforcing gun control, a gun owner could civilly sue them for up to $50,000 for this violation of their rights.
In the world of politics, that’s what you’d call TEETH. In short, this bill was a dream come true for gun owners. And Wyoming has more gun owners per capita than any other state and a Republican super-majority in every chamber of the legislature.
It should be a slam dunk, right?
RINOs Don’t Like To Play Hardball
Senator Bouchard’s bill, S.F. 87 needed a “committee referral vote” from two thirds of the Senate in order to make it onto the docket to be heard this legislative session.
Terrified they’d have to actually deliver for gun owners, the RINOS in the Senate started beating the bushes, looking for a watered down bill they could toss gun owners as a bone before the coming midterm elections — without having to pass real SAPA legislation.
This is where the political knives came out.
Republican Senator Larry Hicks filed just such a bill for them: S.F. 102. His bill was titled the “Second Amendment Protection Act” or SAPA for short! How handy — all the RINOS can tell their constituents they voted for SAPA, see?
Along with Senator Hicks, the House’s Mark Jennings was promising to get the House’s version of S.F. 102 moving instead of the real SAPA, too.
Look at all of them working together! How cute.
What’s Wrong With S.F. 102
What would this new “SAPA-Imposter” bill do that was so awful?
Aaron Dorr, Policy Advisor of the state’s largest and most powerful gun rights organization, Wyoming Gun Owners, issued a fact sheet to their tens of thousands of members about the problems with the SAPA-Imposter:
>>>The total lack of citizen enforcement. SF-102 leaves the enforcement of SAPA up to other governmental entities here in Wyoming, which means SAPA will never be enforced.(https://www.wyominggunowners.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/Bill-Analysis-of-SF-102.pdf)
>>>The removal of meaningful civil penalties. The $50,000 civil fine in SF-87/HB-133 provides real teeth to SAPA legislation. With that not present in this bill, anti-gun departments can walk all over this.
>>> The clear expectation that Wyoming cops will be able to be used by the federal government through task force work. Section 9-14-203 makes it clear that as long as Wyoming cops are assisting the federal government through a joint task force, they can violate our gun rights and enforce federal gun control laws or Executive Orders at their whim.
>>> The obvious get out of jail free card built into the penalties section on page three. Wyoming’s 6-8-405b ONLY applies to situations where a firearm, ammunition or accessory
is manufactured in Wyoming and stays in Wyoming. This extremely limited scope of law won’t cover anyone who buys a firearm that was manufactured outside of Wyoming.
To add insult to injury, the RINOS in Cheyenne got the Gun Owners of America to throw their weight behind this bill — a shameful disgrace by that organization.
Historically, Gun Owners of America has been known as a very principled group — even if they weren’t known for accomplishing very much. But this move showed gun owners in Wyoming that the GOA would rather make friends with the RINOs currently in power than fight for true SAPA.
Even the well-respected 10th Amendment Center reamed the SAPA-Imposter, saying in their article about the two bills that S.F. 102 would “preserve nothing.” They went on to say:
A second measure introduced in the Senate purporting to protect the Second Amendment has a giant loophole and would have virtually no impact on federal gun control, other than to keep full enforcement in place in most situations.
On Thursday, the RINOs in the Senate passed SAPA-Imposter S.F. 102 through the Committee Referral Vote by the two-thirds majority it required.
The next day, on Friday, Bouchard’s true SAPA, S.F. 87 failed to secure the two-thirds committee referral vote — after all, they’d already passed a SAPA bill through to committee, so why hear two of them?
In reality, the RINOs were rushing to get behind the SAPA-Imposter that would provide them political cover without actually protecting gun owners.
And here’s where the dirty deeds get done.
On Monday morning, with Bouchard’s true SAPA, S.F. 87 already laying murdered for this year by cowardly RINOs, the Senate Judiciary Committee was going to hear comments on the SAPA-Imposter, S.F. 102.
See how quickly RINOs can move a bill when they want to?
Monday’s Senate Judiciary Committee meeting was open to the public. But with no schedule of when the meeting would end, Chairwoman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senator Tara Nethercott, began allowing folks to testify about the imposter bill.
In the style of a cheap soap-opera actress, she dramatically cut off anybody who tried to compare this utterly worthless bill to the real deal SAPA.
Not one gun owner in Wyoming was surprised, of course. They all know how Nethercott has opposed gun owners and good gun bills for years!
Nethercott allowed the local anti-gun crowd time to testify. She allowed individual citizens to voice their opinions.
Meanwhile, in the room was standing Senator Anthony Bouchard, who intended to testify for at least amending this otherwise-worthless bill into something that actually benefits gun owners instead of only benefiting politicians.
Bouchard obviously represented the thousands of Wyoming residents in his district who had sent him to speak in Cheyenne on their behalf.
Also in the room was Wyoming Gun Owners’s Aaron Dorr, representing the organization’s tens of thousands of grassroots gun owners spanning the entire state.
But Nethercott announced that there was only five minutes left to hear from the public — just as she called up the Gun Owner’s of America’s lobbyist, Mark Jones.
Jones rattled on and on in an attempt to run out the recently-announced ‘clock.’ When he was wrapping up, he mentioned that he had a single gun owner on hold on a Zoom call who would like to speak about the GOA’s favored bill!
And so, Nethercott set an arbitrary time limit that silenced the voices of tens of thousands of gun owners.
The message was loud and clear: if you lived in Wyoming and wanted your voice heard, Tara Nethercott and the RINOs in Cheyenne didn’t want to hear from you, yesterday.
Primaries Are Coming, Baby!
But despite the stab in the back that gun owners in got from Tara Nethercott and the other weathered RINOs in Cheyenne, yesterday, there’s a fresh wind blowing through town.
The primaries are coming. According to Aaron Dorr, this is historically when the members and supporters of Wyoming Gun Owners make themselves heard loud and clear — and there’s no running out the clock or bait-and-switch games to cover RINO rear ends.
When reached for comment, Dorr chuckled before saying,
Frankly, it would have been better for the RINOS in Cheyenne to have simply killed SAPA outright. To try to use our gun rights as a cheap political stunt to advance their own political careers is going to end up costing them more in the long run. WYGO members won’t be played for fools. They will express their extreme displeasure in the August primaries — and we couldn’t be happier to help them do it! We’ll enjoy every second of it, in fact.”
The best is yet to come for gun owners in the Cowboy State — and we are here for it!