Gun rights group sues state officials

CASPER – Wyoming Gun Owners filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday against Wyoming Secretary of State Ed Buchanan and Attorney General Bridget Hill claiming that Wyoming’s electioneering communications law is unconstitutionally vague under the First Amendment. “It violates the First Amendment because people are inclined to self-censor when the law’s vague,” said Del Kolde, a senior attorney from the Institute on Free Speech who is co-representing Wyoming Gun Owners. The lawsuit, which was also filed against Deputy Secretary of State Karen Wheeler and Election Division Director Kai Schon, comes after the secretary of state investigated the gun rights group for allegedly engaging in electioneering without disclosing their donors. Wyoming Gun Owners pressed the state to drop the investigation in late 2020 but to no avail. The secretary of state ruled that the group had to disclose their donors or pay a $500 fine, and the group chose the latter. Stephen Klein, one of the lawyers who filed the lawsuit, said the state told Wyoming Gun Owners that paying the fine didn’t mean the group wouldn’t have to disclose donors in the future. It is unclear whether the secretary of state’s office is still investigating the group. The office did not return a request for comment Thursday. The investigation began late last year when the Greater Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce filed a complaint against Wyoming Gun Owners for not being registered with the Wyoming secretary of state’s office, as is required by election code when engaging in electioneering. The lawyers representing […]

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