Legislature(2005 - 2006)HOUSE FINANCE 519
04/21/2006 01:30 PM FINANCE
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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 amendment. 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 language. 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.