Vote for stricter trespass laws fails

CHEYENNE – An effort to change the state’s trespass laws to punish violators even if they were unaware they were on private property failed to make it out of committee Thursday.

The Wyoming Legislature’s Joint Judiciary Interim Committee voted 8-6 against supporting the proposed legislation, which would have removed language that trespass laws only apply when someone enters private property “knowingly” without permission.

The failed bill would instead have made any presence on private land, even if someone were unaware of property lines, a crime. It also would have increased the potential penalty from $750 to $1,000, but kept the potential of up to six months in jail.