For Wyoming residents carrying a concealed weapon in the state does not require a permit, but for residents visiting other states, they have to apply for Wyoming concealed carry permits. The permits allow the holders to conceal carry their firearms legally in 36 states, Albany County Sheriff Dave O’Malley said.
“The reality in Wyoming is you no longer have to have a concealed-carry permit in order to carry concealed,” he said. “A lot of people that travel, and things like that, like to be able to do that, because (in) most of those other states, it’s illegal to carry concealed without permits, so we still have a good number of people that come in and request them.”
After carrying a concealed weapon without a permit became legal in Wyoming, the Sheriff’s Office thought the number of people applying for the permits would decrease O’Malley said.
“We’ve got a lot of them out there, over 2,000 in Albany County that are people that have obtained the concealed carry permits,” he said. “I initially thought maybe the numbers of applications for concealed carry would go down when the law changed.”
The process of obtaining a permit requires applicants to prove they have a background with firearms safety and knowledge, O’Malley said.
“It could be something as simple as a hunter’s safety card that is issued to the Game and Fish, it could be a (discharge from the military), it could be a NRA certificate for a class or any of the number of classes that do the training,” he said
Firearms groups such as Equip 2 Conceal come to Laramie to host concealed-carry courses to provide people with information about the weapons and help qualify potential applicants.
According to information provided by Equip 2 Conceal, the course covers topics such as current laws, maintenance and cleaning, safe ways to conceal a firearm and more during the three-hour course. This information provides people with the background in safety and information needed to qualify for the application.
After the course is completed, applications in Albany County go through the Sheriff’s Office, Laramie Police Department and the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation. The organizations also check to see if applicants have any felonies and if they have lived in Wyoming for six months, O’Malley said.
“Not very often, but very occasionally, we will have someone that tries to sneak something through, and that’s why the chief and the sheriff have to always look at the local record,” he said. “There’s a period of time a person has to live in Wyoming before they can get one. Very occasionally someone will get rejection because they haven’t lived here the adequate length of time, and then they will just reapply when they have been here (long enough).”
Equip 2 Conceal Firearms group’s next Laramie concealed carry class is at 10 a.m. Sept. 3 at the Hampton Inn, 3715 Grand Ave. Go to www.equip2conceal.com for more information.