Bill protecting gun rights during emergencies introduced

AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu

Our gun rights are under constant assault. That’s clear to anyone who cares to look around for even a few seconds. Someone out there wants to restrict your right to keep and bear arms.


And this is at a time when things are relatively chill.

During an emergency, things might get even worse. We saw how New Orleans dealt with gun rights in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, after all. It’s not difficult to imagine something like that happening again.

We also saw how many places dealt with COVID by making it difficult for people to lawfully purchase firearms or get permits.

Many states passed laws protecting gun rights during states of emergencies. It seems Alaska has a bill up for consideration that will do it, too.

Now, lawmakers in Alaska want to make sure that such executive emergency orders in the future do not infringe on Alaskans’ Second Amendment rights, if ever a governor in Alaska decided that was a good idea.

The Alaska House Community and Regional Affairs Committee this week moved House Bill 61 to the House State Affairs Committee for consideration. There are no other committees of referral before it reaches the floor for a vote.

House Bill 61 prohibits state and local governments from closing lawful firearm businesses or restricting an individual’s access to firearms, ammunition, and component parts during declared states of emergency, unless closures and limitations apply to all forms of commerce equally.

It’s a damn shame there’s a reason for this bill’s existence, yet here we are.

During COVID-19, especially the early days, many places started locking down all manner of businesses. Gun stores weren’t exactly special in that regard.

However, gun stores are essential because they help us exercise our right to keep and bear arms. They should have been considered essential businesses from the start.


In many places, they were.

That is far from universal, however, and this bill will basically take it out of local officials’ hands. They won’t get to make that decision. They can’t make that decision.

Again, it shouldn’t be necessary. It shouldn’t be something that was even considered.

The problem was that people did it, so now you can’t assume no one else will do it going forward. Lawmakers have to act if they want to make sure it never happens there.

Granted, this is Alaska we’re talking about here. It’s not exactly a state known for infringing on gun rights in the first place. However, that’s here and now. There’s no guarantee that won’t change–look at Colorado and Washington, for example.

So this is a good bill that I pray gets passed and that we see this in every other state. That’s not likely to happen, of course, but hopefully, it’ll pass in enough states that the effect will be substantial.

The American people deserve better.

The American people deserve to see their gun rights protected, even if they choose not to exercise them.

Unfortunately, too many lawmakers see it differently. At least these in Alaska don’t.

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