House takes up gun issues

JUNEAU — The National Rifle Association came out in support of measures introduced in the Alaska House regarding self-defense and protecting gun rights on Wednesday.


HB24, from Rep. Mark Neuman, R-Big Lake, would allow people to use deadly force in self-defense in any place they have a legal right to be, more commonly referred to as a “stand your ground” law. Neuman has tried for several years to get the bill passed.

HJR4, from Rep. Charisse Millett, R-Anchorage, urges President Barack Obama to rescind his 23 executive actions related to guns and asks Congress to refrain from passing legislation that restricts the right to bear and keep arms. Millet said she is concerned that attempts to regulate firearms and action taken by the Obama administration are unconstitutional.

NRA lobbyist Brian Judy told the House Judiciary Committee that he believed the Obama administration was going to propose gun control legislation in 2013 regardless of the fatal shootings last year in Newtown, Conn. and Aurora, Colo.

“What you’re seeing is a prepackaged bunch of gun control proposals, an agenda that was going to be run,” Judy said.

No one spoke to the committee in opposition to Neuman’s bill Wednesday. Supporters said the measure removes the need to consider a plethora of factors during a life-or-death situation.

“Part of what we’re talking about is an individual having to take a split second to find some evacuation as opposed to understanding they have a right to defend themselves,” Rex Shattuck, an aide to Neuman, said to the committee.

Mike Coons, a citizen from the Matanuska-Susitna Borough, called in to comment, saying the proposal “just gives us more of that peace of mind that we’re not only going to survive this attack and not be a victim, but we’re not going to be a victim of a judicial system that has gone awry.”