GUNS

Owners of Fairbanks gun shops attribute an increased interest in guns and ammo to Joe Biden’s presidency as well as to the Covid-19 pandemic, which has both spawned uncertainty and disrupted the supply chain. Metro Creative

Rep. Adam Wool of Fairbanks has introduced a bill in the Alaska Legislature that requires “firearm safe storage.” 

House Bill 203 would require gun owners to safely secure firearms to avoid accidents and injuries. Gun owners would need to have firearms locked and/or secured in a locked container.

Violators could face fines of up to $1,000, if the legislation is adopted and signed into law.

A safe storage law would allow for police to issue citations if they observe unsecured firearms while in the course of conducting other investigations. 

The bill does not call for firearms to be seized by authorities. It does not encourage police to look for unsecured firearms, in the course of an investigation.

Reps. Steve Thompson of Fairbanks and Andy Josephson of Anchorage are co-sponsors.

“This bill has bipartisan support as it should since all are affected when a child dies or is injured by an unsecured firearm,” Wool said in a statement released by the Alaska House Coalition.

“Representative Wool and I are both parents of young children, and we care deeply about their safety. House Bill 203 is all about promoting safety,” Thompson said in the written statement.

“This bill is not an infringement of Second Amendment rights, and it’s not about taking guns away from anyone. It’s about preventing tragic accidents and only gets acted upon if such a tragedy occurs,” Thompson said.

The bill was referred to the House State Affairs and Judiciary committees.      

There are no federal laws requiring safe storage of firearms. However, a dozen states have varying safe storage mandates for gun owners.

Contact political reporter Linda F. Hersey at 459-7575 or follow her at twitter.com/FDNMpolitics.