"The benefits are, with a concealed weapons permit issued by the state, that has reciprocity in other states. So, if you're traveling on vacation or something, states that recognize Wyoming's permit will allow you to carry there as well."
-Ofc. Joe Nickerson, Casper Police PIO
When it comes to firearm restrictions in Wyoming, there aren't a lot. In fact, it's a relatively quick and simple process for almost anybody to buy one.
A new permit in Wyoming can cost a total of $74 and take up to 90 days to recieve. Though, having one does have it's advantages.
Ofc. Joe Nickerson, Casper Police PIO says, "open carry is legal in the state of Wyoming. If you want to carry a gun, you sure can. That frightens some people because they're not used to seeing that, but it's not that uncommon in our culture."
Although carrying a gun is legal, there are some restrictions. You have to be qualified first.
Ofc. Nickerson says, "obviously, you can't be a felon or have any criminal convictions, including drug crimes or family violence, things like that that would prohibit you from possessing a weapon. So, you know, it never hurts to go ahead and go through that process, shell out a few dollars and just be safe."
In a state that doesn't require a permit to carry a gun, you might wonder why anyone would get one in the first place.
Bonnie Walker, Triggers gun shop says, "because Wyoming has a law that does not work with the reciprocal states, you need to actually have the permit for it to work with those other states."
Ofc. Nickerson says "but the benefits are, with a concealed weapons permit issued by the state, that has reciprocity in other states. So, if you're traveling on vacation or something, states that recognize Wyoming's permit will allow you to carry there as well."
Wyoming's stance on licensing allows more people to own a gun, which peace officers believe affects the state's crime rate.
"And to be safe we always kind of presume everyone's got a weapon and we're always, not paranoid, but always cautious."
Walker says, "we have a lot of policemen that come in here and that we're friends with that they love it because they feel safer."
And if you do find yourself in a serious situation with a gun on you, it's best to comply when the cops arrive.
Ofc. Nickerson says, "just be very cognative of the fact that you need to clearly identify yourself, and most importantly, follow instructions. Officers are going to obviously ask you to put the gun down."
Officials encourage firearm owners to register for a local gun safety course to help keep everybody safe.
Apply for a gun permit here-- http://wyomingdci.wyo.gov/dci-criminal-justice-information-systems-section/concealed-firearms-permits
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