Starting today, handgun owners won’t need permits to carry concealed weapons in the seven Alaska cities where they’re still required. There will be no more restrictions on keeping a firearm in a vehicle. A new state anti-gun control law essentially bar municipalities from passing gun laws that are more restrictive than state law.
The National Rifle Association, which helped Republican state Rep. Mike Chenault write the legislation, wants to prevent cities from passing more restrictive laws in the future. Alaska is the 44th state to have such a pre-emption law on its books. “We are looking to make it uniform to all 50 states,” said NRA spokeswoman Kelly Hobbs. “Without it, it creates an unfair, inconsistent and confusing patchwork of local firearm ordinances.” Alaska police chiefs worry about no longer being able to enforce laws banning guns from public buildings, such as city halls. The new law allows cities to keep guns out of places beyond a restricted access point, such as a metal detector; chiefs say cities can’t afford the staff or equipment.