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Federal law establishes a baseline national standard regarding individuals’ eligibility to acquire and possess firearms. Under federal law, people are generally prohibited from purchasing or possessing firearms if they have been convicted of a felony or some domestic violence misdemeanors, or if they are subject to certain court orders related to domestic violence or a serious mental condition. However, federal law merely provides a floor, and has notable gaps that allow individuals who have demonstrated significant risk factors for violence or self-harm to legally acquire and possess guns.

Wyoming prohibits the use or knowing possession of a firearm by any person who has previously pled guilty to or been convicted of committing or attempting to commit a violent felony or any felony causing bodily injury to a peace officer.1

In 2010, Wyoming enacted a Firearms Freedom Act, purporting to exempt from federal regulation any firearm manufactured commercially or privately in Wyoming and that remains exclusively within the borders of Wyoming.2

That law also prohibits possession of such a firearm by a person who:

  • Has been convicted of any felony in any state, territory or other jurisdiction of the United States;
  • Is currently adjudicated to be legally incompetent; or
  • Has been committed to a mental institution.3

The law also states that, to purchase such a firearm, a person must not fall within any of these categories and must comply with certain age restrictions.4

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  1. Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 6-8-102.[]
  2. 2010 Wy. ALS 108. Note, however, that the federal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has refused to uphold a similar law enacted by the State of Montana. Mont. Shooting Sports Ass’n v. Holder, 727 F.3d 975, 982-83 (9th Cir. 2013), petition for cert. denied by Mont. Shooting Sports Ass’n v. Holder, 187 L. Ed. 2d 786, (2014)  and by Mont. v. Holder, 2014 U.S. LEXIS 1525 (2014).[]
  3. Wyo. Stat. § 6-8-404.[]
  4. Wyo. Stat. § 6-8-404.[]