Legislature(2005 - 2006)HOUSE FINANCE 519

04/21/2006 01:30 PM FINANCE

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Meeting Postponed to 1:45 PM today--
<Bill Hearing Postponed>
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
Moved HCS CSSB 200(FIN) Out of Committee
<Bill Hearing Rescheduled from 04/19/06>
Moved Out of Committee
<Bill Hearing Rescheduled from 04/19/06>
Moved HCS SB 304(TRA) Out of Committee
CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 200(JUD) am                                                                                            
"An  Act  relating   to  defense  of  self,   other  persons,                                                                   
property, or services."                                                                                                         
2:23:00 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative Hawker    MOVED Conceptual Amendment #1:                                                                         
          Page 2, lines 23 and 28, changes in punctuation                                                                       
          Page 2, lines 29-31, deleting                                                                                         
          "(d) the weapon used by the person was a firearm                                                                      
          that was illegal under state or federal law for                                                                       
          the person to possess as a result of a conviction                                                                     
          for a felony."                                                                                                        
Representative Stoltze OBJECTED.                                                                                                
Representative Hawker    discussed  the  amendment.    In  an                                                                   
earlier Committee  meeting, testimony  had raised  a question                                                                   
about  equal protection  under  the rights  of the  law.   He                                                                   
noted that  being a  fugitive of  justice makes possessing  a                                                                   
weapon illegal, and could under  the current bill eliminate a                                                                   
person's right  to claim  a plea of  self-defense.   He noted                                                                   
various contradictory  circumstances wherein the  legality of                                                                   
a firearm  was in  conflict with  the ability  to claim  self                                                                   
defense.  He  concluded that the provision was  best stricken                                                                   
from the  bill, thereby  giving the  right to a  self-defense                                                                   
plea to every person living in Alaska.                                                                                          
2:26:06 PM                                                                                                                    
DAVE   STANCLIFF,   STAFF,   SENATOR   THERRIAULT   testified                                                                   
regarding the amendment.   He noted that although  it was not                                                                   
part of  the original bill,  the Sponsor would  entertain the                                                                   
2:26:52 PM                                                                                                                    
Responding  to  a  question  by   Representative  Kelly,  Mr.                                                                   
Stancliff stated that the legislation  was in line with other                                                                   
states, such as Florida, after  whom they modeled their bill.                                                                   
Representative Stoltze REMOVED his OBJECTION.                                                                                   
There being no objection, the Amendment was Adopted.                                                                            
2:27:57 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative Kerttula  noted  her similar concern  with the                                                                   
gang related provision.  She suggested  that such a provision                                                                   
dealing   with  identity   rather  than   conduct  might   be                                                                   
unconstitutional.  She asked if  the Sponsor would be willing                                                                   
to take  the provision  from the  bill, and  stated that  she                                                                   
would  be   willing  to  offer   such  an  amendment.     She                                                                   
acknowledged  that  while  gang related  behaviors  were  not                                                                   
popular, it still presented a constitutional conflict.                                                                          
2:29:24 PM                                                                                                                    
SUSAN  PARKS,  DEPUTY ATTORNEY  GENERAL,  CRIMINAL  DIVISION,                                                                   
DEPARTMENT OF  LAW testified via  teleconference.   She noted                                                                   
that the section in question did  not just deal with identity                                                                   
in a gang, but  also related to actual conduct.   It requires                                                                   
that a  person is "acting alone,  or with others,  in revenge                                                                   
for,  retaliation for,  or response  to  actual or  perceived                                                                   
conduct by a  rival or perceived rival".  She  concluded that                                                                   
it did not mean that one could  not use the defense simply by                                                                   
virtue of being a gang member.                                                                                                  
2:30:32 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative Kerttula  maintained   that   the   provision,                                                                   
since  it pertained  to "or  responding  to actual  conduct",                                                                   
could mean  that a person might  actually be engaged  in self                                                                   
defense  and would not  have the  right to  that claim.   Ms.                                                                   
Parks  recalled  in speaking  with  Mr. Dean  Guaneli,  Chief                                                                   
Assistant  Attorney  General,  Department  of  Law  they  had                                                                   
discussed language  to address a "shoot out"  situation.  She                                                                   
conceded that  small changes might  be made to  the language,                                                                   
but  referred   to  other  states  that   maintained  similar                                                                   
legislative language to address similar conduct.                                                                                
2:32:21 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative Kerttula  still  questioned  the  identity  as                                                                   
preventing  the  self-defense claim.    She  stated that  she                                                                   
would speak to  the Attorney General's office  regarding this                                                                   
2:32:55 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative Stoltze   expressed  his preference  to simply                                                                   
litigate  such   questions,  rather  than  to   support  gang                                                                   
behavior by trying to create assurances.                                                                                        
2:33:51 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative Kelly expressed  his comfort with the language                                                                   
in the bill.                                                                                                                    
Representative Hawker    MOVED  to  REPORT  HCSCSSB200  (JUD)                                                                   
out  of Committee  as amended  with  a zero  fiscal note  and                                                                   
individual recommendations.   There  being NO OBJECTIONS,  it                                                                   
was so ordered.                                                                                                                 
Co-Chair Meyer noted  that the Committee would  meet again on                                                                   
Monday, April 24.                                                                                                               

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