Alaska’s Republican-led Legislature has passed a bill prohibiting the authorities from singling out firearm and ammunition retailers when they start shutting down businesses during a declared emergency.
House Bill 61, heading to the desk of Gov. Mike Dunleavy, states that firearm businesses cannot be forced to close, shorten their business hours, limit their sales, or hand over merchandise during a declared state of emergency unless the government equally does that to all other businesses.
The Senate version of the bill initially included language that would allow the government to shut down gun stores while still keeping certain businesses like grocery stores, pharmacies, clinics and hospitals, and hotels and motels open during an emergency declaration. This language was removed with an amendment by state Sen. Bill Wielechowski, a Democrat representing East Anchorage.
According to Wielechowski, firearm, and ammunition stores are just as important as, if not more important than, grocery stores for Alaskans relying