Most people wouldn’t think of Alaska as a hotbed of anti-gun activism, but frankly, there is no safe state anymore when it comes to the exercise of our right to keep and bear arms. Hundreds of gun owners and Second Amendment supporters in the Last Frontier rallied this weekend in opposition to a proposed ordinance in one Alaskan borough that could make it much more difficult for residents to have a safe place to shoot and train.

A pro-gun rally drew a couple hundred people to the Matanuska-Susitna Borough building in Palmer to protest potential limits on shooting ranges.

In September, the Mat-Su Borough Assembly narrowly passed a resolution asking for an ordinance that would create a conditional use permit for new educational, nonprofit and commercial outdoor shooting ranges.
Rally organizer LD Howard said he and other gun advocates don’t want any regulations when it comes to their second amendment rights.
“A lot of the U.S., a lot of the Lower 48 is watching Alaska because they’re looking at us as a barometer because if it can happen here it can happen anywhere,” he said.

Borough officials say the resolution wouldn’t apply to private ranges on private land, but that hasn’t appeased gun owners., and according to KTVA in Alaska, some anti-gun residents say the measure doesn’t go far enough.

Mark Troutman and Bev Cutler, who own Little Susitna Farm off Palmer Fishhook, emailed the KTVA newsroom to say they would like to see conditional use permits apply to those who already have shooting ranges next to existing buildings.

Troutman and Cutler said the borough has a responsibility to protect residents, especially as it continues to grow and become more crowded.

“To not regulate shooting in some fashion when people are living close to each other is a dereliction of duty by elected officials,” they wrote.
Despite the turnout by hundreds of local gun owners, it sounds like borough officials are intent on passing something, though they claim to be revising the ordinance based on the concerns of gun owners. The range ordinance is expected to return to the borough’s assembly in just a couple of weeks.
It’s not just gun owners in Alaska who should be worried about restrictions on gun ranges. Gun control activists love the idea of requiring range time and training before folks can exercise their right to keep and bear arms, but paradoxically, they also want fewer gun ranges around where people can actually get the training they want to mandate. In New Hampshire, for example, lawmakers are considering a bill that would repeal the state’s range protection law and allow for municipalities to impose all kinds of new restrictions on ranges that have been around for decades. There’s nothing commonsense about this proposal, and it has nothing to do with “gun safety” either. It’s just an anti-gun move that, if successful, will actually inhibit the training and education gun control advocates claim to support.