Alaska House panel advances “Stand Your Ground” bill

The Alaska House Judiciary Committee advanced Big Lake Republican Mark Neuman’s “stand your ground” bill on Friday.

House Bill 24 would expand people’s right to use deadly force as a means of self-defense. A similar law already on the books in Florida became a source of controversy last year when neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman shot and killed unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin on a street in an Orlando suburb.

Neuman has tried to pass the Alaska bill multiple times in recent years without success.

The Judiciary Committee also gave the public a chance to weigh in on House Bill 69, sponsored by House Speaker Mike Chenault. It would make it a felony for a federal official or agent to try to enforce any new restrictions on gun ownership.

Chenault initially proposed making it a misdemeanor, but the latest version of his bill strengthens that penalty. The bill has garnered broad support from House Republicans.

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Alaska House panel advances “Stand Your Ground” bill