President Barack Obama yesterday signed off on nearly two dozen executive orders meant to curb gun violence. These orders launch a gun ownership safety campaign, require the Centers for Disease Control to examine the causes of gun violence, and call for law enforcement officials to receive better training for active shooter scenarios.
He also called on Congress to pass a ban on assault weapons. But Alaska lawmakers have introduced a bill that would circumvent any stronger gun control measures.
The Alaska Firearms Freedom Act would make it a crime to enforce any federal prohibitions on things like assault rifles and high-capacity gun magazines. A previous version of the bill already passed the House in 2010, and similar legislation is being introduced in states like Texas and Wyoming. But whether a ban on federal gun control measures would even be legal is in serious doubt. Adam Winkler is a professor of constitutional law at UCLA and the author of the book Gunfight. He says that under the supremacy clause of the Constitution, the federal government could just choose to ignore the Alaska law if it passes.
House Speaker Mike Chenault is sponsoring the bill. He says that it sends a strong message about federal overreach. And he knows that the courts could find the bill to be unconstitutional.
The bill to ban gun bans isn’t the only piece of legislation related to gun control that’s been filed. Representative Bob Lynn, a Republican from Anchorage, introduced legislation on Friday that would create a process by which teachers could carry guns in schools if they’ve undergone training and possess a permit. It appears that the bill may actually be more restrictive than current law, and it has been sent back to the state’s legal services division for review.
- Polls show the presidential race is unusually tight in Alaska. Juneau residents attending two election events shared their opinions on the polls and the candidates.
- A new weather station installed on Mt. Ripinsky last month is now relaying data on weather conditions that could help hikers, climbers and skiers prepare for bad weather -- especially avalanches.
- Kids attending the Homer Folk School learn everything from making apple juice to building kayaks.
- Bethel has made more than a quarter of a million dollars from its 12 percent sales tax on alcohol since legal alcohol sales began in April.