There will be no new borough regulations to restrict the discharge of firearms outside city limits without the expressed approval of Mat-Su voters.
On Nov. 8, Mat-Su Borough voters overwhelmingly approved a proposition requiring that “any future ordinance regulating the discharge of firearms, outside city limits, must be ratified by the voters before it can take effect.”
The election night tally showed the ordinance passing with 20,054 in favor and 7,979 against. That’s with 100% of precincts reporting. There are still about 4,100 absentee and questioned ballots to be tallied before the official results are finalized on Nov. 22, but these are not enough to change the outcome.
State law does permit municipalities to restrict the discharge of firearms if there is a “reasonable likelihood” that people, domestic animals or property would be jeopardized. Additionally, Alaska statute permits municipalities to prohibit the possession of firearms in limited “restricted access” areas of government buildings.
However, the potential regulation of firearms and authority to do so is not part of the Matanuska-Susitna Borough’s planning powers under Alaska Statute and there is no prohibition on requiring voter approval of local laws restricting discharge of firearms.
The push for the new proposition came about shortly after the Mat-Su Borough voted in March to rescind a hotly contested and deeply divisive ordinance that imposed new restrictions on gun ranges across the borough.