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Feb 20, 2013 - The Associated Press

Governor signs silencer bill

CHEYENNE -- Gov. Matt Mead has signed a bill into law that will allow the use silencers on firearms for all types of hunting.

Mead signed the bill on Monday and the law will go into effect in July.

The federal government regulates silencers and 39 states allow civilian ownership of them. Wyoming will join 27 other states that allow their use for hunting.

The American Silencer Association has been pushing legislation is several states this year to allow using silencers for hunting.

The Wyoming Game Wardens Association had opposed the bill, saying silencers could help poachers and would give hunters an unsporting advantage over game.

Enzi thinks cuts will take effect

Sen. Mike Enzi believes across-the-board federal budget cuts will take effect March 1.

He told a crowd gathered at the Natrona County Public Library Monday that plans by the White House and Democrats to stop the cuts, known as the sequester, won't take place.

Wyoming's senior senator fears that some agencies may cut their most popular programs to create public outrage about the cuts. He said that if agencies cut their budgets logically, the public wouldn't notice the cuts very much.

Congresswoman Cynthia Lummis also has said she doesn't have any hopes of a deal to avoid the cuts.

Enzi is touring the state to meet with voters. He visited the Laramie County Library in Cheyenne Tuesday and stopped in Powell and Thermopolis Wednesday. He'll be in Riverton on Thursday.

Amendment advised on gun bill

CHEYENNE -- A Wyoming legislative committee says the state should not issue criminal citations to federal officers who attempt to enforce a possible federal assault weapons ban.

The Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday endorsed an amendment to a bill that already has passed the House. The bill now goes to the Senate floor.

The original House bill specified any federal ban on assault weapons or high-capacity ammunition magazines wouldn't be valid in Wyoming. It specified any federal officials who tried to enforce a ban would be guilty of a misdemeanor.

Senators expressed concerns about the constitutionality of the House version. They recommended amending it to specify state law enforcement officers generally wouldn't assist in implementing any federal ban.

The amendment would call on the state Attorney General to defend citizens' gun rights.

Public defender disputes suit's claims

CHEYENNE -- The Wyoming Public Defender's Office is disputing claims by an attorney who says he was fired because he ended a relationship with the office's director years earlier.

Dion Custis filed a lawsuit in September that said Wyoming State Public Defender Diane Lozano had told Custis she would "get him back" for ending their relationship in 1997. He says her office fired him in 2011 for no reason and hadn't given him proper raises.

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Legislature, Wyoming