Sunday, June 04, 2023

AK: Alaska Legislature Limits Government Emergency Power and Protects Right to Arms



Flag map of Alaska produced by DrRandomFactor in 2012

The Alaskan Legislature passed HB 61 on May 17, 2023. HB 61 insures the right to keep and bear arms will not be abrogated by executive or local government fiat during a declared emergency. The Alaskan House voted to pass the bill 26 to 12, on May 5.  The Senate passed the bill 17 to 3 on May 16.  The House concured with the Senate version on May 17. HB 61 is awaiting signature by Governor (R) Mike Dunleavy. This correspondent has not found any statement by Governor Dunleavy for or against HB61. While the lopsided votes in the House and Senate would make signing the bill appear automatic, the bill limits executive power more than legislative power. Here is a part of HB61, as sent to Governor Dunleavy showing Legislative Intent:

LEGISLATIVE INTENT. It is the intent of the legislature that this Act does not affect the ability of the state or a municipality to exercise its duties under AS 29.35.145

* Sec. 2. AS 44.99 is amended by adding new sections to article 5 to read:

Sec. 44.99.510. Infringements on the right to keep and bear arms; disaster. 

(a) During a disaster emergency declared under AS 26.23.020, the governor, a state

agency, or a municipality may not issue or adopt an order, proclamation, regulation,

ordinance, or policy

(1) forbidding the possession, use, or transfer of a firearm, a firearm  part, a firearm accessory, ammunition, or other weapon for personal use; 

(2) ordering the seizure or confiscation of a firearm, a firearm part, a  firearm accessory, ammunition, or other weapon for personal use;

One of the reasons such laws have been promoted was the egregious disarmament of innocent people in Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina.

The use of "emergencies" to do what cannot be done in ordinary circumstances has a very long pedigree in politics. Rahm Emanuel said “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste."

During the Cold War, this correspondent recalls reading U.S. Civil Defense documents. One of the policies was that any people entering public fallout shelters would be disarmed. Many states have "emergency powers" laws which allow the executive to ignore the Bill of Rights during emergencies. Governors have used their emergency power to shut down gun stores and ammunition sales during "emergencies".  Governor Northam of Virginia declared an emergency and banned the carry of weapons during Lobby Day in 2020. Overseas, there are several examples of people being forbidden to be armed in declared emergencies, such as the Philippines, or Venezuela, or as this correspondent experienced in Panama under the Noriega regime in the 1980s. Such declared emergencies often stretch into years, and become permanent policy, with or without legislation. In these declared emergencies, state agents are not disarmed. 

"Emergencies" are exactly the time when citizens should be armed. It is when the population is most vulnerable, when criminals are emboldened, and when the government's ability to maintain order is least effective.

The concept behind the structure of the United States is the people are the source of governmental power.

This is a basic, but not sole, reason for the Second Amendment. Times of emergency are exactly when the armed population of the United States, severally or only one state or location, need to exercise their power and right to maintain public order. There is a long tradition in the United States of communities spontaneously forming local militias to maintain order.

Several states have repealed or reformed laws which give the government power to prevent people from being legally armed, or able to purchase firearms or ammunition during an emergency.  Texas passed HB1500 in 2021, forbidding state or local governments from prohibiting the sale or carry of firearms during a declared emergency. Some California measures closing gun shops and ranges during Covid were found to be unconstitutional.

To those who preach faith in the power of unlimited government, preventing government from infringing on fundamental rights is a bad idea. They claim government is never going to do anything bad to us, so don't restrict governmental power. While they worship government power, they claim Second Amendment supporters worship guns.


Two of the many purposes of such bills are to show the drastic nature and fundamental flaws of  laws which allow governments to disarm innocent Americans.  Those who wish the people disarmed claim nothing bad will happen.  They claim disarming the people is for the peoples' own good. They claim disarmament will never happen, while ignoring actual bans and confiscations which are and have happened.

This correspondent has no doubt those who wish to destroy the Republic, the rule of law, and the Constitution will continue to work hard to accomplish those things. They have gained control of the administrative state, the executive branch, and half the Congress. Enacting laws at the state level, to preserve the power and spirit of resistance, is good policy.

One of the primary purposes of an armed population is the confidence in the power of the people an armed society creates.

©2023 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch


Anonymous said...

DEAN: let me ask you a question. With the recent USSC rulings Like Bruen and others do those ruling make void most state laws Concerning the right to carry? The USSC ruling that states all Federally guaranteed rights cross all boundaries this country should have, legally, a blanket effect for every state. so why are these unconstitutional laws still in place all over this country. Every CITIZEN was born with the right of Self Defense and the USSC has re enfaced the right to carry just about any where. How do we get rid of the liberal morons that continue to pass these unconstitutional laws and the corrupt judges that interpret law instead of enforcing what is actually written? Judges changing laws from the bench is an impeachable offense. And the liberal attorney filing these cases should be disbarred. Shall Not Be Infringed is what was ratified because it is an all encompassing effect. Individual states do not have the authority to ad to or ignore what was ratified. interpretation is one person's opinion and has no valid legal effect. We are a nation of written laws and opinions are not law. We have recently seen judges blocking the enforcement of laws, they do not have that authority they are required to enforce the law as written until it is legally changed or repealed. The Rule of law is what made this country great Liberals are and have been destroying the rule of law for decades bit by bit. We do not live in a democracy we live in a constitutional Republic. In a constitutional Republic the people control the power of government with their vote. In a Democracy the government controls the people. We do not have a King we elect a President. and those that make the laws. No President can rule the citizens with executive orders. Congress passes the laws citizens are required to obey. You cant destroy a democracy that does not exist and we have never been a democracy since the Constitution was ratified.

Dean Weingarten said...

In my opinion, a great many, if not most "gun control" laws in the United States were rendered void by the Bruen decision. The way our court system works, those laws need to be challenged individually until states decide it is foolish to oppose them. This already happened with bans on stun guns. They are all gone now. I expect it to happen with many other laws, such as magazine bans or bans on semi-automatics. Eventually requirements for registration or waiting periods will go. They are clearly unconstitutional. I expect requirements for serial numbers will go as well. If registration of guns is unconstitutional - how do you justify serial numbers?

Some laws will remain, such as bans on firing of guns in certain areas, or bans on guns at polling places.