The state House of Representatives in Alaska on Monday easily passed a measure intended to undermine new federal gun restrictions, the Anchorage Daily News reported.
Lawmakers in Juneau, Alaska voted 31-5 to pass House Bill 69, which would exempt gun owners in the state from new federal gun laws and subject federal agents to felony charges if they try to enforce a "new federal ban on semi-automatic weapons or ammunition or enforce any new federal requirement for gun registration," according to the Daily News.
The measure probably runs afoul of the Constitution, a point that doesn't seem to concern the Republican-controlled legislature.
From the Daily News:
A legal opinion from a legislative lawyer said the measure likely is unconstitutional. When federal and state laws conflict, the U.S. Constitution declares that federal law is supreme, legislative counsel Kathleen Strasbaugh wrote in a Jan. 30 memorandum.
Republicans said they are willing to let the courts sort out the issues. They said that they must stand up for Second Amendment gun rights and won't bow down to the federal government on this. A number said they heard from constituents who back the bill.
Some Democrats argued that the measure puts Alaskans at risk of criminal prosecution if they ignore federal gun laws. While the bill allows the state to defend Alaskans charged with violating a federal gun law, there's no guarantee of that help or any sign the federal government will back off.
Alaska is joining other states angrily pushing back against proposed new federal gun restrictions in the wake of the December school massacre in Connecticut.