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The Word "Except" does not appear in the 2nd Amendment

Updated: Apr 3

Reading an op-ed in the Cowboy State Daily today, ("Why Did the Senate Pass a Gun Bill It Knew Was Defective?"), Mr. Tom Lubnau goes into a discursion on why it was appropriate for the Governor to veto HB0125 that removed a vast number of restrictions on the right to keep and bear arms in Wyoming. He claims it was a bad bill. Well, he may have a point, but not for the reasons he describes. Why did the Senate ever think it had the authority to enact gun-free zones in the first place?


This is a bill that seeks to reinforce a fundamental liberty, but it is actually superfluous. We already have the freedom. The law, and the law it sought to constrain, were both specious. The legislature simply never had the authority to enact gun-free zones to begin with. Passing HB125 undoes a massive government infringement that endangers, rather than protects, our most vulnerable people. The legislature would do very well, indeed, to undo the egregious infringement that are gun-free zone by overriding the Governor's veto.


Here's why: Notwithstanding any act of the Wyoming legislature, the supreme law of the land is the U.S. Constitution. Our own state Constitution recognizes and reinforces this. Here is Article VI, paragraph 2 of the U.S. Constitution [emphasis mine]: "This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding." Our Wyoming Constitution reinforces the supremacy of the US Constitution, as well in


"Article I, Sec 37. Constitution of United States supreme law of land. The State of Wyoming is an inseparable part of the federal union, and the constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the land."


So, there it is. The Constitution is law, not just notional framework for governance. It is supreme, regardless of the laws of any state to the contrary. It is binding on the State. Seems clear enough.


What does the 2nd Amendment to the constitution say? A quick review: "Amendment II

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." Therefore, the Supreme law of the land is that the government may not infringe on the right of the people to keep and bear arms. Can't tell us what to do, where to bear, where not to bear, etc... Ergo, a gun-free zone is illegal, an unlawful, extra-constitutional arrogation of power, explicitly denied to the government. What does our own Wyoming Constitution say on the matter? It reinforces the US Constitution rather neatly in Article I, Sec 24: "Sec. 24. Right to bear arms. The right of citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and of the state shall not be denied." [again, emphasis mine] Again, any law enacted by our legislature to constrain the right to keep and bear arms, to deny us the right to bear arms in defense of ourselves and the state, fails on the rocks of the supreme law of the US and State constitutions. The government simply lacks the authority to enact a law that constrains a right. It fails ab initio. So, are there exceptions? Well, the framers of our constitution were familiar with the word, as it appears 13 times in the U.S. Constitution. However, the word "except" does not appear in the 2nd Amendment, nor in Article I, Section 24 of the Wyoming constitution. So, no, there are no exceptions. It is an absolute right to keep and bear arms. If it were otherwise, the framers would have used "except", and described the exception. So, HB125 is perhaps a bad bill because it seeks to undo something the legislature never had the authority to enact in the first place. It should not have been vetoed, as it reinforces a freedom guaranteed to us in our state and national constitutions. It is a right, not a permission nor a privilege. The responsible exercise of rights is the purview of the citizen, not the government.


Is it not ironic that the very place where we go to assert our civil liberties requires us to surrender our arms at the courthouse or statehouse doors? Where does the government think they get the power to enact any legislation? Yes, from the people, who reserved to themselves the right to defend their lives, liberty and properties, both from malicious intent among the people, and tyrannical overreach of the government. Contrary to modern political theory, the power of the government is limited. The charters of our governments are very explicit about that. In our constitutions, We the People of the United States, and the State of Wyoming, endowed our governments with their just powers, as well as imposed significant constraints on the government. These fundamental rights, protections and constraints are supreme, "...any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding."

If you love your freedom, contact your legislator to urge them to vote in favor of a special session to address the Governor’s veto of HB0125.

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Unknown member
Apr 03

Let me help clarify the "logic" of the Governor and anti-liberty establishment dinosaurs like Tom Lubnau.


Let's say this was about racial discrimination instead of self-defense. The Legislature overwhelmingly passes a bill removing all of the locations in the state that Non-White people are allowed to go. Yet the King, er, the Governor, rules that only White people are allowed in government buildings, college campuses, schools, etc. The racists, er, anti-liberty establishment dinosaurs, then pile on and say, "Yes! Every town, school and institution must have the choice whether they want to discriminate based on race! It's only fair!" They don't trust you non-white folks to behave, nor do they think those non-white folks have any value to society other…


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Unknown member
Mar 31

This article is beautifully written and goes to the heart of much that ails us. There is a warehouse full of unconstitutional laws and mandates. I am reminded of the importance of a jury nullification while we wait for legislators to get a clue. I had an interesting morning in court many years ago. I was a potential juror in a case brought against a man for illegal carry of a firearm.

As an introduction to the processes of jury selection and courtroom proceedings, our presiding judge treated us to a most eloquent reminder of the importance of serving as jurors.   He reminded us that until the Declaration of Independence and the passage of the US Constitution, power flowed from…

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Unknown member
Mar 29

Yup. Shine the light on 'em.

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Unknown member
Mar 29

As always, you are precisely on target.


Here's my theory: The RINO/Redcoat/Pretzel/Uniparty/Democrat arm of the Republican Party never wanted HB0125 to pass into law. They knew (or even arranged) that Gordon would veto the bill. This allowed them to pass the bill with overwhelming support. Why? It's an election year and they want to show the low-information voters how much they support gun rights! This also explains why they 1) Don't want to have a special session, and 2) Arrange for their sycophants to write factually incorrect opinion pieces in the CSD and similar outlets. If there is a special session, they will either have to vote to override the veto or show their true colors.

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Unknown member
Mar 29

Excellent points!

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