22nd Alaska State Legislature
Information from Senator Dave Donley (R)



Click image for large 5'' x 7'' picture, 85.27k Session:
State Capitol, Room 508
Juneau, AK 99801-1182
Phone: (907) 465-3892
Fax: (907) 465-6595


Interim:
716 W 4th Avenue, Suite 400
Anchorage, AK 99501-2133
Phone: (907) 269-0234
Fax: (907) 269-0238

Sponsor Statement for SJR 17
Federal Gun Policies

Released: March 22, 2001
Contact: Jomo Stewart, Legislative Aide to Senator Dave Donley, at (907) 465-2705

Senate Joint Resolution 17 requests that President Bush direct the United States Justice Department to acknowledge gun-ownership to be the Constitutionally guaranteed freedom that the founding fathers intended. It reflects the belief of the Alaskan people that the writers of the United States Constitution fully intended the Second Amendment to irrevocably protect the right of individual American citizens to keep and bear arms.

Under President Clinton's Administration, the United States Department of Justice advocated the legal position that the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution afforded no protections to individual citizens: not even for members of the national Armed Services, the National Guards or states' militias. Furthermore, attorneys for the Justice Department argued in open court that the Second Amendment of the Constitution was consistent with their position that the United States government could, without explanation or rational justification, relieve otherwise law-abiding American citizens of any and all firearms. Guns liable for confiscation included not only handguns but muskets, rifles and shotguns: cherished firearms, traditionally used for hunting and self-protection, since the very inception of our nation.

From the body of historical evidence it is clear that the founding fathers of the United States were, one and all, gun users and gun owners: Mason, Madison, Monroe, Jefferson, Franklin, Hamilton, Paine, Henry, Webster, Samuel Adams, John Adams, Washington ... Federalists and Anti-Federalists alike considered the right to own and bear arms, like freedom of religion, speech or the press, to be an inalienable natural right and a necessary check on the power of a potentially overreaching government.

The Alaskan people positively recognized the true spirit of the United States Constitution when they voted overwhelmingly to amend the Alaska State Constitution to specifically protect the right of individual citizens to keep and bear arms. Senate Joint Resolution 17 urges President Bush to bring renewed honor to the office of the Presidency by joining us in this reaffirmation of the true meaning of Article II of the Bill of Rights, the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution.

Senate Joint Resolution 17 was drafted in consultation with the National Rifle Association.

# # #

Attachments:

  • Letter from the U.S. Dept. of Justice stating the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution does not give the right to bear arms to individuals.
    requires Adobe Acrobat Reader - 1 page(s) - 26 K
  • Notes taken during Oral Arguments in case between United States V. Emerson, 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, June 12, 2000. A U.S. Justice attorney asserts it is the policy of the Justice Department that the Second Amendment is consistent with a position that the Federal Government can restrict all private ownership of rifles, pistols and shotguns.
    requires Adobe Acrobat Reader - 2 page(s) - 21 K
  • Print Friendly Version
    Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader - 1 page(s) - 69 K

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