Alaska joins amicus brief supporting right to carry - Must Read Alaska
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Monday, June 14, 2021
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Alaska joins amicus brief supporting right to carry

Alaska Attorney General Treg Taylor announced that Alaska has joined a coalition of 23 state attorneys general in an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Corlett.

The brief argues that permitting law-abiding citizens to carry firearms in self-defense outside the home respects their fundamental rights and deters violent crime, while more stringent “subjective-issue permitting,” which essentially requires a citizen to have “good cause” or some other specific reason to conceal carry, decreases public safety.

“States with these types of subjective permitting regimes infringe on citizens’ Second Amendment right to bear arms in self-defense outside the home and deprive citizens of a means to defend themselves from crime,” Taylor said in a statement.  

The brief cites empirical evidence showing that concealed carry holders are less likely to commit crime, stating, “permit holders are less likely than members of the general public to commit violent crimes, and neither Washington, D.C., nor any state that has a permissive permit regime has experienced widespread trouble from those who go through the licensing process.”

The brief also argues that the original public meaning of the Second Amendment allowed citizens to bear arms for self-defense outside their homes.

Using the United States Supreme Court decision Heller v. D.C., the brief argues, “In Heller, following the text and history of the Second Amendment, this Court held that the federal constitution ‘guarantee[s] the individual right to possess and carry weapons in case of confrontation.’”

Alaska joins Missouri, Arizona, Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, and West Virginia.

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • I’m not quite sure what’s going on here, but I think Mr. Taylor doesn’t understand the difference between “permitting” and “permitting.”
    Stay with me.
    First off is the assertion that, “States with these types of subjective permitting regimes infringe on citizens’ Second Amendment right to bear arms…” which translates to, “subjective-issue permitting,” which essentially requires a citizen to have “good cause” or some other specific reason to conceal carry, decreases public safety.
    Second is the assertion that, “permit holders are less likely than members of the general public to commit violent crimes, and neither Washington, D.C., nor any state that has a permissive permit regime has experienced widespread trouble from those who go through the licensing process.”
    Third, the writer asserts that, “The brief cites empirical evidence showing that concealed carry holders are less likely to commit crime,” but does not show that this is in cases where permits require that the carrier attend instruction on the lawful and responsible use of firearms, which is usual in instances where one needs to apply for a concealed carry permit.
    Trey has not done his homework, or he is being disingenuous. States that require permits usually require that the permit holder prove she has gone through a course of instruction on the laws and proper means of concealed carry or has a legit need to carry. Alaska has no such requirements. Anyone can carry anywhere not prohibited by federal law. Why he is pursuing this is beyond me, other than to say something like, “Hey, I’m a gun totin,’ rootin,’ shootin’ friend of good ol’ Rosco here, and I’m here to tell you I’m on their side.”
    I don’t know about the other states, or who put him up to this, but it is a total waste of time on his part. BUT, don’t try going strapped to states that have rigorous carry laws just because we don’t have them here in AK. They won’t be sympathetic.
    And, in case you’re wondering, Alaska has the highest rate of firearm deaths per 100K of any of the 50 states.
    On the other hand, Vermont, which has no carry restrictions, has one of the lowest firearm death rates.
    Go figure.

    • “And, in case you’re wondering, Alaska has the highest rate of firearm deaths per 100K of any of the 50 states.”

      That’s nice, but that’s not very telling if you don’t do your homework on all causes of death and the circumstances that lead to them. There have been a number of times that I have had to use my gun for protection in this state. Not one of those times did the other person threatening my life or the lives of others have a gun. Nor do animals carry weapons.

      • Manda,

        Following your reasoning, can you imagine the number of “firearm”, or lack of, deaths in Alaska if open and concealed carry were not “permitted”?. Self defense is an integral part of America’s Constitution. Without the right to self defend, Alaskans would be in a sorry ‘state’. Yourself “having” had to use a firearm to defend yourself and yours speaks volumes. Animals do carry ‘weapons’. Claws, teeth, strength, unpredictability, all say something. Like my dad used to say, “one time you need it is worth all those times carrying it and not needing it”. I agree.

    • Perhaps, like many of us, he believes in the Second Amendment and that without it, the others will fall……

      “All political power comes from the barrel of a gun. The communist party must command all the guns, that way, no guns can ever be used to command the party.” – Mao Tze Tung,

    • Well since you hate everything about AK so much Greggie, I’d say Pack your bags! Vermont is calling you!

      • Vermont is a wonderful state. Alaska’s nice, too. I’m especially fond of that time of year when the fireflower blooms.

    • Vermont is the size of the Kenai Peninsula.

      Big difference

    • Third, the writer asserts that, “The brief cites empirical evidence showing that concealed carry holders are less likely to commit crime,” but does not show that this is in cases where permits require that the carrier attend instruction on the lawful and responsible use of firearms, which is usual in instances where one needs to apply for a concealed carry permit.

      This is not a true statement. There is no statistically significant difference between states with permits, which have wildly different training requirements, some have none at all. If training had such an impact it would be reflected in the data on revocations and criminal misuse by permitted persons. Instead what we see are rates of such misuse so low as to be hard to track.

      Also, “firearms deaths” is a nonsense figure at the best of times, but particularly when the topic is permits to carry concealed, or lack thereof. The term includes deaths using long guns, which are not covered under most, if any, permitted or permitless carry regimen.

      Of course, the majority of “firearms deaths” using any firearm are suicides, which involve no intersection with a carry permit requirement of any kind.

      Of the third or less of “deaths” which are criminal homicides, the majority of those are domestic violence, which doesn’t necessarily involve misuse of a publicly carried weapon, permitted or not, as 75% of such violence (per the BJS) occurs in or near the residence. Of the non-DV killings, the majority are between persons known to police, often prohibited persons, also typically not in public places where lawful carry would be a factor. In those few such cases of a criminal homicide in a public place using a handgun (which is what almost all permits impact), the number who are non-prohibited and of age, and thus eligible to lawfully carry on or off a permit, is certainly not a majority, and, given the statistics on misuse by permit holders, likely a tiny minority.

      “Firearms Deaths” is an actively unhelpful, contextless “statistic” created simply to make the negative impact of firearms appear larger. Its use makes addressing the wildly disparate issues of misuse of firearms harder, and no intellectually honest or credible person should traffic in it.

      • The term “firearm deaths” is roughly equivalent statistically to “accidental deaths” in the sense that it is an overall category. MAC is substantially correct when he calls it unhelpful, as far as its ability to determine anything about CCW related deaths. We could parse out the details and get a lot better picture of what’s going on if we were to look more closely at the data. Then we’d find out if there are differences between CCW, open carry, or unbridled, Old West carry. I don’t know if that has been done. The Congress passed laws many years ago that restrict the collection of such information. Apparently, Congress thought not knowing was the better option.

  • Unfortunately, over the years, the states and the people have allowed certain states to “slice and dice” the Second Amendment and, in many cases, to greatly dilute its intent by adding layers of permits, restrictions and fees which, in some states, have become so burdensome as to all but eliminate a large segment of what should be legal firearms. The founders made it the Second Amendment because of their notion of its importance to our liberty. The above referenced brief makes a great point about the extremely low incidence of crimes committed by concealed carry permit holders versus the general populous. I would further observe that the general attitude about firearm ownership in our country is generally along urban-rural lines with many urban people willing to argue that they have a police station nearby and no need for a firearm while rural people generally see firearms as tools. Think of the federal litigation that would have taken place if each state had placed its own subset of rules on the First Amendment and in some cases had rendered the right to free speech or the right to worship as all but moot.

  • We have to have a ccw permit In Florida.

    • Hey Greg,

      You could always move back to Alaska if you feel jeopardized living in Florida and can’t carry, for whatever reason.

  • Second Amendment
    Good job Alaska

  • Excellent!! I like this new AG already!!

  • Thank You Treg!

  • They never learn. Gun laws only affect the lawabiding citizens. Criminals, by their very nature, don’t obey the law; especially gun laws……..

  • Why do you need a permit to exercise a right..? Anytime I hear permits I think of fees, taxes, waiting periods, police vetting, finger print cards, passport photos, background checks, medical records, psychological reports. I think voting should be treated the same way as owning guns. Want to vote? Well.. You’re going to need a background check, a waiting period and pay a fee. And for special elections like the presidential election, yeah.. You’re going have to pay $200 for the right to vote. Mad now? Good! Because that’s what gun owners go through to buy and own any class of guns.

    • Agreed!

    • The way the democrats are steering the ship, soon You will need specific permits for various forms of “free” speech……

  • Kudos to AG Taylor. It is important that Alaska support the Constitutional rights of all US citizens. Survive together, perish apart. Yes, Alaska has a high firearm death rate, mostly suicides and unrelated to CCW. And this is not about Constitutional carry, only ‘shall issue’ vs ‘may issue’. Carry on!

  • Because the second amendment does not guarantee an unlimited right to carry a weapon for whatever or any purpose. This was decided by the supreme Court and Anthony Scalia was involved.

    • Activist judges fiddling with a right do not alter a right; only submission will alter a right……

  • I don’t buy permits for things that are already a constitutional right. When you play along with or allow their permitting, you are in affect giving up part of your rights, or outright paying the government to have your constitutional right. I intend to continue carrying my sometimes and sometimes not concealed weapon, which mostly depends on how cold it is outside, or where I’m going.

  • Don’t forget that by buying a gun in Alaska, you’re also entering the FBI database for gun ownership, though that doesn’t show up when it’s a “background” check. I’m sure that when they want to come and confiscate guns, they’re going to come to your house in the middle of the night because they know what kind and how many guns you own! Be ready!

  • Honestly, I don’t know which is sadder – being so paranoid that one feels the need to carry, or feeling so insecure that one carries in order to gain a false sense of empowerment. Neither is a healthy state of mind.

    The world is not out to get you, and your dreams of Hollywood-type heroics are misplaced.

    • Beyond what the liberals believe, there are bad people and they will try to hurt you or take something from you. When you find yourself in need of help from the police, don’t be mad when they are not there. Police are a reactionary force and will show up eventually, but they arrive after the crime has been committed. Just remember your attitude when and if the need ever arises and don’t cry when you are the victim. I personally take responsibility for my own safety and do not rely on the police or the Government to provide that safety, I do so by exercising my right under the second amendment.

    • It only takes one second usually only around 5 seconds for someone or something to take you out, pretty sure the general response time for wildlife or law enforcement is going to be a bit longer. Basically the cleanup crew.
      To assume I walk around paranoid and with empowerment issues is something you might be having a hard time with yourself. Me on the other hand, I’m just aware of my surroundings, and carrying is just second nature. No sadness here, and as far as your beloved Hollywood, I’m pretty sure most gun owners are realists and aren’t swayed by your fantasy Hollywood movies like such others are.

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