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Alaska Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action Commend Introduction of Legislation Establishing Extreme Risk Law Aimed at Keeping Firearms Out of Dangerous Hands

February 14, 2024

JUNEAU, AK. — The Alaska chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action issued the following statement celebrating the introduction of SB 229. The measure would allow a judge to temporarily remove a person’s access to guns when there is evidence that they pose a serious risk. Under this proposal, a law enforcement officer, family member, intimate partner, or household member can petition the court for a gun violence protective order, alongside all relevant evidence and information. The bill now will be considered by the appropriate committees. 

“Extreme risk laws are a proven, life-saving way to prevent tragedy before it strikes,” said April Rochford, a volunteer with the Alaska chapter of Moms Demand Action. “As our state battles worrisome suicide rates, having an extreme risk law in place would allow law enforcement or family members to remove firearms from those who pose risk to themselves and others, rather than waiting for a tragedy to happen. We look forward to working with lawmakers on both sides as we fight to end gun violence.” 

Today is the sixth-year-mark of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Shortly after that tragedy, then-Governor Rick Scott signed a Red Flag law. Since its creation, Florida authorities have petitioned more than 10,000 times to keep guns out of the hands of people deemed a risk to themselves or others, according to data maintained by the Office of the State Courts Administrator. Currently, twenty-one states and the District of Columbia currently have Extreme Risk laws on the books. More information about Extreme Risk Laws is available here

In an average year, 173 people die by guns in Alaska. With a rate of 23.6 deaths per 100,000 people, Alaska has the 4th-highest rate of gun deaths in the US. Firearms are the leading cause of death among children and teens in the state, with an average of 21 firearm deaths every year. 60 percent of those deaths are firearm suicides. More information about gun violence in Alaska is available here.

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