Legislature(2005 - 2006)SENATE FINANCE 532

04/22/2006 09:00 AM FINANCE


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Recessed to a Call of the Chair --
+= SB 305 OIL AND GAS PRODUCTION TAX TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSSB 305(FIN) Out of Committee
+ HB 357 STATUTORY REFERENCES TO DISABILITIES TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 357(FIN) Out of Committee
+ HB 394 INSURANCE POLICIES IN FOREIGN LANGUAGES TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 394(L&C) am Out of Committee
+ HB 400 CONFISCATION OF FIREARMS TELECONFERENCED
Moved SCS CSHB 400(JUD) Out of Committee
+ HB 408 DEFINITION OF CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                                                                                                                                
     SENATE CS FOR CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 400(JUD)                                                                               
     "An Act relating to confiscation of firearms during                                                                        
     disaster emergencies."                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
This was  the first hearing for  this bill in the  Senate Finance                                                               
Committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
11:52:54 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
KAREN  LIDSTER, Staff  to Representative  John Coghill,  informed                                                               
the Committee that this bill  was prompted by the confiscation of                                                               
firearms  in  Louisiana  after   Hurricane  Katrina.  That  event                                                               
prompted the State  to review regulations in  the Alaska Disaster                                                               
Act.  This bill  would add  a new  limitation that  provides that                                                               
there  is "no  authority  granted to  confiscate lawfully  owned,                                                               
possessed, or carried firearms by law-abiding citizens".                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Lidster informed  that the  bill originally  provided for  a                                                               
penalty  of   a  Class  A   felony  for  anyone   who  unlawfully                                                               
confiscated firearms.  The current version of  the bill contained                                                               
"sidebars" that specify that a  person must first be found guilty                                                               
of official  misconduct under AS  11.56.850 or  interference with                                                               
constitutional  rights under  AS  11.76.110 before  a penalty  is                                                               
incurred. Public  safety personnel also deemed  it appropriate to                                                               
specify   that  those   in  law   enforcement   fall  under   the                                                               
jurisdiction of this  legislation. The intent of the  bill was to                                                               
ensure that Alaskans retain the  ability to protect themselves in                                                               
times of disaster when they are at their most vulnerable.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
11:56:27 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Senator Olson inquired if there was any opposition to this bill.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Ms.   Lidster   had   received   no   communications   indicating                                                               
opposition, and  noted the bill  passed unanimously in  the House                                                               
of Representatives.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
AT EASE 11:56:56 AM / 11:57:40 AM                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Green  summarized that  an  individual  in an  official                                                               
capacity who attempts  to confiscate a personal  firearm could be                                                               
convicted, could  forfeit any government appointed  position, and                                                               
could be subject to impeachment.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Lidster affirmed.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
11:58:19 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Dyson remarked  on the  thoroughness of  the bill.  Sec.                                                               
26.23.200 represented  a careful  consideration of the  limits on                                                               
the  government   when  declaring   a  disaster,   including  the                                                               
prohibition  on   the  government   from  interfering   with  the                                                               
settlement of  labor disputes  and freedom  of speech.  This bill                                                               
would also allow people to retain  their own firearms in times of                                                               
disaster. He considered the bill "careful" and "appropriate".                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Senator Bunde offered a motion  to report the bill from Committee                                                               
with individual recommendations and accompanying fiscal note.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There being  no objection,  SCS CS  HB 400  (JUD) was  MOVED from                                                               
Committee  with  zero  fiscal  note #1  from  the  Department  of                                                               
Military and Veterans Affairs.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
12:00:01 PM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                

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