Ketchikan’s borough mayor is asking the assembly to oppose President Biden’s initiative aiming to curb gun violence.  Mayor Rodney Dial says the executive orders announced earlier this month violate the Second Amendment. He’s asking the borough assembly to consider a resolution on Monday that reaffirms the right to bear arms.

The resolution being introduced calls out President Biden’s April 8 announcement of executive orders on gun control. They include tightening restrictions on “ghost guns” – homemade firearms sold in kits or 3-D printed that are untraceable – as well as stabilizing braces for semi-automatic pistols that critics say make them more accurate and deadlier.

But in a recent interview with KRBD, Ketchikan Borough Mayor Rodney Dial says this goes against the Constitution.

“Our concern is that if the President has the ability with an executive order to essentially affect a Constitutional right, well then he’s essentially a king or a dictator and he’s not really following the Constitution.”

He says it’s up to the legislative and judicial branches to set the laws.

“We believe that if these goals of the President are noble, then he needs to communicate those to Congress – it’s Congress’ duty to actually pass laws – and then it’s the court’s determination to Congress to figure out if those laws are valid or not.”

Dial says other communities around the state have adopted similar resolutions, citing an ordinance passed by the Kenai Peninsula Borough in July 2020. But he says he wants to make sure Alaska’s D.C. delegation and state leaders stand up for gun owners’ rights.

“Because we know that there are hundreds of citizens on this island that have these types of weapons and they’ve retained them legally… forever. To my knowledge we’ve never had an issue with any of the ones that the President’s concerned with. But we really don’t want to see a whole class of our citizens essentially turned into criminals for possessing something that they legally purchased to begin with.”

In their sponsor statement, Dial and co-sponsor Assembly member Jeremy Bynum write that, as locally elected representatives, it’s the duty of the Assembly to protect and defend the Constitution as well as the rights and privileges secured by fellow citizens.

The proposed resolution will be heard at the regular Assembly meeting beginning at 5:30 p.m. Monday in assembly chambers at the White Cliff Building. Public comment will be heard at the start of the meeting.