Legislature(2009 - 2010)BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)
03/22/2010 01:30 PM JUDICIARY
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HB 319-FIREARMS 2:35:33 PM CHAIR FRENCH announced the consideration of HB 319. [CSHB 319(FIN) was before the committee.] REPRESENTATIVE MIKE HAWKER, sponsor of HB 319, characterized the bill as another opportunity to reaffirm the Second Amendment rights of Alaska's citizens. It also cleans up some sections of statute pertaining to concealed handgun permits. Specifically, it clarifies that when a concealed handgun permit expires or a permit holder leaves the state, the holder doesn't need to surrender the permit; it provides that an expired concealed handgun permit may be displayed as long as the permit holder doesn't represent it as being valid; it requires that the Department of Public Safety (DPS) send permit holders a letter, at least 90 days before their permit expires, notifying them that their permit is about to expire; it allows DPS to post the various regulations and statutes electronically rather than mandating paper transactions; and it requires the chief law enforcement officer in a jurisdiction to execute, within 30 days, the federal firearms forms required for the transfer of certain types of firearms including short barreled rifle shotguns, sound suppression devices, and automatic firearms. 2:46:52 PM The form, in part, requires the chief law enforcement officer to certify that he/she has no information that the transferee of the firearm will use the firearm or device for other than lawful purposes, and no information that the receipt or possession of the firearm or device would place the transferee in violation of state or local law. CHAIR FRENCH asked if the Department of Public Safety had taken a position on the bill. 2:49:56 PM SUE STANCLIFF, Special Assistant to the Commissioner, Department of Public Safety (DPS), reported that DPS is neutral on HB 319, but is happy to work with the sponsor and provide Second Amendment rights to individual Alaskans. Last session the Legislature passed legislation authorizing renewal notices on an individual's birthday and that hasn't had much time to go into effect. The bill requires the department to send a letter notifying a permit holder that their permit is about to expire and DPS would be happy to do so for the nearly 8,000 concealed carry permit holders. MS. STANCLIFF said the only real concern DPS has with the bill relates to maintaining reciprocity with other states. Kansas and Colorado are just two of a number of reciprocity states that will only recognize an Alaska concealed hand gun permit if the permit holder remains a resident of the state of Alaska. That provision may need further clarification. She reiterated that DPS is neutral on the bill, but does support Second Amendment rights and doing whatever is necessary to accommodate the process that makes it easier for individuals to exercise this right. 2:53:05 PM CHAIR FRENCH encourage her to submit suggested language to address her concerns through Representative Hawker's office. MS. STANCLIFF agreed to do so within the next 24 hours. REPRESENTATIVE HAWKER said he's had extensive conversations with the western region representative for the National Rifle Association (NRA), Mr. Brian Judy, about the reciprocity matter and Mr. Judy has opined that it isn't an issue. In fact, some states don't require a person to be a state resident in order to receive the initial permit. Florida and Utah, for example, don't require state residency in order to obtain a concealed carry permit and Colorado recognizes reciprocity from both these states. Certainly there will always be reciprocity issues in some jurisdictions, but the concerns articulated by DPS don't rise to the level to impede the progress of this bill, he concluded. CHAIR FRENCH clarified that the bill has a further referral to the finance committee and announced he would hold HB 319 in committee.