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Wyoming Sheriff Says He Won’t Enforce Mask Mandate


Sweetwater County Sheriff John Grossnickle said Wednesday that his office won’t cite or arrest anyone for violating the county’s face mask mandate.

And Lincoln County Sheriff M. Shane Johnson seemed to echo Grossnickle’s sentiments on the subject, although he didn’t specifically say that he wouldn’t enforce a mask mandate in his county.

A message Grossnickle issued on Wednesday called the county face mask mandate: “a unilateral executive action unrepresented by the people and voters of this community.” Grossnickle also cited a Wyoming state Constitutional provision that “affords each of us the inalienable right to make our own personal health care decisions.

Grossnickle also said, “it is not a sheriff’s duty to enforce public health directives unless ordered to do sop by an officer of the court or the state legislature.”

Meanwhile, Lincoln County Sheriff M. Shane Johnson Wednesday, while not explicitly saying he would not enforce that county’s face mask mandate, said in a public statement “I don’t believe the policing of a mask mandate is the proper role of the Sheriff’s Office.”

Laramie County District Attorney Leigh Anne Manlove said recently that she won’t be prosecuting anyone for face mask mandate violations.

And both the Cheyenne Police Department and Laramie County Sheriff’s Office have said that they don’t plan on issuing citations for face mask violations, although they will cite people for trespassing if they refuse to wear a mask in a local business and then refuse to leave the businesses.

While several Wyoming counties have enacted mask mandates to fight the COVID-19 pandemic there so far is no such statewide order in place in the Cowboy State.

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