Monday, April 20, 2009

Alaska House passes states rights gun bill

Hard on the heels of Montana's enactment of its states right law exempting guns made and kept within that state's borders from federal firearms laws, the Alaska House has passed a similar law:
JUNEAU, Alaska — On the same day they rejected an attorney general designee who is a board member of the National Rifle Association, members of the state House on Thursday approved a bill exempting guns and ammunition manufactured and kept within Alaska from federal firearms regulation.

House members voted to reject Gov. Sarah Palin's nominee to head the Department of Law, Wayne Anthony Ross, but voted 32-7 in favor of the Alaska Firearms Freedom Act, which would apply to firearms built, sold and kept in Alaska.

Critics denounced the bill as unconstitutional. They say it's a threat to Alaskans who act on the measure and face federal prosecution.

Prime sponsor Mike Kelly, R-Fairbanks, attracted 10 co-sponsors and said the bill is both a measure to allow manufacture of guns and a statement that Alaska intends to reclaim some of its rights. Alaska has seen rights eroded in the oversight of navigable waters, fish and game, and access to natural resources, Kelly said, but can reclaim rights guaranteed by the Second Amendment.

"We will handle the regulation of it," he said.

Kelly said the federal government has regulated firearms in part though the oversight of interstate commerce. The bill addresses that by exempting firearms, ammunition and firearm accessories that are manufactured and retained in the state. Guns and ammo that fit that criteria should be exempt from federal regulation, including registration, he said. ...

Article here. More freedom-loving states need to jump on this bandwagon. I'm not quite sure what aspect of the bill the critics are claiming is unconstitutional, and the article doesn't seem to elaborate. If this becomes law (as Montana's has), this will be another open challenge to the federal government and its powers to regulate under the Constitution's interstate Commerce Clause.

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