Alaska bill protecting gun rights in emergencies passes House

AP Photo/Andrew Selsky, File

When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, a lot of us watched what followed. The news wasn’t good, of course, but then we saw and heard about officials confiscating guns in a supposed effort to curb the violence that was supposedly raging across the city.


Gun rights didn’t matter, apparently.

Since then, a lot of states have passed laws preventing such things from happening there. Surprisingly, Alaska wasn’t one of those states.

Then we saw the pandemic when a lot of locales decide that gun rights didn’t really matter, that they could and should shut down gun stores. Again, a lot of states started passing laws to prevent that from happening there.

That seems to have prompted folks in Alaska to decide they needed such a law.

A bill to prevent the government from prohibiting sales of guns and ammunition during government-declared emergencies has passed the House.

In at least five states, including Alaska, and the Municipality of Anchorage, firearms retailers were arbitrarily closed by governors and mayors.

When it comes to firearms Alaska is different compared to most other states, the bill sponsor House Speaker Cathy Tilton said. Firearm use for protection and subsistence predates Alaska’s statehood and the application of the Second Amendment.

HB 61 reaffirms Alaskans’ right to survive and protect themselves, along with their rights granted to them through the Second Amendment.

Needless to say, this is a good bill that needs to become law.

The truth is that gun stores are essential for people exercising their right to keep and bear arms. Further, we also don’t have a lot of evidence showing that people got sick from going to the gun stores. As such, there was no need to close anything.

Passing this law, however, will make sure that absolutely no one in the state of Alaska will restrict gun rights by shutting down stores during an emergency.


It never should have happened–not in Alaska and not anywhere else.

Yet it did. It happened in far too many places, as we saw. Now, we can go back and learn from those mistakes of the past and address them. We can make sure things like gun rights are respected by lawmakers, even–or especially–when they think they’re acting in our own good.

We also can’t forget how many people want to declare everything an emergency. Laws that make it so gun rights cannot be circumvented might well dissuade some from trying to create such a declaration just to prevent people from buying firearms.

And don’t pretend no one would consider such a thing. Some already have and it’s only a matter of time before more start coming up with the same bright idea.

Removing their ability to do it short circuits that whole notion, though, which is good for everyone’s freedom.

Governments don’t like giving up power. Once they realize they can do things, they might well look for excuses to do it again.

This bill is needed just so that gun rights will be preserved no matter what some dipstick in the future thinks.

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