WYGO’s Battle in the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals!

It’s been almost two and a half years since then-Secretary of State Ed Buchanan ordered Wyoming Gun Owners to surrender a list of our donors to the State of Wyoming…

…and it’s been almost two and a half years since I told Buchanan’s office that we would be suing him in Federal Court!

It’s been a long time coming, but WYGO is closer than ever to finally achieving total and complete victory against the State of Wyoming — a victory that may include the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals striking Wyoming’s entire campaign finance law! 

Before I give you the latest, let’s recap how we got here.

In 2020, RINO-Republicans here in Cheyenne were hell-bent on passing FIX-NICS legislation.

FIX-NICS is mental health gun control: sort of like a mini version of ‘Red Flag Gun Seizure’ law.

WYGO went to work.

We pummeled the legislature with almost 10,000 emails from gun owners, countless phone calls, and relentless pressure in the legislature.

And I personally warned these RINOs that if they tried to advance this bill, WYGO would expose them during the primary election cycle.

They didn’t listen.

So while WYGO killed the bill that session, we also made good on our promise to expose the gun-grabbing RINOs that pushed it.

We used radio ads, social media ads, direct mail, and every other tool in our arsenal to make sure that WYGO members and other gun owners in targeted districts had the facts.

And the results were incredible. The highlights included:

  • Senator Michael Von Flatern being thrown out of the Senatefor being the lead Senate sponsor of FIX-NICS legislation, Von Flatern was defeated by a humiliating margin of 63.4% – 36.3%, ending his sixteen year long career in the Senate.
  • Representative Bill Pownall being thrown out of the HousePownall led the charge for FIX-NICS in the House, and for that, he was obliterated on election day by a stunning 50.4%-29.6% margin.
  •  House Judiciary Chairman Dan Kirkbride being dethronedKirkbride tried to advance FIX-NICS through the interim committee process. And after we exposed him, his decade long career crashed and burned by a margin of 54%-46%.

Of course, these three names were only the tip of the iceberg. David Northrup, Erin Johnson, Michael Bailey, Joy Bell, and at least six more anti-gun RINOs lost their election after we exposed their views on the Second Amendment.

And while I wasn’t on the phone with them, I can guarantee you that a who’s-who of the RINO class here in Cheyenne was on the phone the next day asking the same question: what do we do about Wyoming Gun Owners, to make sure this never happens again?

Their answer was simple: they tried to ‘dox’ our members.

The Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce Chairman fabricated a bogus complaint against WYGO with Ed Buchanan, who ordered us to surrender a list of our members to the State.

The RINOs knew that if they were successful, WYGO’s funding would dry up as most gun owners don’t want their name on a list, and they certainly don’t want that list made public.

WYGO immediately retained counsel, and our legal team told Buchanan that we would never surrender that list of donors. Instead, we paid his outrageous ‘First Amendment Tax’ of $500.

We had to. You see, once we paid that fine, we had the legal status we needed to sue Buchanan (and AG Bridget Hill) in Federal District Court! Our claim was simple: Wyoming’s campaign finance law was designed to muzzle political opposition.


Just over a year ago, the District Court judge in Casper heard oral arguments in the case. Judge Skavdahl agreed with WYGO and said that the State of Wyoming’s Campaign Finance Law violated the 1st  Amendment.

WYGO’s Aaron Dorr(L) and Del Kolde with the Institute for Free Speech after walking out of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver.

Judge Skavdahl ordered that WYGO was immune from this law, free to expose politicians without having to disclose the names of donors who funded these vital programs!

And while that was a victory, we wanted more.

We wanted the entire law invalidated, to make sure that NO ONE could be targeted by then-Secretary of State Buchanan for the ‘crime’ of angering Cheyenne’s political elite.

But to get the entire law repealed, WYGO would have had to appeal our own victory, and we just couldn’t afford that.

Thankfully, right before he left office, Ed Buchanan appealed his defeat at the District Court level, asking the full 10th Circuit Court of Appeals to review the case!

Honestly, our legal team couldn’t have been more excited.

The 10th Circuit is known for being one of the most conservative courts in the country when it comes to Campaign Finance Law. We always wanted our case to end up there. And thanks to Buchanan’s arrogance, that’s exactly what happened.

So late last month, WYGO’s board and I were in Denver with our lawyers as the 10th Circuit heard arguments on this case.

Only this time, instead of arguing about whether or not WYGO should be subjected to Wyoming’s abusive campaign finance law, our lawyers were fighting to invalidate the entire law!


It was a rough day for Buchanan’s lawyers.

The judges asked if Buchanan had gone after anyone else other than WYGO using this new campaign finance law.

The judges asked if Buchanan’s office had produced a FAQ section on their website to help people decipher this new law.

The answer to both questions was a resounding NO!

What’s more, the judges seemed very worried about how damaging it would be to groups like Wyoming Gun Owners if their donor names were made public — a key part of our challenge!

While it’s too soon for the 10th  Circuit to have issued their ruling, WYGO has already emerged from this situation victorious. The reason is simple.

No one thought we’d challenge Ed Buchanan’s ruling!

No one thought that we’d win our case in District Court!

AND NO ONE thought that we’d get this case heard in the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, threatening the entire law!

The RINOs in Cheyenne thought they could snap their fingers and silence Wyoming Gun Owners. Instead, we’ve shown them that there is no limit to how hard we’ll fight for our gun rights.

But now I need to ask for your help again.

WYGO has been forced to spend a tremendous amount of time and money in dealing with this lawsuit(s.) Frankly, it’s consumed the better part of two legislative sessions.

We didn’t have a choice. If we didn’t, we would have been forced to disclose our members names, or close our doors forever. We had to fight in court…now we need to rebuild.

That’s why I hope you’ll agree to make a generous donation of $75 or even $100 right away, so we can keep fighting for you!


I know that’s asking a lot, but you’ve seen the impact of your support firsthand, and you know that no one fights harder for gun owners here in Wyoming.

Everything that we’ve accomplished here in Wyoming over the years — the bills we’ve passed, the politicians we’ve exposed, the bills we have defeated — is because of your support!

But after this lawsuit, it’s important that we rebuild our war-chest as quickly as possible.

So if $75 or $100 isn’t possible right now, please consider a donation of $50, $25, or even just $17.76 TODAY!

Thank you, in advance, for your generosity.

When the 10th Circuit gives their ruling, I’ll be sure to let you know right away.

For Wyoming,

Aaron Dorr
Policy Advisor
Wyoming Gun Owners