Monday, February 25, 2013

Alaska HB69 Gun Law Nullification Bill Passes In Full House Vote 31-5; Next Stop The Senate

On February 25th, 2013, Alaska HB69, a federal gun law nullification bill which exempts firearms from federal regulation and would make enforcement of federal gun laws by federal officials a felony, was placed before the full House, where it was overwhelmingly passed by a 31-5 margin. The other four House members had already been excused from the session. Media stories from KTUU, the Juneau Empire, and the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner; the latter two contain reaction from some lawmakers. The Anchorage Daily News reported that at least 10 of the female lawmakers wore camouflage scarves, pictured on APRN.

The vote, which followed a weekend of Day Of Resistance rallies in Alaska, took place after a lengthy floor debate. Supporters said the bill was an attempt to take a stand against federal encroachment on Second Amendment rights, but opponents said the measure flies in the face of the state and U.S. constitutions they took oaths to uphold. Some lawmakers supporting the bill recognize the murky constitutional grounds, but Rep. Peggy Wilson said the state has to take a stand somewhere along the way and say enough is enough, and Rep. Dan Saddler said if the measure has to go to court, that's a price he is willing to pay.

Here's the roll call vote:

-- Yeas: Alan Austerman (R), Mike Chenault (R), Mia Costello (R), Bryce Edgmon (D), Eric Feige (R), Neal Foster (D), Lynn Gattis (R), Mike Hawker (R), Bob Herron (D), Pete Higgins (R), Lindsay Holmes (R), Shelley Hughes (R), Doug Isaacson (R), Craig Johnson (R), Wes Keller (R), Gabrielle LeDoux (R), Bob Lynn (R), Charisse Millett (R), Cathy Munoz (R), Benjamin Nageak (D), Kurt Olson (R), Lance Pruitt (R), Lora Reinbold (R), Dan Saddler (R), Paul Seaton (R), Bill Stoltze (R), Geran Tarr (D), Steve Thompson (R), Chris Tuck (D), Peggy Wilson (R), Tammie Wilson (R)

-- Nays: Harriet Drummond (D), Les Gara (D), Max Gruenberg (D), Andy Josephson (D), Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins (D)

-- Excused: David Guttenberg (D), Scott Kawasaki (D), Beth Kerttula (D), Mark Neuman (R)

After passage, Rep. Tuck served notice of reconsideration, meaning the bill will be voted on by the House again on February 27th. Tuck's not getting cold feet; instead, Rep. Kawasaki, who's a life member of the NRA, will be back at the legislature on Wednesday, and Tuck thinks Kawasaki should have a chance to vote on the bill.

Sharon Leighow, a spokeswoman for Gov. Sean Parnell, said in an email that the administration is still reviewing the bill, but Parnell strongly supports the Second Amendment and Alaskans' right to defend themselves. He remains concerned with the federal government continuing to restrict the rights and freedom of individuals. Update February 28th: Gov. Parnell now says he supports the bill, noting that there are ways the bill would be constitutional. He said the state's contention would be that anything it believes violates the Second Amendment is unconstitutional.

Previous posts on HB69:

-- "Alaska State Rep. Mike Chenault Introduces HB69 To Nullify New Federal Gun Restrictions And Ban Enforcement By Federal Employees", January 16th, 2013.

-- "Alaska State Rep. Mike Chenault Stiffens Original HB69 Federal Gun Nullification Bill, Upgrades Violation To A Felony In CSHB69", February 9th, 2013.

-- "Alaska HB69 Clears House Judiciary Committee, Advances For A Full Vote; Rep. Chris Tuck Becomes First Democratic Co-Sponsor", February 20th, 2013.

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