Howard Delo

Unfortunately, I expect to be commenting on this topic more than I would prefer into the future. However, you must give the leftist-Democrats an acknowledgement for following up on their campaign promises about gun control.

On the state level, Rep. Geran Tarr has introduced a bill in the House which tracks with items on President Biden’s gun control wish list. Quoting from the “Must Read Alaska” website, “The red flag law is a gun control law that allows the police or family members to petition a court to order the removal of firearms from someone who may present a danger to others or themselves. Refusal to comply with the order is punishable as a criminal offense.” This bill, while well-intentioned, is ripe for abuse by the government and your cranky neighbor. It’s a bad piece of legislation.

On the national level, the House has already passed a bill making any private sale or transfer of a firearm without a federal NICS background check illegal. Again, while well-intentioned, this bill, had it been in effect, would not have stopped the last several shooters involved in so-called “mass shootings” from acquiring the firearm they used in the commission of their crimes.

Federally licensed gun dealers are the only group having access to the NICS background check system, so all private sales or transfers would have to go through an FFL dealer. The system is not structured to handle the potential volume of private sales on top of normal sales through gun shops. It would greatly delay a lawful person’s ability to acquire a firearm. This bill also extends the wait on a “delay” background check response from three days to ten days, again slowing lawful gun sales and transfers.

This potential law is basically unenforceable without knowing who has what guns. That would require a total gun registration situation. Guess what will be coming next when the leftists figure that out! Oh, by the way, gun registration is currently illegal under federal law!

The other major gun control legislation which has already passed the House of Representatives outlaws any future ability of a lawful citizen to acquire a so-called “assault weapon” and any magazine capable of holding more then 10 rounds of ammunition. This bill bans the sale, transfer, manufacture and importation of military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines. These type firearms and magazines which are already in private possession are grandfathered in as legal to own, but they can’t be sold or transferred. The firearms must be kept locked up and not readily available.

The bill contains the features which are considered to create an assault weapon. These features are cosmetic and have no bearing on the function of the firearm. Basically, if the gun looks like a military firearm, then it must be an assault weapon. Things like a pistol grip, the threaded end of the barrel, a vertical forearm grip, and a heat dissipater shield over the barrel are some listed features. What foolishness!

There are several commonly available firearms which function identically to the so-called assault weapons, but because they don’t have pistol grips or threaded barrel muzzles, they are not considered to be “assault weapons.” By definition, an assault weapon is one capable of fully automatic fire – the gun will fire continuously if it has ammunition, and the trigger is held back. That is a machine gun which is already tightly controlled by the federal government.

This legislation is aimed at the AR 15 style firearms platform, among others, which is currently the most popular rifle for sale in the country. All these civilian firearms are semi-automatic, which means one must pull the trigger for each shot. These guns are popular for both formal and informal target shooting, hunting, and personal defense. To say they have no use other than “to kill people” is an outright lie!

This is just the tip of the iceberg. We are somewhat immune in Alaska since we are a small population state, remotely located from Washington, D.C., and with a definitely different mindset about guns – what they are (tools) and how they are used (subsistence, hunting, competition, bear defense). While many own firearms in Alaska for personal defense, the main reason folks want their guns is not “to kill people.”

Alaska is also a “gun sanctuary state,” which will have some deterrent effect on Biden’s gun control agenda. How far that deterrent will go if these bills become law is anybody’s guess. This is all about controlling the population, not making society safer.

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