Legislature(2005 - 2006)BUTROVICH 205

05/03/2005 08:30 AM JUDICIARY

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Recessed to 3:30 pm --
Heard & Held
Scheduled But Not Heard
Moved CSHB 33(FIN) Out of Committee
Moved SCS CSHB 81(JUD) Out of Committee
Moved SCS CSHB 149(JUD) Out of Committee
Moved SCS CSHB 183(STA) Out of Committee
Moved SCS HB 184(JUD) Out of Committee
Moved HB 201 Out of Committee
Moved SCS CSHB 210(JUD) Out of Committee
Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled
<Bill listing does not indicate the order
in which each will be taken up>
            HB 184 AM -MUNICIPAL FIREARM ORDINANCES                                                                       
9:05:41 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR RALPH SEEKINS introduced HB 184.                                                                                          
MS. SUE WRIGHT, staff to  Representative Mike Chenault introduced                                                               
HB 184, which  would ensure that citizens be able  to look to one                                                               
law as the single final authority regarding firearm regulation.                                                                 
MR. BRIAN JUDY, member, National  Rifle Association (NRA), voiced                                                               
approval of the bill.                                                                                                           
9:08:08 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  GUESS  asked  Mr.  Judy whether  HB  184  overturns  any                                                               
current municipal law.                                                                                                          
MR.  JUDY responded  he does  not believe  any municipalities  in                                                               
Alaska have  local ordinances that deal  with firearms businesses                                                               
more restrictively than other businesses.                                                                                       
SENATOR  GUESS stated  Anchorage  has an  ordinance where  liquor                                                               
stores  have to  be a  certain distance  from schools.  She asked                                                               
whether  those types  of  restrictions could  be  imposed upon  a                                                               
firearm dealer.                                                                                                                 
MR. JUDY answered he is not sure.                                                                                               
9:09:53 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  FRENCH  stated  there are  many  businesses  that  incur                                                               
CHAIR  SEEKINS  asserted selling  firearms  is  not the  same  as                                                               
selling pornography.                                                                                                            
SENATOR   HUGGINS   mentioned    the   federal   government   has                                                               
exclusionary laws around schools.                                                                                               
9:12:00 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR FRENCH wanted to know how restrictively a gun shop owner                                                                
would be treated.                                                                                                               
CHAIR SEEKINS moved Amendment 1.                                                                                                
                      A M E N D M E N T 1                                                                                   
OFFERED IN THE SENATE                                                                                                           
     TO:  HB 184 am                                                                                                             
Page 1, lines 3 - 11:                                                                                                           
     Delete all material.                                                                                                       
     Insert new bill sections to read:                                                                                          
  * Sec. 1.  AS 29.35.145(a) is repealed and reenacted to read:                                                               
          (a)  The authority to regulate firearms is reserved to                                                                
     the state  and, except as specifically  provided by statute,                                                               
     a  municipality  may  not  enact  or  enforce  an  ordinance                                                               
     regulating the  possession, ownership, sale,  transfer, use,                                                               
     carrying,    transportation,    licensing,   taxation,    or                                                               
     registration of firearms.                                                                                                  
   * Sec. 2.  AS 29.35.145 is amended by adding new subsections                                                               
to read:                                                                                                                        
          (c)  Municipalities may enact and enforce ordinances                                                                  
               (1)  that are identical to state law and that                                                                    
     have the same penalty as provided for by state law;                                                                        
               (2)  restricting the discharge of firearms in any                                                                
     portion of  their respective jurisdictions where  there is a                                                               
     reasonable  likelihood  that  people, domestic  animals,  or                                                               
     property   will  be   jeopardized;  ordinances   enacted  or                                                               
     enforced under this  paragraph may not abridge  the right of                                                               
     the individual  guaranteed by art. I,  sec. 19, Constitution                                                               
     of the State  of Alaska, to bear arms in  defense of self or                                                               
               (3)  restricting the areas in their respective                                                                   
     jurisdictions  in which  firearms  may be  sold; a  business                                                               
     selling firearms may not be  treated more restrictively that                                                               
     other businesses located within the same zone; and                                                                         
               (4)  prohibiting the possession of firearms in                                                                   
     the   restricted  access   area   of  municipal   government                                                               
     buildings; the  municipal assembly shall post  notice of the                                                               
     prohibition against possession of firearms at each entrance                                                                
     to the restricted access area.                                                                                             
          (d)  In this section,                                                                                                 
               (1)  "firearms" includes firearms, or any other                                                                  
     element relating to firearms or parts thereof including                                                                    
     ammunition and reloading components;                                                                                       
               (2)  "restricted access area" means the area                                                                     
     beyond a secure point where visitors are screened and does                                                                 
     not include common areas of ingress and egress open to the                                                                 
     general public.                                                                                                            
          (e)  The prohibition on taxation in (a) of this                                                                       
     section does not include imposition of a sales tax that is                                                                 
     levied on all products sold within a municipality."                                                                        
SENATOR FRENCH  objected for discussion.  He asked  Chair Seekins                                                               
how  the new  Section  1  would coexist  with  Section  1 of  the                                                               
underlying bill.                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEEKINS asked Mr. Judy to comment.                                                                                        
9:14:36 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. JUDY indicated  only the findings were taken out.  He did not                                                               
understand the question.                                                                                                        
CHAIR SEEKINS asked  whether the intent of the  bill was restated                                                               
in Amendment 1 or whether it was included in it.                                                                                
MR.  JUDY  said the  amendment  would  start with  repealing  and                                                               
reenacting AS 29.35.145(a).  The content of the  original bill is                                                               
clearly restated in the amendment.                                                                                              
SENATOR FRENCH said by leaving  out "discharge" in Amendment 1 it                                                               
implicitly  cedes to  municipalities  the  authority to  regulate                                                               
9:17:52 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  FRENCH said  he wanted  to make  sure subsection  (a) in                                                               
Section 2 doesn't override subsection (c) of Section 3.                                                                         
CHAIR   SEEKINS   said  it   does   not.   The  amendment   gives                                                               
municipalities the ability to regulate discharge.                                                                               
9:18:40 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR GUESS  referred to  Section 2,  subsection (a)  and asked                                                               
whether a  municipality can tax  firearms or  anything associated                                                               
with firearms.                                                                                                                  
MR.  JUDY responded  the end  of  the bill  allows imposition  of                                                               
sales tax.                                                                                                                      
9:19:58 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  FRENCH removed  his objection.  Amendment 1  was adopted                                                               
CHAIR SEEKINS moved Amendment 2.                                                                                                
                      A M E N D M E N T 2                                                                                   
OFFERED IN THE SENATE                                                                                                           
     TO:  HB 184 am                                                                                                             
Page 1, following line 11:                                                                                                      
     Insert a new bill section to read:                                                                                         
   "* Sec.  3.  AS 18.65  is amended by  adding a new  section to                                                           
                    Article 10A.  Firearms.                                                                                   
          Sec. 18.65.800. Possession of firearms in motor                                                                     
     vehicles.  (a)  Notwithstanding  any other provision of law,                                                             
     the  state, a  municipality, or  a person  may not  adopt or                                                               
     enforce a law, ordinance, policy,  or rule that prohibits or                                                               
     has the effect of  prohibiting an individual from possessing                                                               
     a firearm  while that individual  is within a  motor vehicle                                                               
     or prohibiting an individual from  storing a firearm that is                                                               
     locked  in the  individual's motor  vehicle while  the motor                                                               
     vehicle  is  otherwise legally  parked  in  or on  state  or                                                               
     municipal  property  or  another person's  property.    This                                                               
     section  applies  only to  possession  of  a firearm  by  an                                                               
     individual  who may  legally possess  a firearm  under state                                                               
     and federal law.                                                                                                           
          (b)  This section does not limit a person's rights or                                                                 
     remedies under any other law.                                                                                              
          (c)  The state, a municipality, or a person is not                                                                    
     liable for any  injury or damage resulting  from the storage                                                               
     of a firearm  in the vehicle of an  individual in accordance                                                               
     with this section."                                                                                                        
SENATOR FRENCH objected for discussion.                                                                                         
MR.  JUDY  explained Amendment  2  would  provide that  a  state,                                                               
municipality, or  person may not prohibit  possession of firearms                                                               
in vehicles.  He said he sees  a problem where an  employer has a                                                               
"no guns  in the workplace" policy.  The employer has a  right to                                                               
that policy in  the workplace but the problem is  when the policy                                                               
is  extended  to  the  company  parking  lot.  The  policy  would                                                               
effectively disarm individuals for the entire day.                                                                              
9:22:34 AM                                                                                                                    
The basis of  Amendment 2 allows workplace  restrictions but does                                                               
not allow them to be extended to the vehicles.                                                                                  
SENATOR  GUESS asked  whether there  are current  state or  local                                                               
restrictions on having a firearm in  a motor vehicle at a school.                                                               
She  asked whether  this would  be changing  current practice  in                                                               
MR.  JUDY said  he  didn't think  so.  Under Anchorage  municipal                                                               
ordinances, firearms are completely  banned in vehicles but under                                                               
state  law,   they  are  allowed  with   some  restrictions.  The                                                               
preemption  bill  would modify  the  Anchorage  ordinance but  it                                                               
would not modify state law.                                                                                                     
9:24:31 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  FRENCH  clarified  Anchorage   municipal  law  does  not                                                               
prohibit guns in vehicles. Possession  of a gun on school grounds                                                               
is prohibited. HB 184 would have the effect of overriding that.                                                                 
CHAIR SEEKINS agreed.                                                                                                           
MR. JUDY  clarified under state  law, firearms are  prohibited on                                                               
school grounds.                                                                                                                 
CHAIR SEEKINS asserted HB 184 would not modify state law.                                                                       
SENATOR  FRENCH pointed  out municipal  ordinance does  not allow                                                               
guns on school grounds.                                                                                                         
9:25:51 AM                                                                                                                    
MR.  JUDY  understood  Anchorage  municipal  ordinance  restricts                                                               
firearms from schools.                                                                                                          
CHAIR SEEKINS  acknowledged HB 184  would change  that ordinance.                                                               
Guns would have to be unloaded and locked in the vehicle.                                                                       
SENATOR  GUESS referred  to  line  16 of  Amendment  2 and  asked                                                               
whether it would exempt a  gun owner from anything resulting from                                                               
the storage of their firearms.                                                                                                  
CHAIR SEEKINS  said the  intent would be  to exempt  the property                                                               
owner  from liability  for the  action of  the gun  being in  the                                                               
MR. JUDY agreed.                                                                                                                
9:28:42 AM                                                                                                                    
Chair Seekins proposed an amendment to Amendment 2.                                                                             
     Line 17, delete "an". Insert "another."                                                                                    
SENATOR FRENCH advised Mr. Judy  of his concern regarding private                                                               
property rights.  Amendment 2 indicates  a homeowner  or employer                                                               
would not be  allowed to bar people from bringing  guns to a home                                                               
or to the workplace.                                                                                                            
MR. JUDY  claimed Amendment 2 is  an attempt to strike  a balance                                                               
between property rights and individual rights.                                                                                  
9:33:30 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  FRENCH  disagreed  with  the concept.  He  said  private                                                               
property is private property.                                                                                                   
SENATOR  HUGGINS  asked  Senator  French whether  he  thought  he                                                               
should be able to search somebody's vehicle on his property.                                                                    
SENATOR FRENCH answered yes.                                                                                                    
SENATOR HUGGINS asserted individuals have privacy rights.                                                                       
SENATOR  FRENCH  said  the  (US  Constitution)  Fourth  Amendment                                                               
applies to the government.                                                                                                      
Chair Seekins announced a brief recess at 9:35:06 AM.                                                                         
Chair Seekins reconvened the meeting at 9:41:59 AM.                                                                           
Roll  call   proved  Amendment  2  passed   with  Senator  French                                                               
Chair Seekins announced a brief recess at 9:43:01 AM.                                                                         
Chair Seekins reconvened the meeting at 9:43:31 AM.                                                                           
SENATOR  HUGGINS  moved  SCS  HB  184(JUD)  from  committee  with                                                               
individual recommendations and attached fiscal note(s).                                                                         
SENATOR FRENCH  objected. He said he  hoped to vote for  the bill                                                               
when it came  into committee but Amendment 2  strips the personal                                                               
property rights of Alaskan citizens.                                                                                            
Roll call  proved SCS  HB 184(JUD) passed  out of  committee with                                                               
Senator French dissenting.                                                                                                      

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