Past and future of gun control discussed at Gillette forum - KOTA Territory News

Past and future of gun control discussed at Gillette forum


Gun control is back in the forefront of the public conscience after tragic mass shootings in the Washington Navy Yard and a Chicago park this week.

Multiple speakers were invited to a gun control forum in the Campbell County Public Library Saturday, including Jeff Hymas from the conservative group, the John Birch Society.

He discussed how his group interprets the Second Amendment.

"I think we're trying to prove and trying to support an idea that's based on principle.  It's not a crazy idea.  It's a God-given idea that I have the right to defend myself," said Hymas.

Some gun owners in the audience explained that they're worried about future gun control legislation taking away their firearms.

Hymas says he believes that is already happening, because it is illegal to bring guns into certain areas.

"A school is a gun-free zone.  You go into a government building, it's a gun-free zone," said Hymas.

Campbell County Sheriff Bill Pownall also addressed the audience and answered questions.

He says no one needs to worry about having their guns taken away.

"There's that fear out there that the government's going to come in and take their guns and that's not going to happen.  It's just not going to happen and the federal government's not going to come into this state and take guns.  And they don't have the power to come in here and take the guns," said Pownall.

Pownall says he could see an assault weapons ban down the road, but that doesn't mean anyone's firearms would get taken away.

"That's just the sale of them.  That doesn't mean that they're going to come in here and take your assault gun.  From near as I can tell, from what the laws that I'm looking at out there, what they're trying to do anyways in the federal level is that they're just trying to ban the gun, the marketing, the selling of those guns," said Pownall.

Wyoming is one of only a few states where it is legal to carry a concealed weapon without a permit.

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