Even in a tough budget year, there are a few bright moments. One such was a visit to the Capitol by the Icanberry family of Kaycee.
Captain Matt Icanberry has served more than 26 months overseas in a combat zone. His deployments include southeast Asia, the Middle East, Iraq and Kuwait. Most recently, he served as a Training/Exercise Specialist for US Army Europe in Wiesbaden, Germany.
Before going full time with the military, he taught science for 15 years at Kaycee High School.
During his most recent overseas deployment his concealed carry weapon permit expired. Under Wyoming law, an expired permit cannot be renewed. Rather, the holder must go through the entire application process over again, as though they were applying for the first time. That includes fingerprinting, proof of firearms training or military experience, a criminal background check—and a fee.
Renewal while deployed overseas can be done, but, under our laws, it’s more of a hassle than it should be. Matt contacted me with some helpful suggestions about what might be done for future overseas military faced with the same situation.
My first point of contact was Senator Brian Boner of Douglas. Brian served in the military and is knowledgeable on military matters — and is a genuinely helpful guy. Working with a staff attorney in the legislative service office, and with advice from the office of Major General Gregory Porter, the Adjutant General of the Wyoming National Guard, we crafted Senate File 105, “Concealed Weapons Permit Renewal-Military Duty.”
The bill delays the expiration of a concealed carry permit for active duty military and their spouses while overseas until six months after their return stateside.
The bill received bipartisan sponsorship in the Senate and the House and was introduced and referred for hearing to the Senate Committee for Transportation, Highways & Military Affairs.
I contacted Matt to see if he might be able to share with the Committee his experience and the reason for the bill. He told me his two teenage daughters, Greere and Gwendolyn, would be in Cheyenne with a youth group learning about the legislative process. The Committee Chairman agreed to schedule the hearing on a day when all three could be present.
To make the reunion complete, Matt’s wife Amy and their son Grady drove to the capital from Kaycee.
From the Senate gallery, the family observed a bit of the debate on the state budget. At an appropriate time, from the Senate floor, I had the honor of introducing them, and the family received a rousing standing ovation from the entire Senate. On break, I was able to visit with the entire family. All three kids are precocious, and Matt and Amy are good people.
Later that day Matt testified about Senate File 105 to the Committee, which made a unanimous “Do Pass” recommendation to the entire Senate.
Seeing the Icanberry family in Cheyenne was a nice high point to an otherwise arduous week. I’m grateful for a state full of active, engaged citizens who are interested in good legislation and the future of our great State of Wyoming.
Dave Kinskey represents Wyoming Senate District 22 which consists of Johnson County and eastern Sheridan County. A businessperson and former Mayor of Sheridan, he can be reached during the legislative session at Dave.Kinskey@WyoLeg.gov.