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.