JUNEAU, Alaska (Feb. 22, 2024) – A bill introduced in the Alaska House would prohibit state and local enforcement of most federal gun control on the books.

Rep. David Eastman introduced House Bill 372 (HB372) on Feb. 20. Titled the Second Amendment Preservation Act, the bill would prohibit a state or municipal agency in Alaska from knowingly enforcing, attempting to enforce, or participating in the enforcement of “an order of the President of the United States, a federal regulation, or a law enacted by the United States Congress relating to firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition if the enforcement or implementation is against a law-abiding citizen.” It would also bar state and local agencies from providing “material aid or support” in the enforcement or implementation of the same.

Under the proposed law, “law-abiding citizen” would be defined as “a person legally present in the state and the United States who is not precluded under state law from possessing a firearm.”

HB372 includes a $50,000 fine for violations of the law, along with a $50,000 fine for any municipal agency that hires a person who previously violated the law.

The following actions would specifically not be prohibited under the proposed law.

  • Providing aid to a federal peace officer in pursuit of a suspect if there is a criminal nexus with another state and the suspect is not a citizen of Alaska or present in the state.
  • Providing aid to a federal prosecutor for a felony violation involving a controlled substance or an offense against a person if the prosecution includes a weapons offense similar to conduct that is illegal under state statute and the weapons offense is not secondary to the controlled substance.
  • Accepting federal assistance for the enforcement of state statutes.


The federal government relies heavily on state cooperation to implement and enforce almost all of its laws, regulations and acts – including gun control. By simply withdrawing this necessary cooperation, states and localities can nullify many federal actions in effect. As noted by the National Governors’ Association during the partial government shutdown of 2013, “states are partners with the federal government on most federal programs.”

Based on James Madison’s advice for states and individuals in Federalist #46, a “refusal to cooperate with officers of the Union” represents an extremely effective method to bring down federal gun control measures because most enforcement actions rely on help, support and leadership from state and local governments.

Fox News senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano agreed. In a televised discussion on the issue, he noted that a single state taking this step would make federal gun laws “nearly impossible” to enforce.

“Partnerships don’t work too well when half the team quits,” said Michael Boldin of the Tenth Amendment Center. “By withdrawing all resources and participation in federal gun control, states and even local governments can help bring these unconstitutional acts to their much-needed end.”


The state of Alaska can legally bar state agents from enforcing federal gun control. Refusal to cooperate with federal enforcement rests on a well-established legal principle known as the anti-commandeering doctrine.

Simply put, the federal government cannot force states to help implement or enforce any federal act or program. The anti-commandeering doctrine is based primarily on five Supreme Court cases dating back to 1842. Printz v. U.S. serves as the cornerstone.

“We held in New York that Congress cannot compel the States to enact or enforce a federal regulatory program. Today we hold that Congress cannot circumvent that prohibition by conscripting the States’ officers directly. The Federal Government may neither issue directives requiring the States to address particular problems, nor command the States’ officers, or those of their political subdivisions, to administer or enforce a federal regulatory program. It matters not whether policy making is involved, and no case by case weighing of the burdens or benefits is necessary; such commands are fundamentally incompatible with our constitutional system of dual sovereignty”

No determination of constitutionality is necessary to invoke the anti-commandeering doctrine. State and local governments can refuse to enforce federal laws or implement federal programs whether they are constitutional or not.


HB372 was referred to the House Community and Regional Affairs Committee where it must get a hearing and pass by a majority vote before moving forward in the legislative process.

Mike Maharrey

The 10th Amendment

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