Three House bills show Alaska is concerned about the national gun control issue. Those measures show that Alaskans want to keep their weapons ready and warm.
Some people would have felt a bit awkward in presenting a state plan for gun control prior to President Obama’s releasing his legislative and executive plans on the national level.
However, no one ever said Alaska’s House Speaker Mike Chenault recognizes “awkward.” He goes where no one stops to think. That made it easy to introduce HB69 – “a bill exempting firearms from federal regulation.” If the bill passes, Alaskans will be protected from any federal firearms enforcement by a law only slightly less flimsy than a old McCain-Palin T-shirt.
A lot of those well-paid people in Washington D-C say the actual laws the President wants will not pass. But the twenty three Executive Orders the President signed are in place. And if Chenault has anything to say about it, Alaska will be ready when the feds invade.
We need to see how Chenault’s bill would protect us. Here is a press release from the White House listing the Executive Orders and the proposed new laws..
Chenault’s bill amends an already flimsy part of existing state law. Written to protect home-made firearms from any federal restriction, the new AS44.99.500 would declare that if a weapon is located in Alaska it is not subject to interstate commerce restrictions – regardless of what state lines it crossed to get here – regardless of where it was made.
Here’s the meat of the law: since firearms aren’t within the instate commerce realm, then federal firearms laws and regulations must be “unenforceable. “ Chenault wants to punish anyone who tries to enforce those laws by sending them to jail for ninety days.
— When the President wants the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms to close some loopholes and strengthen background checks on gun purchases, Chenault wants to put the offending ATF officers in jail.
— Those lawyers looking at the privacy of psychiatric records to find a way to keep assault weapons out of the hands of crazy people would have to work from a state prison.
— Federal agents who try to trace weapons used in criminal activities could spend a couple of months with the guys they arrested.
— Whoever writes that letter to medical people reminding them they can report violent threats to law enforcement agencies needs to be careful. That doesn’t meet the Speaker’s standards.
If the legislature goes along with this, we can presume the issue will quickly end up in court – where federal law will prevail. I haven’t seen anything from the House Republicans declaring the U.S. Constitution unconstitutional, At least not yet.
There are other weapons bills also on the table this year.
Bob Lynn – with HB55 — has followed the instructions of the National Rifle Association in allowing teachers and school staff to carry weapons to school. Personally, I would have been a little distracted if any of my teachers had strapped on a .45 during class, but it’s a different world now.
The other killer bill – HB24 — says you can shoot anyone who gets in your way. Mark Neuman failed to get the “Stand Your Ground” bill to the governor’s office last year, so he’s trying again. According to national data, those states that have passed similar bills have shown an average eight percent increase in homicides.
None of the state bills have come up on the schedules for hearings yet. And none of these three bills have counterparts in the Senate…yet.