Legislature(1993 - 1994)
11/20/1993 06:34 PM STA
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Chairman Leman called the Senate State Affairs Committee meeting to order at 6:34 p.m. Due to the lack of a quorum, he announced this meeting would be for the purpose of taking public testimony. He announced SJR 1 (RIGHT TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS) and SJR 34 (RIGHT TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS.) PORTIA BABCOCK, Legislative Aide for Senate State Affairs, explained the difference between SJR 1 and SJR 34. SENATOR DONLEY explained that there has been effort for the past 10 years to establish an individual constitutional right to keep arms in Alaska. This is part of the movement to strengthen state constitutions. SENATOR HALFORD said that most political heads of police departments are for gun control and he thought the compromising language in SJR 1 wouldn't get them anywhere. BRIAN JUDY, National Rifle Association, strongly supported clarifying the language of the Alaska Constitution and supported SJR 34. Mr. Judy noted that the opposition came from law enforcement leaders, not the rank and file police who are afraid to express their opinions. He said we do not need to regulate arms usage, but to penalize the criminal misuse of firearms. There is a need for clarification because federal laws regarding weapons are contradictory. CHRIS SULLIVAN, NRA member, supported Mr. Judy's testimony. He added that even with our open carry law, it wouldn't mean much unless there were concealed carry permits available to those who reasonably need them. He supported SJR 34. AARON SHULER, NRA member, supported Mr. Judy's testimony regarding concealed carry permits and supported SJR 34. Number 275 STEVE LORD supported SJR 34. He thought that it was a right of a law abiding citizen to be able to carry a concealed weapon. DOUG EISCHEN supported SJR 34. He said he might not be alive today if he didn't have a weapon concealed when his store was broken into. LLOYD BARRUS supported SJR 34. He said we have a right to be able to protect our families. JACK RAMEY, testifying via teleconference,supported the right to bear arms. LARRY SHOOSHANIAN , testifying via teleconference, supported SJR 34. He thought it was absolutely necessary. He said that guns protect him from his own government which is corrupt. LORRAINE JONES, testifying via teleconference, supported SJR 34. She firmly believed in the 2nd amendment rights. Not only should you have protection for your family against outside danger, you also need it for protection against a hostile government. BOB BRUMLOW, testifying via teleconference, said his students in Anchorage are very concerned about being able to protect themselves. He said weapons are necessary for defense of persons and country. He supported SJR 34. Number 450 GARY KUHN , said the right to keep and bear arms by law abiding citizens needs to be preserved. He said people should talk to their friends about this issue. SENATOR DONLEY supported that thought and added they should talk to the Governor's Office, the Department of Public Safety, and the Attorney General's Office. TAPE 93-38, SIDE B Number 001 RANDY SMITH supported the language in SJR 34. RUSSELL KELL thought the U.S. was becoming a police state and supported SJR 34. DAVID ROGERS, urged Alaskans to make a statement and to support SJR 34. BILLY TOIEN, Alaskan Libertarian, supported SJR 34. He said Libertarians believe in the Americans right to decide how best to protect themselves, their families, and their property. The police do not provide security in our homes. WILLIAM YOUNG said he was raised where a gun was part of a families' tools. He supported the right to bear arms. MICHAEL NOLEN, NRA member and certified instructor supported SJR 34. He said a defenseless citizen would be at the mercy of the criminal element. The police can't protect each individual, so the individual must be able to defend himself and his family by armed force if necessary. JEFF NOLEN, NRA member, supported SJR 34. ROBERT RAPP, NRA member, said this country was established as a republic. The federal government should not have an army because it represents a power that could take over the country. The states should have militias. He supported SJR 34. KENNETH LOWER supported SJR 34. He said the Bill of Rights gives citizens the right to bear arms against its government. The government can be trusted less now than when it was first started. Number 200 DANIEL STONE said the Bill of Rights protects the states against the federal government. He said SJR 34 is extremely critical at this point. RON HAMMAN , NRA member, supported SJR 34. He said when guns go the freedom to worship, which is why our forefathers came to this country, is going to go also. JOHN LAWSON supported SJR 34. He used liquor prohibition as an example of what gun prohibition would do. It would create a commodity, he said, which wouldn't work. We need to look at the real problems which are moral and ethical. Number 325 PAUL MOORE, NRA member, supported SJR 34. We need to send a message to the criminal element that we are not going to "sit there and roll over and die." Law enforcement can't be everywhere at once. It is our right to protect our property, he said. DAN MCKNIGHT, NRA member, said gun control is one step closer to one world government. He said he will never give up guns. Number 375 DEREK EDMONDSON, supported SJR 34 and opposed SJR 1. He said the law cannot protect you until after the crime has occurred. People need a method to protect themselves until the police arrive. JACK IVY , NRA member, supported SJR 34. JON HODGES supported the right to carry a concealed weapon. The citizens of this country need the right to protect themselves. We can't count on the government to do it. DANIEL HAWKINS supported the right to bear arms. ERIC GROSCH pointed out that it is the right of citizens to bear arms. The reason there is crime is not the proliferation of weapons. It's because people don't know the difference between right and wrong. He strongly supported SJR 34. SENATOR DONLEY clarified that the reason he left militia in his bill is because he was requested to preserve reference to it in the constitution to accommodate people in the state militia. Number 490 JOHN ASZMUN , NRA member, said he fears danger from the government, if citizens are not allowed to have guns. GERALD KLIEN supported SJR 34. He thought the 2nd amendment is the most important amendment of the constitution, because without it there is no constitution. BEN CLAYTON, NRA member, supported SJR 34. He supported the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. TAPE 93-39, SIDE A Number 001 BEAR CLAW, Eagle River, Alaska, supported SJR 34. He has been a hunting guide and trapper for 20 years. He believes in the right to carry and conceal for all law abiding citizens. KELLY SMITH said when the 2nd amendment was written so that the individual had the right to keep and bear arms. Only recent history has relegated that right to government militias. Citizens should have final recourse against a tyrannical government. He supported SJR 34. DAVID DORRING supported SJR 34. MIKE PULIS supported SJR 34 and not SJR 1. Our rights are not to be compromised, because then they become privileges granted by the state. Criminal misuse is the problem. He said many criminals would be created if there was a prohibition against guns. BRUCE WEISMAN , NRA member, supported SJR 34. Citizens should have the right to carry concealed weapons. Number 175 WAYNE WATT supported SJR 34. WILLIAM WATSON said he has talked to thousands of people in his shop in Muldoon and has not met one who should really not have the right to keep and bear arms. She said he has talked to victims of a lot of crimes and not one of them had been armed. He has talked to people who have stopped rapes and other crimes and they were happy they had a fire arm to stop it. People need the opportunity to protect themselves and to protect others against criminals. WALTER HARGIS supported SJR 34. He thought SJR 1 was ambiguous. KRISTINA CARLSON supported SJR 34. She said an armed society is a respectable society. She said the right to bear arms is one of our constitutional rights. She said children are not taught in school that the Constitution gives them the right to bear arms. GARY CARLSON strongly supported the SJR 34. He also supported a concealed weapons law. He noted that only 20% of the world is free. The rest of the people are under communism or tyranny or dictatorship and don't have the right to bear arms. KEVIN CARLSON supported SJR 34. He said the government cannot be trusted which is why the Constitution supports the right to bear arms. JIM ELSAN said he thought the reason people were taking more notice of crime is that it is being reported. He is not for any taxes or restrictions on fire arms or ammunition. He supports the right to carry concealed weapons. Number 350 ALLEN DUBORD supported SJR 34. KEITH GASTFIELD said the judiciary is the strongest part of our government. The legal gun owner is defined by SJR 34 and he supports it. He said the biggest gun problem is with juveniles and juveniles who don't know how to handle guns and don't have the responsibility. JOHN CARLI, Eagle River, supported SJR 34. He said the purpose of law enforcement is to enforce laws, not protect you. MARC VIENS, President, Partners In Profit, said that a gun ban is a precursor to restrictions on the way you worship, where you meet, etc. He supported SJR 34. Number 425 KIRBY BROWN, NRA member, supported SJR 34, because it's the clearest language he has seen so far. He would like it to be even clearer on individual rights. JOHN DICKENS said nine years ago after his brother's murder, he had to draw a weapon twice to preserve his own life from the people who killed him. Because he carries a large amount of cash regularly from is lodge to the bank, he asked Talkeetna police for advice. They told him to get a gun and practice with it. RON BROWN said he has seen too many liberties taken away from us. He thinks we should always be able to bear arms when we want to - the way it was in the beginning. He supported SJR 34. REBECCA LONG supported SJR 34. AARON HASTINGS, part-time employee at a gun shop, strongly supported SJR 34. He said when he was in the Marines he took an oath to protect the Constitution of the United States from enemies both foreign and domestic. He views that as anyone who is trying to take away his constitutional rights to keep and bear arms and any other freedoms he has. JIM CANN, NRA member, fully supported SJR 34. He said that whenever a crime is committed the police can't stop it. The only person who can stop it is an individual if he has the fire arms available. TAPE 93-39, SIDE B Number 001 MR. CANN explained that in Switzerland all males from the time they are 18 years old till 54, they are in a stand-by army. They have to keep, at least, a fire arm in their home. They have the lowest crime rate of any nation. KEN SMITH supported SJR 34. He said all of our rights are god-given. The only ones we don't have are the ones our government has taken away from us. CHARLES MARTIN said he was born and raised in New York City. He said gun laws do nothing to the criminal, but mostly affect law-abiding citizens. He supports any legislation that supports his right to defend himself. DOUG BECKER said that recently he had the occasion to protect himself with a gun two months ago. He is very thankful he had the right to own and keep that fire arm. JOHANN HAMERSKI, President, Bear Valley Community Council, said most of them support SJR 34. He said his wife had to fight back a violent rapist with a pistol a number of years ago. He has also stopped another rape with the use of a gun. He also saved himself from a car jacking in Florida when he pulled out a pistol. DAVE WOLFE supported SJR 34. JIM FARR, Attorney, pointed out the importance of the 2nd amendment. He supported legislation that would strengthen it. He also supported a concealed carry statute. He supported SJR 34. He also supported a habitual criminal statute in Alaska. JERRY FOGG said the infringement on our rights to keep and bear arms is allowing the government to take over. People who commit crimes should be punished. It is not the guns that commit crimes. MARK PHILLIPS supported the right to bear arms. He also thought we have a right to concealed carry. SENATOR LEMAN thanked everyone for their participation and adjourned the meeting at 9:30 p.m.