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Alaska Governor Signs Bill Preventing Closure Of Gun Stores During Emergencies

Alaska’s Republican Governor, Mike Dunleavy, has signed House Bill 61 into law, prohibiting the closure of gun stores during state-declared emergencies unless all other businesses are also closed. The move, praised by the NRA and Second Amendment advocates, protects firearm businesses and individuals’ access to firearms and ammunition during crises. The bill was sponsored by Republican House Speaker Cathy Tilton in response to business shutdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This bill reflects the constitutional right Alaskans have to keep and bear arms… when Alaskans need it the most,” Dunleavy said, underlining the importance of firearms in Alaskan life.

However, critics like State Senator Jesse Kiehl, a Democrat from Juneau, argue the bill prioritizes Second Amendment rights above other civil liberties. The bill passed the state Senate 17-3 in May and was later approved by the House.

Notably, the signing marks a decade since Alaska’s “Stand Your Ground” law – House Bill 24 – was enacted in 2013, reflecting the state’s firm commitment to protecting Second Amendment rights, even during emergencies.

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