With all the hoopla surrounding the adaption of constitutional carry in Wyoming, the arguments in favor and against generally follow that of most gun control arguments. On the one side, you have the blood in the streets crowd, who see any loosening of gun laws as in invitation for mass murder and mayhem. On the other side, you have the arguments about civil rights and protection.
One argument in favor of constitutional carry in Wyoming that has not been fully explored is the cost. Why cost? Because most folks don't see that aspect or it gets glossed over and forgotten in the debate.
Generally, the cost of a concealed carry permit in the state of Wyoming is $74. This includes application fees and fingerprint costs. Renewal of said permit is $50. In order to get a permit in Wyoming, if you are not a veteran or member of the armed forces, you also have to take a class. That class can run upwards of $100 or more, depending on who's teaching. So there you have it, the overall cost of a concealed carry permit can easily reach $200, if you factor in the cost of gas to get to the class if there's not an instructor in your area.
What got me thinking about this, is my brother. He's got a decent job, makes good wages, but between bills, and paying off what his ex-wife left for him in the divorce, he's got a whole of week left at the end of his paycheck. He would love to get a permit, but as I noted above, the cost is prohibitive. When you add in the time off from work he'd have to take in order to attend the class, you can see why he doesn't have his toter's slip. After you factor in house payment/rent, car insurance, gas for said vehicle, food, and clothing, that $175 for a concealed carry permit is the gold ring they may never be able to afford. And if you're unemployed, even the cost of renewal could be prohibitive.
So, he has a decision to make. Does he carry illegally and risk the consequences of getting caught toting a piece without the state sanctioned permission slip? Meaning not only could he lose his piece, he could potentially never be able to own a gun again. Or does he accept that because he's broke, he cannot legally carry a firearm to defend himself?
And it's not just my brother. There are lots of folks who find themselves in this conundrum across the state.
I see passing constitutional carry as a benefit. Not only to those who already have a permit, but to those who can't afford to get one. Are they, who can't afford the piece of state-issued paper, any less deserving of being able to carry because of their economic status? Should concealed carry be a 'rich mans' right? For most folks, $200 may not seem like a lot of money. But to those who have no choice but live paycheck to paycheck, or who may be unemployed, the ability to defend themselves by finally being able to carry a concealed weapon would be a welcome change.