Legislature(1995 - 1996)
1995-02-27 House JournalFull Journal pdf
1995-02-27 House Journal Page 0497 HB 205 HOUSE BILL NO. 205 by the House Rules Committee by request of the Governor, entitled: "An Act relating to a claim based on criminal street gang activity; relating to offenses related to criminal street gang activities; relating to the crime of recruitment for, sentencing for, and forfeiture of property relating to criminal street gang activities; restricting criminal street gang offenders from obtaining a permit to carry a concealed handgun; amending Alaska Rule of Civil Procedure 82; and providing for an effective date." was read the first time and referred to the Health, Education & Social Services, State Affairs and Judiciary Committees. The following fiscal notes apply: Zero fiscal notes (2), Dept. of Administration, 2/27/95 Zero fiscal notes (3), Dept. of Health & Social Services, 2/27/95 Zero fiscal note, Dept. of Corrections, 2/27/95 Zero fiscal note, Dept. of Law, 2/27/95 Zero fiscal note, Dept. of Public Safety, 2/27/95 1995-02-27 House Journal Page 0498 HB 205 The Governor's transmittal letter, dated February 27, 1995, appears below: "Dear Speaker Phillips: Under the authority of art. III, sec. 18, of the Alaska Constitution, I am transmitting a bill relating to the prevention of criminal activities by street gangs. These crimes have become a distressing part of life in Anchorage and other urban areas of the state. Gangs have been responsible for drive-by shootings, random brutal violence, and a major increase in drug trafficking. If we cannot control the criminal acts of gangs, we cannot control crime as a whole in this state. This bill will allow us to crack down on criminal activities of gangs in this state in several different ways. First, it creates a civil cause of action for victims against gang members, affording treble damages and full reasonable attorney fees, for harm resulting from the member's participation in the criminal street gang. If the gang member is an unemancipated minor, the parent of the minor is liable, as well. Next, the bill makes it a crime (a class C felony) for a person to use or threaten to use force to induce another person to participate in, or commit a crime on behalf of, a criminal street gang. The bill also makes it a crime (a class A misdemeanor) for an adult to encourage or recruit a minor to participate in a criminal street gang, even if force or the threat of force is not used. The bill allows the court to impose criminal forfeiture to the state of certain property used in or obtained through criminal street gang activities. This bill also makes it an aggravator for presumptive sentencing purposes in felony cases for a person to commit an offense for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in association with a street gang. If the offense is not a felony, this bill will increase the level of the offense, so that a class B misdemeanor that is related to criminal street gang activities will be a class A misdemeanor and a class A misdemeanor that is related to criminal street gang activities will be a class C felony. Crimes committed in association with gang activity generally result in more serious injury or damage than other offenses, and it is appropriate that they be treated more seriously. 1995-02-27 House Journal Page 0499 HB 205 Finally, the bill amends concealed handgun permit statutes in AS18.65 to prohibit those who have committed or are charged with committing certain misdemeanor offenses related to criminal street gang activities from being eligible for a concealed handgun permit. Under existing AS18.65.705(2), a felony charge or conviction, whether or not related to criminal street gang activities, would make a person ineligible for a permit. We need to free our communities from the fear created by criminal activities of street gangs. We can do this by stopping the recruitment of minors into gangs for these activities and by increasing the penalties for those who commit crimes as part of a gang or on behalf of a gang. This bill does both. I urge your favorable action on it. Sincerely, /s/ Tony Knowles Governor"