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Governor and secretary of state ask NRA to relocate in Wyoming
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Governor and secretary of state ask NRA to relocate in Wyoming

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Gov. Mark Gordon speaks at the deployment ceremony for the 2nd Battalion of the 300th Field Artillery in May 2019 at Natrona County High School. Gordon and Secretary of State Ed Buchanan recently invited the NRA to relocate to Wyoming.

Gov. Mark Gordon and Secretary of State Ed Buchanan have invited the National Rifle Association to relocate from Virginia to Wyoming, they said in a joint letter released Tuesday.

Though the letter was sent to the gun rights group on June 18, Gordon and Buchanan have not yet heard back from the NRA, spokespeople for the governor and the secretary of state told the Star-Tribune.

The letter cites the state’s lack of taxes and gun regulations as reasons why Wyoming would be a good new home for the NRA.

“We have no corporate tax, no personal income tax, no franchise tax and no gross receipts tax,” the letter read.

“We have permitless carry, the castle doctrine, anti-financial discrimination laws, permitless purchase and possession for rifles, shotguns and handguns, no registration requirements and several other pro-Second Amendment laws no the books,” it continued.

Guns are widely popular in Wyoming, and the Legislature here has pushed multiple bills in the recent past designed to ease gun rules to a even greater degree.

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Most recently, the Joint Agriculture Committee brought back a controversial gun rights bill with little warning shortly before the committee adjourned, causing criticism. The bill, the Second Amendment Preservation Act (SF 81), would have prevented state agents from enforcing any federal law or regulation that restricts a person’s right to carry firearms. It cleared the Senate before failing in the House.

The letter says that bringing the NRA to Wyoming will help create jobs. The state, meanwhile, offers the NRA “a climate that’s more friendly to their interests and their businesses,” said Michael Pearlman, director of communications for the governor.

The state is home to a number of businesses in the gun industry like Magpul and Weatherby.

“We’ve actively recruited those businesses over the past administrations,” Pearlman said.

Magpul, which sells firearm accessories, moved out of Colorado to Wyoming and Texas after Colorado lawmakers passed new gun regulations in 2013. In 2018, firearms manufacturer Weatherby announced a move from California to Sheridan.

The NRA has already chosen Texas as a partial new home as the groups moves from Fairfax, Virginia. Similarly to Wyoming’s letter to the NRA, Texas officials also lauded their state’s gun-friendly climate.

The NRA tried to declare Chapter 11 bankruptcy after the New York attorney general filed a lawsuit against the organization alleging years of fraudulent use of the NRA’s funds by its executives. The NRA has long been incorporated in the Empire State.

The move to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy paused pending litigation. However, a federal judge in May dismissed the bankruptcy attempt, concluding the group did not file in good faith.

Follow state politics reporter Victoria Eavis on Twitter @Victoria_Eavis

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