A Former Prosecutor Defending Clients in Wyoming and South Dakota
There are complex state and federal regulations that govern buying and owning a firearm. Keeping track of these laws is important for people who exercise their Second Amendment rights to possess a gun.
If you wish to purchase a firearm in Wyoming, different laws apply if you are buying a long gun or a handgun, whether you are purchasing from a private seller or a Federal Firearms Dealer (FFD), and if you have a Concealed Handgun Permit (CHP).
Wyoming is generally considered to be a gun-friendly state. Open carry is legal, without a permit, for people who are 18 and older. Concealed carry is legal without a permit. There is no waiting period to purchase a firearm, and firearms do not need to be registered in the state. Wyoming does not impose limitations on handgun magazine limits, or restrict handgun ammunition.
If you wish to purchase a firearm, different laws apply if you are buying a firearm from a private seller versus Federal Firearms Dealer (FFD).
If you purchase a firearm from a Federal Firearms Dealer, federal law requires that the dealer initiate a background check on someone who intends to purchase a firearm.
States have the option of serving as a state point of contact and conducting their own background checks using state and federal records and databases, or having the FBI perform the background check using the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). Wyoming is not a point of contact state for NICS, and there is no state law that requires firearms dealers to initiate a background check prior to transferring ownership of a firearm. All firearms transferred by licensed dealers are processed directly through the FBI.
When purchasing a firearm from a Federal Firearms Dealer, a background check is necessary. However, no permit is required to purchase a firearm.
Holders of a Concealed Handgun Permit (CHP) are exempt from the federal background check requirement.
If you purchase a firearm from a private seller in Wyoming, there is no background check requirement.
In Wyoming, to legally purchase a handgun you must:
There is no purchase permit required. If you purchase a handgun from a private seller, there is no need for a background check.
The requirements for purchasing a long gun are similar to those for purchasing a handgun. You must:
If you purchase a long gun from a private seller, no background check is required.
You are only required to submit to a background check if you are purchasing a firearm from an FFD. A federal background check should only take about 30 seconds to complete. Once you complete the 4473 Form (also called a Firearms Transaction Record), the dealer will run your information through NICS.
If there is nothing in your background that prohibits you from owning a firearm, you can proceed with your purchase. If there is something in your background that requires further investigation, the FBI has three days to investigate and decide whether you are eligible to purchase a firearm. If you are not denied within three days, you can proceed with the purchase.
There are factors in a background check that would trigger an investigation before you could purchase a gun. You cannot own a firearm if you:
The vast majority of people who want to purchase a gun from a Federal Firearms Dealer are successful. Nationally, only 2% of people are rejected from purchasing a firearm. Most of these denials are for felony conviction, being a fugitive from justice, drug use, and convictions for domestic violence.
There are no special laws that apply to the purchase of antique or replica firearms in Wyoming. These weapons are treated just like any other firearm.
If you wish to purchase a firearm but have been convicted of a felony, you may still be able to purchase a firearm after an expungement and a restoration of rights. If you have questions about expungement or need assistance with a restoration of rights, attorney Christina L. Williams and her team at Just Criminal Law can help. Seeking expungement and a restoration of rights is a complicated process that should not be attempted without the assistance of an experienced and qualified restoration of rights attorney.
Our team of criminal defense professionals can help determine whether you are eligible for expungement and restoration of rights, and can prepare the necessary paperwork and represent you in any judicial proceedings as you seek to have your gun rights restored.
DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this article is offered for educational purposes only. This information is not offered as legal advice. A person accused of a crime should always consult with an attorney before making decisions that have legal consequences.