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.
- Southcentral Alaska has seen an increase in wasp activity this year. Mild winters are good for overwintering queens, and more queens means more nests come springtime.
- A Canadian company conducting exploration for a potential mine about 35 miles north of Haines was recently granted permission to grow its project.
- Juneau's first state-certified commercial cannabis farm is up and running with plans to start selling their products as soon as October.
- The Crystal Serenity is carrying 980 passengers on a 32-day journey from Anchorage to New York City. The cruise ship is the largest ever to navigate the Northwest Passage, a voyage of many other firsts for Crystal Cruises, according to captain Birger Vorland.