SJR 15: Urging the United States Congress not to reinstate the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban.
00 SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 15 01 Urging the United States Congress not to reinstate the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban. 02 BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 03 WHEREAS studies by and for the National Institute of Justice, Congressional 04 Research Service, Library of Congress, National Academy of Sciences, and Centers for 05 Disease Control and Prevention have found no evidence that gun restrictions reduce crime; 06 and 07 WHEREAS a study, mandated by the United States Congress, of the federal assault 08 weapon and large magazine ban of 1994 - 2004 determined that the law had little or no effect 09 on crime, in part because the firearms and magazines in question had previously been used in 10 only a small percentage of crime; and 11 WHEREAS the 1994 law defined firearms as assault weapons based on factors that 12 are irrelevant to criminal activity, such as the shape of a rifle's grip and other merely cosmetic 13 characteristics; and 14 WHEREAS "assault weapon" is currently defined as a firearm capable of fully 15 automatic fire; and 16 WHEREAS semi-automatic rifles and shotguns are widely used by sportsmen and
01 hunters and facilitate hunting and target shooting by handicapped citizens; and 02 WHEREAS state and local police department reports show that before, during and 03 since the 1994 law, assault weapons have been used in only about one percent of murders, 04 while over 30 percent of murders are committed without firearms of any sort; and 05 WHEREAS many rifles and shotguns that the 1994 law defined as assault weapons 06 are widely used for defensive purposes, particularly for home protection; and 07 WHEREAS magazines that hold more than 10 rounds, which the 1994 law defined as 08 large, are standard equipment on a variety of rifles and handguns designed for, readily 09 adaptable to, or useful for defensive purposes; and 10 WHEREAS rifles that the 1994 law defined as assault weapons include the AR-15 11 and M1A, the rifles most commonly used for marksmanship competition and training in the 12 United States; and 13 WHEREAS magazines that the 1994 law defined as large are the type of magazines 14 most often used for marksmanship competition and training in the United States; and 15 WHEREAS, contrary to the predictions of gun control supporters that the expiration 16 of the 1994 law would result in a crime wave, total violent crime has fallen to a 35-year low, 17 and, in particular, murder has fallen to a 43-year low, based on preliminary data reported by 18 the Federal Bureau of Investigation for 2008; and 19 WHEREAS the Supreme Court of the United States, in its decision in District of 20 Columbia v. Heller, 128 S.Ct. 2783 (2008), ruled that the Second Amendment to the 21 Constitution of the United States protects the individual right to keep and bear arms primarily 22 for defensive purposes; 23 BE IT RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature urges the United States 24 Congress not to reinstate the 1994 Assault Weapons ban, in whole or in part. 25 COPIES of this resolution shall be sent to the Honorable Joseph R. Biden, Jr., Vice- 26 President of the United States and President of the U.S. Senate; the Honorable Nancy Pelosi, 27 Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives; the Honorable Harry Reid, Majority Leader of 28 the U.S. Senate; the Honorable Mitch McConnell, Minority Leader of the U.S. Senate; the 29 Honorable John Boehner, Minority Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives; and the 30 Honorable Lisa Murkowski and the Honorable Mark Begich, U.S. Senators, and the 31 Honorable Don Young, U.S. Representative, members of the Alaska delegation in Congress.