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State Senate Passes Amended House Bill Targeting Federal Gun Laws

April 10, 2013|By Chris Klint | Channel 2 News

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The state Senate has passed a dramatically modified House bill meant to protect Alaskans’ Second Amendment rights, allowing the state to defend citizens accused of violating future federal gun laws -- as well as state law enforcement officers blocking their implementation.

According to the Associated Press, the version of House Bill 69 that passed 17-3 Wednesday is far different from that first introduced by House Speaker Rep. Mike Chenault (R-Nikiski), which earlier passed the House. The biggest change strikes a provision that would have made it a felony for a federal official to try to enforce laws or regulations that would restrict ownership of semi-automatic weapons or require that firearms be registered.
   
The bill now says state and local government agencies cannot help implement presidential orders or federal laws or regulations that infringe upon Second Amendment rights. It also says personal firearms possessed in the state are not subject to federal law or regulation, including registration.

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"If you violate our Constitution, if you violate our citizens, by going outside the constitution, our Attorney General will defend the citizens," said Senate Majority Leader John Coghill (R-Fairbanks).

Anchorage Democratic Sens. Johnny Ellis, Hollis French and Berta Gardner were the dissenting votes.

"We are one nation, we're bound by that constitution, and we have to obey it for better or worse," said French, after the vote.

French, a former prosecutor said the bill is misleading for Alaskan gun owners.

Since changes were made the bill, it must be approved by the House again before going to Governor Sean Parnell's desk for his signature.

Channel 2’s Adam Pinsker contributed information to this story.

Contact Chris Klint

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