Legislature(1997 - 1998)

03/25/1997 03:33 PM STA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
               SB 141 CONCEALED HANDGUN PERMITS                               
                                                                              
  TUCKERMAN BABCOCK , legislative aide to Senator Green, sponsor of SB
 141, read the following statement.                                            
                                                                               
 "SB 141 was introduced by Senator Green as part of the general                
 focus toward a smaller, smarter government with less bureaucracy              
 and more clarity for citizens with the law.  The intent of SB 141             
 is simple:                                                                    
 There is no reason the permitted few should be more restricted than           
 the unregulated many.  Treat people and their handguns equally.               
 All Alaskans, who are not otherwise prohibited by federal or state            
 law from owning or possessing handguns, can carry handguns openly             
 in certain places and can carry concealed without a permit in                 
 certain places.  If 300,000 adult Alaskans can legally carry a                
 handgun openly, there is no reason to have greater restrictions for           
 the 6,000 Alaskans who have been fingerprinted, checked, trained              
 and permitted."                                                               
                                                                               
 Mr. Babcock noted copies of the memo from Senator Lyda Green                  
 including a sectional analysis and description of the committee               
 substitute were made available to the audience.                               
                                                                               
  SENATOR WARD  moved to adopt CSSB 141(STA).                                  
                                                                               
 Without objection,  CHAIRMAN GREEN  asked for an explanation of the           
 committee substitute.                                                         
 Mr. Babcock read the following.                                               
                                                                               
 "There have been almost 6,000 permits issued in Alaska for carrying           
 concealed handguns since that right was recognized in state law in            
 1994.  The Department of Public Safety has done a remarkable job of           
 ensuring fair and speedy processing of applications.                          
                                                                               
 However, Alaskans have voiced some complaints on overly restrictive           
 and confusing prohibitions and regulations leading to a burdensome            
 waste of time.  Many of these stipulations were included in the               
 original legislation due to courteous consideration of the dire               
 predictions of mayhem in the streets from some members of the legal           
 community and law enforcement.  None of those dire predictions has            
 proven accurate during years of experience and it is appropriate to           
 restore equal rights for law-abiding citizens.                                
                                                                               
 For the most part, the law is working.  Crime is down.  According             
 to the information we have from the Department of Public Safety, of           
 6,000 permittees, not one person has used their concealed handgun             
 to commit a crime.                                                            
                                                                               
 Similar legislation (SB 177) passed last session by large                     
 majorities but was vetoed by the Governor.  Even though legislation           
 last year prohibited anyone from drinking and carrying a concealed            
 handgun, some felt that whether one was drinking or not, no                   
 concealed handguns should be allowed in bars.  In the spirit of               
 compromise, we have drafted SB 141 to allow concealed handguns in             
 restaurants regulated under AS 04.16.049 but not in bars.                     
                                                                               
 This bill does not change other state law restricting carrying                
 handguns in bars or schools.  All the other existing laws                     
 restricting handguns in bars and schools remain in force.                     
                                                                               
 If SB 141 is passed, the simple effect would be that anywhere you             
 can carry a handgun openly (which you can do without training,                
 without background checks, without fingerprinting, and without a              
 permit) you will be able to carry a permitted concealed handgun.              
                                                                               
 The existing law is too restrictive, too confusing, too expensive.            
 For example, under current law you are prohibited from walking into           
 a financial institution with a permitted concealed handgun, but you           
 are allowed to take the handgun out and carry it openly into the              
 bank.  Existing law too often turns common sense on its head.                 
                                                                               
 Sections 1,2, and 9 of the bill make several things much clearer              
 and easier to enforce.  If a person is a concealed permit holder              
 from another state and comes to Alaska, we will recognize that                
 permit.  However, that person is responsible for following the laws           
 regulating Alaskan permit holders.  In addition, Section 12                   
 requires that the visitor must, within 90 days, inform the                    
 Department of Public Safety of their presence so that, just as with           
 Alaska permit holder, the Department knows who is allowed to carry            
 concealed handguns in Alaska.                                                 
                                                                               
 These amendments simply recognize equality of Americans as                    
 requested by SJR 14, which supports legislation in the U.S.                   
 Congress seeking nationwide recognition of concealed carry permits            
 issued by any government agency or subdivision.                               
                                                                               
 Sections 1 and 2 improve definitions and still attempt to permit a            
 municipality or village to prohibit possession of concealed                   
 handguns.                                                                     
                                                                               
 Sections 2 does not change existing law making bars off limits to             
 concealed handguns, but does allow access to restaurants identified           
 under AS 04.16.049.  If the Alcohol Beverage Control Board finds              
 that a business, or a specific area of a business, is not a bar you           
 will be allowed to carry a concealed handgun.                                 
                                                                               
 Sections 3 and 6 ensure that the applicant for a permit receives a            
 copy of state law and regulations and certifies the applicant read            
 them.                                                                         
                                                                               
 Section 4 requires the Department to process the permit if the                
 permittee is otherwise eligible without having to wait for weeks or           
 months for the F.B.I. to complete fingerprinting checks.  The                 
 Department is given authority to immediately revoke a conditional             
 permit whenever it receives information from checking                         
 fingerprinting making the permittee ineligible.  This conforms                
 statute to what we are told is actually being done in practice.               
                                                                               
 Section 5 simplifies for law enforcement, and for citizens, the               
 standards for qualifications to apply for a permit.                           
                                                                               
 Under existing law, in order to carry openly, you must be 21 years            
 of age or older and be allowed by state or federal law to own or              
 possess a handgun.                                                            
                                                                               
 Under existing state law, in order to carry concealed during                  
 recreation activities, in your dwelling, in your business, where              
 you are employed, or on land owned or leased by the person, you               
 must be 16, and you must be allowed by state and federal law to own           
 or possess a firearm.                                                         
                                                                               
 Under existing law, in order to carry concealed in other places               
 than those mentioned above, you must acquire a permit.  If SB 141             
 is passed, in order to do that you must be 21, you must be allowed            
 by state and federal law to own or possess a handgun, you must be             
 a 90 day resident of the state immediately preceding your                     
 application for a concealed handgun permit, you must receive                  
 training and education, and you must demonstrate competence with a            
 handgun.                                                                      
                                                                               
 A restrictive laundry list of prohibitions for the fingerprinted,             
 trained, permitted carriers make little sense when state law allows           
 you to carry openly in those places and federal and state law                 
 already address who may own or possess a handgun.                             
                                                                               
 Section 7 reduces the fees from $125 to $99 for the initial                   
 application and from $60 to $30 for renewal or replacement to                 
 better reflect the true cost.  This is the cost the Department                
 informs us would be the actual approximate cost of processing the             
 permit.                                                                       
                                                                               
 Section 8 amends language to clearly give the authority to                    
 immediately suspend permits for anyone who is ineligible under                
 state or federal law to own or possess a handgun.                             
                                                                               
 Section 10 repeals a long list of special prohibitions that don't             
 apply to open carry or, in some cases, to concealed carry                     
 unpermitted.  Instead there is a flat prohibition for possession of           
 a concealed handgun wherever federal or state law prohibits                   
 possession of a handgun.                                                      
                                                                               
 Section 11 sets up a cascading penalty system beginning with an               
 infraction subject to a fine, and subsequent offenses being a class           
 B misdemeanor and the third time (or more) a class A misdemeanor.             
                                                                               
 Section 12 simplifies definitions so that shotguns, rifles, and               
 weapons prohibited under AS 11.61.200 would not qualify for the               
 concealed carry permit.  Otherwise, just as in every other state,             
 any handgun not otherwise prohibited by state or federal law is               
 treated equally.  That, Madam Chairman, is a description of the               
 committee substitute for SB 141."                                             
                                                                               
 Number 188                                                                    
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN GREEN  commented that the Alaska Outdoor Council, Randy             
 Smith of Mountainview, who is involved with the Citizens Take Back            
 the Streets group, and Bob Parkerson, a Second Amendment Rights               
 advocate, expressed concerned that anyone could receive permission            
 to carry a concealed weapon without the training and permitting               
 requirements, so Section 5 of SB 141 was removed which would allow            
 automatic issuance of a permit to a victim of domestic violence.              
 Just for the record, the State of California has that provision.              
                                                                               
 Number 206                                                                    
                                                                               
  SENATOR DUNCAN  asked for an explanation of Section 2.   MR. BABCOCK         
 stated the current prohibition is AS 11.61.220, misconduct                    
 involving weapons, and (a)(2) is knowingly possesses a loaded                 
 firearm on one's person in any place where intoxicating beverages             
 are sold for consumption on the premises.  Section 2 would amend              
 current law so that concealed weapons could be carried into those             
 establishments that are identified as restaurants, not bars, by the           
 Alcohol Beverage Control Board.                                               
  SENATOR DUNCAN  clarified Section 2 allows concealed handguns to be          
 carried into restaurants that serve liquor, but not into a bar.               
  MR. BABCOCK  said that is right.                                             
                                                                               
  SENATOR DUNCAN  asked whether Section 4 directs the Department of            
 Public Safety (DPS) to issue a permit within a 15-day time period             
 even if the fingerprint check has not been received.   MR. BABCOCK            
 replied that is correct.  He explained DPS would have had the                 
 opportunity to do a background check and could deny the applicant             
 on that basis.   CHAIR GREEN  stated DPS has been doing that already.         
                                                                               
 Number 238                                                                    
                                                                               
  SENATOR DUNCAN  asked for clarification of Section 10.   MR. BABCOCK         
 explained AS 18.65.775 contains a lengthy list of specific places             
 a permittee may not possess a concealed handgun.  Section 10                  
 applies limitations to people who carry concealed handguns in the             
 same way those limitations are applied to people who carry handguns           
 openly.  Permittees would be prohibited from carrying a handgun any           
 place a handgun is prohibited under any state or federal law.                 
                                                                               
  SENATOR DUNCAN  clarified current statute lists 13 or 14 places              
 where a concealed weapon cannot be carried; Section 10 repeals that           
 list and says that concealed weapons cannot be carried anywhere               
 that is prohibited by federal or state law.  He questioned whether            
 anyone could provide a list of the places prohibited by other state           
 and federal laws.   MR. BABCOCK  replied that Jerry Luckhaupt, Legal          
 Counsel, provided that information in committee packets.  Mr.                 
 Babcock said the limitations are listed in AS 11.61.220.                      
                                                                               
  SENATOR DUNCAN  asked if there are prohibitions under current state          
 and federal law that will be deleted if CSSB 141(STA) passes.   MR.           
 BABCOCK  replied, "yes, that would be the effect.  Currently                  
 carrying a handgun openly into a bank is not currently prohibited             
 in state law but carrying a permitted concealed handgun is                    
 prohibited in state law.  Rather than force a situation where an              
 untrained, no background-check person can walk into a bank - and              
 that person is not limited in anyway by state law - but the person            
 who applies for a permit and has been fingerprinted and undergone             
 a background check and received some training is prohibited from              
 going to the bank - doesn't make much sense - it doesn't treat                
 Alaskans fairly.  So this would apply the limitation about carrying           
 handguns equally to those carrying openly and those carrying                  
 concealed."                                                                   
                                                                               
 Number 284                                                                    
                                                                               
  SENATOR DUNCAN  asked for other examples.   MR. BABCOCK  replied ther        
 would be no prohibition on carrying concealed weapons in domestic             
 violence facilities, state offices, and financial institutions but            
 private facilities could put up signs prohibiting firearms on that            
 property.                                                                     
                                                                               
  SENATOR DUNCAN  asked Chair Green whether her staff could provide            
 him with a list of the places that will change if CSSB 141(STA)               
 passes.   MR. BABCOCK  noted the list is in AS 11.61.220.                     
                                                                               
  SENATOR DUNCAN  asked Mr. Babcock to review the provisions being             
 repealed in the bill.   MR. BABCOCK  explained AS 18.65.715 and               
 .725(a)(3) are the requirements to take another test before a                 
 renewal for a handgun permit is issued.   SENATOR DUNCAN  asked if            
 .715(b) applies to the original permit or to the renewal.   MR.               
 BABCOCK  replied it is for a renewal.   SENATOR DUNCAN  affirmed the          
 applicant would still be required to take a competency test and               
 course before receiving the initial permit.     MR. BABCOCK  agreed.          
                                                                               
  SENATOR DUNCAN  asked about AS 18.65.748.   MR. BABCOCK  answered tha        
 deals with permit revocation and is directly related to the                   
 sections repealed.   SENATOR DUNCAN  asked for clarification.   MR.           
 BABCOCK  said, "That is a subsection in .740, (a)(2), related to the          
 repeal of the .65.705 provision so, if those were repealed, it                
 wouldn't have any applicability."                                             
                                                                               
  SENATOR DUNCAN  asked about the repeal of AS 18.65.755 (b)-(c).   MR.        
 BABCOCK  explained .755 pertains to special restrictions.                     
                                                                               
 Number 336                                                                    
                                                                               
  SENATOR DUNCAN  noted AS 11.61.220 is the statute that lists the             
 places where weapons cannot be carried openly, or under this bill,            
 concealed.   MR.   BABCOCK  agreed and added it would also deal with          
 where you can currently carry concealed weapons without permits,              
 which includes places where one is involved in an outdoor activity            
 such as hunting, fishing, trapping, on one's own land, or at a                
 business that serves alcohol if one is employed by that business.             
  SENATOR DUNCAN  asked if the alcohol facility provision is different         
 from current law.   MR. BABCOCK  answered it is not, and that is part         
 of the confusion this bill is trying to address.                              
                                                                               
  SENATOR DUNCAN  asked if a copy of the federal law was available.            
  MR. BABCOCK  answered the federal law is 18 U.S. Code 922.  He               
 explained the federal law prohibits possession of a handgun if one:           
 has been convicted in any court of a crime punishable by                      
 imprisonment of a term exceeding one year;     is a fugitive from             
 justice; is an unlawful user or addicted to any controlled                    
 substance; has been adjudicated a mental defective or committed to            
 a mental institution; is an alien who is illegally or unlawfully in           
 the United States; was dishonorably discharged from the armed                 
 forces; was once a U.S. citizen but denounced that citizenship; or            
 is subject to a court order involving domestic violence.                      
                                                                               
 Number 366                                                                    
                                                                               
  SENATOR DUNCAN  felt it would be clearer to list the prohibitions in         
 statute so that permittees would know where concealed weapons could           
 not be carried.   MR. BABCOCK  responded it would be clearest if DPS          
 only has to provide a copy of the federal law to permittees.                  
                                                                               
  CHAIR GREEN    noted the current statute encourages a person to openl        
 carry a gun rather than to conceal one because it is legal to                 
 openly carry guns in more places.                                             
  MR. BABCOCK  said SB 141 directs DPS to provide a copy of applicable         
 state laws to permittees.  He suggested amending the bill to                  
 include a copy of the federal law, but explained that law applies             
 to who can carry a concealed weapon, rather than where.                       
                                                                               
 Number 406                                                                    
                                                                               
  DEL SMITH , Deputy Commissioner of DPS, stated DPS has made an               
 effort to work with Senator Green's staff to make SB 141 workable,            
 but did not have adequate time to review the committee substitute.            
 Since January of 1995, copies of all regulations and statutes that            
 deal with concealed handguns have been distributed to permit                  
 holders so that requirement will not pose any problems.  His                  
 concerns with the bill are as follows.  The 15-day turnaround time            
 is problematic.  DPS currently has a 30-day turnaround time because           
 the FBI is unable to respond to requests in a short time frame.               
 DPS does a state fingerprint check and if it finds nothing, and               
 there are no indications from a national name search that there is            
 reason to believe an applicant has a criminal background, the                 
 permit is issued.  If information that is eventually received from            
 the FBI is contrary, the permit is revoked.  To his knowledge, that           
 has never occurred.  The BATF sent the department and the State a             
 letter awhile ago that said under Alaska's statute, one could use             
 the concealed handgun permit to buy instantly in a gun store,                 
 without waiting to go through the complete check, so Alaska does              
 have a Brady waiver.  He is concerned that statutory changes could            
 affect what ATS does regarding Alaska's Brady waiver on the handgun           
 permitting process.  There is no way DPS will ever receive                    
 fingerprint background check information from the FBI within 15               
 days.                                                                         
                                                                               
 Number 439                                                                    
                                                                               
  CHAIR GREEN  asked if this same provision was in the bill last year.         
  MR. SMITH  said it was and he expressed the same concern.   CHAIR            
 GREEN  asked Mr. Smith how he would prefer that provision to read.            
  MR. SMITH  replied DPS is processing permits more quickly now and            
 will continue to do so, but is doing so administratively.  He                 
 cautioned if that requirement is placed in statute, BATF may change           
 its position because its approval is based on the existing                    
 concealed handgun statute.                                                    
                                                                               
  CHAIR GREEN  asked if Mr. Smith had prepared an amendment.   MR.             
 SMITH  said he did not, and did not know what would comport with              
 federal law.  He emphasized he was pointing out a potential                   
 problem.                                                                      
                                                                               
 Number 458                                                                    
                                                                               
  SENATOR DUNCAN  asked if DPS uses a 15-day turnaround time period            
 through administrative procedures now.   MR. SMITH  replied the               
 process takes about 30 days.  During that 30 days, state record               
 checks, state fingerprint checks, and the paperwork is completed.             
  SENATOR DUNCAN  asked if DPS feels assured an adequate background            
 check can be done within 15 days using state records to issue                 
 permits.   MR. SMITH  answered he believes it can be accomplished             
 within 15 days however, he repeated DPS' concern is whether a                 
 statutory change will affect Alaska's Brady waiver.                           
                                                                               
  MR. SMITH  continued addressing DPS' concerns with SB 141.  The              
 section regarding out-of-state recognition of concealed handgun               
 permits is of concern because Alaska's permitting process requires            
 permittees to meet certain standards; some states have lower                  
 standards and Vermont has none.  He suggested Alaska's standards              
 are the reason none of its 6,000 permittees have ever used a                  
 concealed handgun in the commission of a crime.  Last year he                 
 suggested, during hearings on SB 177, that DPS enter into                     
 agreements with other states and require Alaska's level of                    
 standards as the baseline for reciprocity.                                    
                                                                               
 DPS remains opposed to allowing a permittee to carry a concealed              
 weapon into bars or establishments that serve only alcohol.                   
 Section 2 allows permittees to carry concealed weapons into a                 
 restaurant that serves alcohol.  Mr. Smith said DPS does not have             
 a problem with a permittee carrying a concealed weapon into a                 
 restaurant that serves alcohol when having a bite to eat, but the             
 department still believes the permittee should not be allowed to              
 drink alcohol while carrying a concealed weapon because a person's            
 judgment is the first thing affected.                                         
                                                                               
  CHAIR GREEN  asked if that prohibition is in current statute.   MR.          
 SMITH  replied that statute reads a little differently and prohibits          
 a person from using a firearm after having a couple of drinks.                
                                                                               
  MR. SMITH  continued.  Section 3 requires DPS to provide copies of           
 Alaska's laws to applicants.  DPS does so, and will continue to do            
 so.  Section 7 deals with who a permit can be issued to.  There are           
 any number of offenses a person can be convicted of which precludes           
 one from getting a permit.  He noted the caliber of people who                
 apply for permits is high and is the main reason permittees are not           
 causing problems.  DPS has rejected 33 applicants because of                  
 criminal history and 18 permits have been revoked during the last             
 two years.                                                                    
                                                                               
  SENATOR DUNCAN  asked Mr. Smith to elaborate on Section 7.   MR.             
 SMITH  said Section 7 removes a lot of the violations or convictions          
 that were placed in the original law that preclude an applicant               
 from getting a permit.  DPS is concerned about potential problems             
 that may arise if people who have been convicted of certain                   
 offenses can qualify for permits.  He repeated current permittees             
 are law-abiding citizens which is why very few problems exist with            
 this program.                                                                 
                                                                               
  MR. SMITH    said Section 10 decreases the permit fee to $99.  The           
 current fee is set at $122 - $125.  DPS has committed to making               
 every effort to issue permits for $99, but the amount charged                 
 depends on the volume.  Only 1500 permits were issued in the past             
 year and the cost of issuing those was estimated at $141 each.  If            
 the volume does not increase, DPS will need general funds to cover            
 the cost of administering permits.                                            
                                                                               
  MR. SMITH  noted he faxed SB 141 to the Alaska Peace Officers, the           
 Anchorage Police Department, and the Alaska Association of Chiefs             
 of Police, so that those organizations could comment directly to              
 the committee via teleconference.                                             
                                                                               
  CHAIR GREEN  stated the committee has received a lot of comments             
 from those groups and others that DPS has contacted.                          
                                                                               
  SENATOR DUNCAN  asked Mr. Smith to address Section 10 of the                 
 committee substitute which removes the reference to the statutory             
 list of places where a concealed handgun cannot be carried.   MR.             
 SMITH  replied he has not had a chance to fully assess that change            
 in approach.  One federal prohibition that he was aware of includes           
 restricted areas in airports and he assumed jails would fall under            
 the prohibition.                                                              
                                                                               
 Number 564                                                                    
                                                                               
  CHAIR GREEN  clarified schools, prisons, and airports are prohibited         
 areas under federal law.   SENATOR DUNCAN  expressed concern that             
 Section 10 is not clear to DPS or to the public, and he believed              
 the current law is easier to reference because it contains a list             
 of areas where permittees cannot carry concealed weapons.  CHAIR              
 GREEN  said another approach would be to talk about places where              
 guns can be carried openly under current law.                                 
                                                                               
  CHAIR GREEN  asked how many of the 33 applications that were                 
 rejected would qualify under CSSB 141 (STA).   SENATOR WARD  asked            
 during what time period the 33 applicants were rejected.   MR. SMITH          
 said the 33 applicants were rejected over the two-year time period            
 since the program has been operating.  Of those 33, four applicants           
 received treatment for alcoholism, one had a history of mental                
 problems, and one was a non-resident.  He could not cite the                  
 reasons for the other rejections.                                             
                                                                               
  CHAIR GREEN  stated she was impressed with the thoroughness of the           
 federal standard and found it nearly all-inclusive when she                   
 compared it with Alaska's standard.                                           
                                                                               
  SENATOR DUNCAN  asked if, under the committee substitute, a                  
 permittee is prohibited from carrying a concealed handgun in a law            
 enforcement or correctional facility.   MR. SMITH  said all law               
 enforcement officials check their weapons when entering                       
 correctional facilities.  It is his understanding that only police            
 officers can enter a law enforcement facility with a concealed                
 weapon.                                                                       
                                                                               
  SENATOR DUNCAN  asked if carrying concealed weapons on school                
 grounds or a school bus is currently prohibited under state law.              
  MR. SMITH  thought that it is.                                               
                                                                               
 TAPE 97-13, SIDE B                                                            
 Number 548                                                                    
                                                                               
  SENATOR DUNCAN  asked if one can carry a concealed weapon into a             
 court house under current law.   MR. SMITH  was unsure.   SENATOR             
 DUNCAN  asked if the current prohibition extends to state, federal,           
 and municipal buildings.   MR. SMITH  replied it does.                        
                                                                               
  SENATOR DUNCAN  questioned whether airline passenger terminals and           
 marine highway vessels fall under the prohibition.   MR.   SMITH  said        
 yes.   SENATOR DUNCAN  asked if facilities providing services to              
 victims of domestic violence or sexual assault are prohibited                 
 areas.   MR. SMITH  said yes.                                                 
  SENATOR DUNCAN  clarified he was reading from the present concealed          
 handgun statute and was asking Mr. Smith if the same prohibitions             
 exist in other statutes.  He explained he was trying to figure out            
 whether the same prohibitions will exist if the current concealed             
 handgun law is repealed.                                                      
                                                                               
  SENATOR DUNCAN  repeated the same questions and asked Mr. Smith, if          
 the concealed handgun law is repealed, whether prohibitions against           
 carrying a concealed weapon in a law enforcement or correctional              
 facility exist elsewhere in state law.   MR. SMITH  answered he               
 believes it is prohibited in a correctional facility but he was not           
 sure about the law enforcement facility.   SENATOR DUNCAN  asked              
 about school grounds or a school bus.   MR. SMITH  was not aware of           
 a specific prohibition.   SENATOR DUNCAN  asked about the court house         
 or court room.   MR. SMITH  was unaware.   SENATOR DUNCAN  asked about        
 buildings housing only state or federal offices or a political                
 subdivision of the state.   MR. SMITH  was unaware.   SENATOR DUNCAN          
 asked about the passenger areas of airline terminals.   MR. SMITH             
 believed that prohibition is in federal law.   SENATOR DUNCAN  asked          
 about Alaska Marine Highway vessels.   MR. SMITH  did not think it            
 would be prohibited.   SENATOR DUNCAN  asked about domestic violence          
 facilities.   MR. SMITH  said he did not think other prohibitions             
 exist.   SENATOR DUNCAN  asked about a private residence where a              
 conspicuous notice has been posted.   MR. SMITH  thought a person             
 could be arrested for trespassing in such a situation.                        
                                                                               
  SENATOR DUNCAN  asked if, elsewhere in state law, one is prohibited          
 from carrying a concealed weapon in a meeting of a business,                  
 charitable, or other organization or entity where notices are                 
 posted.   MR. SMITH  thought the trespass statute might apply in that         
 situation also but he was not aware of a specific prohibition                 
 against carrying concealed weapons.   SENATOR DUNCAN  asked about a           
 financial institution.   MR. SMITH  was not aware of any prohibition.         
                                                                               
  SENATOR DUNCAN  questioned whether other statutes prohibit carrying          
 concealed weapons in municipalities or established villages that              
 have enacted their own prohibitions.   MR. SMITH  said it is                  
 addressed in statute and noted Palmer has adopted a local                     
 ordinance.                                                                    
                                                                               
 Number 518                                                                    
                                                                               
  SENATOR DUNCAN  commented his questions and the responses clearly            
 point out that this bill will remove almost all of the prohibitions           
 because they are not prohibited elsewhere in statute.                         
                                                                               
  SENATOR MILLER  noted Section 10 says a person may not possess a             
 concealed handgun anywhere a person is prohibited from possessing             
 a handgun under state or federal law.  He referred to the list and            
 asked whether a person can openly carry a handgun on a ferry.   MR.           
 SMITH  was not sure, but assumed one cannot.   SENATOR MILLER  asked          
 whether a person can openly carry a handgun in a courthouse.   MR.            
 SMITH  was not aware of any law that prohibits one from doing so but          
 did not know whether there is a prohibition in court rules.                   
                                                                               
  SENATOR MILLER  emphasized the current system is illogical because           
 it allows a person with no training to openly carry a handgun in              
 many places that the 6,000 permittees who have received training              
 and are regulated cannot carry concealed handguns.                            
                                                                               
  MR. SMITH  said his testimony was directed toward DPS' analysis of           
 the bill and he was not recommending State policy.                            
                                                                               
 Number 495                                                                    
                                                                               
  SENATOR DUNCAN  repeated his concern that a lot of confusion about           
 this bill exists and that adequate time be provided as it addresses           
 a major policy issue.   He asked if an organization, that is                  
 holding a meeting, could still post a notice prohibiting concealed            
 handguns on the premises under this bill.   MR. SMITH  thought                
 private businesses could do so, however he suggested getting a                
 legal opinion.   SENATOR DUNCAN  asked about a non-profit business            
 holding a meeting open to the public.   MR. SMITH  could not answer           
 that question.   CHAIR GREEN  thought the more appropriate                    
 prohibition would be against carrying any firearm, whether                    
 concealed or openly.                                                          
                                                                               
  SENATOR DUNCAN  asked Mr. Babcock if the provision in current law            
 that prohibits carrying concealed handguns into a meeting of a                
 business, charitable, or other organization or entity where a                 
 notice has been posted is provided for in the committee substitute.           
  MR. BABCOCK  answered that provision could be addressed by the               
 trespass statute.  He explained under current law a permittee could           
 walk into the meeting, put the concealed weapon on his/her lap, and           
 be acting legally.                                                            
                                                                               
  SENATOR DUNCAN  asked Mr. Smith if he agreed with Mr. Babcock's              
 analysis.   MR. SMITH  said he believed one could operate a business          
 and establish rules prohibiting particular types of activities on             
 its premises, such as drunkenness or carrying concealed weapons,              
 not specifically through the concealed handgun statute, but through           
 others.                                                                       
                                                                               
  SENATOR DUNCAN  asked Mr. Smith whether he thought the best approach         
 is to specifically list prohibitions in one statute.   MR. SMITH              
 replied when he testified last year on this issue, he did not                 
 support any changes to the current program as it adequately                   
 addresses DPS' concerns.   SENATOR DUNCAN  asked Mr. Smith whether he         
 thought the proposal in this bill will work better or worse.   MR.            
 SMITH  thought the average citizen would find it easier to find all           
 the information in one location.                                              
                                                                               
 Number 435                                                                    
                                                                               
 DEAN   GUANELI , Assistant Attorney General, Criminal Division,               
 Department of Law (DOL), gave the following testimony.  SB 141                
 sweeps aside a number of current legal protections regarding                  
 disqualifying factors for applicants with the idea that federal law           
 or other state laws will provide the same protections.  In                    
 reference to a previous statement made by Mr. Babcock related to              
 federal disqualifiers, Mr. Guaneli said it is generally assumed               
 that a person with a felony record would be prohibited from ever              
 carrying a concealed weapon under federal law, but that is not                
 true.  The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that state law            
 overrides federal law regarding concealed handgun prohibitions.               
 If, under state law, one can carry a firearm even though he/she has           
 a felony record, there would be no federal prohibition.  Second,              
 people with lengthy misdemeanor records will not be prohibited from           
 carrying concealed weapons under this bill.  He has seen records of           
 people with up to 30 misdemeanor convictions.  Under CSSB 141(STA)            
 those people could qualify for concealed handgun permits.                     
                                                                               
  CHAIR GREEN  asked if the convicted felon could purchase a weapon            
 and carry it openly.   MR. GUANELI  replied he/she could.   CHAIR             
 GREEN  asked if the same would hold true for the person with a                
 lengthy misdemeanor record.   MR. GUANELI  said yes.                          
                                                                               
  MR. GUANELI  explained the other type of protections that would be           
 swept away are the prohibitions against people who have been                  
 through recent treatment programs for alcoholism and/or drug abuse.           
                                                                               
  MR. GUANELI  disagreed with the sponsor's perception that there is           
 no difference between carrying handguns openly and carrying                   
 concealed.    CHAIR GREEN  commented there is a similar freedom that          
 is ensured; that is the right to bear arms.   MR. GUANELI  said the           
 difference he sees between the two groups is that anyone can see a            
 person who is carrying a firearm openly on the street and avoid               
 that person more easily.  If a person openly carries a firearm into           
 a bank, security guards will be alerted to that fact simply because           
 they do not want guns in a bank where there is a lot of money.                
 Those same guards would have an equal amount of concern if they               
 knew a person was carrying a concealed weapon into a bank.                    
                                                                               
 Number 375                                                                    
                                                                               
  CHAIR GREEN  said the bank owners and operators she has heard from           
 tend to support concealed or open carry.                                      
                                                                               
  MR. GUANELI  commented in a survey conducted by Senator Phillips, 60         
 percent of respondents were opposed to allowing people to carry               
 concealed handguns into banks.  That result indicates that the                
 public feels more comfortable being in a bank knowing it is illegal           
 to possess concealed handguns.                                                
                                                                               
  CHAIR GREEN  asked Mr. Guaneli to read the results from Senator              
 Phillip's survey on the death penalty.   MR. GUANELI  did not have            
 the results available.   CHAIR GREEN  said those surveys were very            
 selectively used.                                                             
                                                                               
 Number 356                                                                    
                                                                               
  SENATOR MILLER  commented that Mr. Guaneli is making the assumption          
 that the same person that can now carry a weapon openly will be               
 able to carry a concealed weapon without any training or a                    
 background check if this bill passes.                                         
                                                                               
  MR. GUANELI  clarified that the background check will not apply in           
 the same way because persons with misdemeanor and felony records              
 will be eligible for permits.                                                 
                                                                               
  SENATOR WARD  said those same felons can openly carry a gun into a           
 bank today, but cannot carry a concealed weapon.  He guessed if               
 surveyed, 70 percent of respondents would be opposed that.                    
                                                                               
  MR. GUANELI  replied that situation may need to be addressed in              
 another piece of legislation.  The immediate question is whether              
 people should be allowed to carry concealed weapons in the same               
 places they are allowed to carry open weapons.  He said if there is           
 no difference between the two, there would be no need for any                 
 requirements to carry concealed weapons.                                      
                                                                               
  MR. GUANELI  discussed the reciprocity provision.  Under current             
 law, a resident or non-resident can legally carry a concealed                 
 handgun without a permit when engaged in any outdoor activities. He           
 questioned in what other places they should be able to carry.                 
  CHAIR GREEN  answered anywhere those people would choose to protect          
 themselves.   MR. GUANELI  stated non-residents are not familiar with         
 state laws.                                                                   
                                                                               
 Regarding repealing the statute that lists the places concealed               
 handguns cannot be carried,  MR. GUANELI  said although the criminal          
 trespass statutes can be used to accomplish the same goal in                  
 certain places, that approach poses some difficulties.  Those                 
 statutes differentiate between places open/not open to the public,            
 which is not as effective as listing the specific places in one               
 place.  Mr. Guaneli thought there were good reasons the Legislature           
 chose to create that list several years ago.                                  
                                                                               
 Number 271                                                                    
                                                                               
  SENATOR DUNCAN  asked Mr. Guaneli if the only way to enforce a               
 prohibition against carrying concealed weapons in a domestic                  
 violence facility if AS 18.16.755 is repealed would be to charge              
 the person with criminal trespass.   MR. GUANELI  replied that is             
 correct.   SENATOR DUNCAN  asked if the same would hold true on               
 school grounds or a school bus.   MR. GUANELI  answered there are             
 currently other laws specific to carrying guns on school grounds              
 however there is at least one bill that has been introduced to                
 remove some of those restrictions.                                            
                                                                               
  SENATOR DUNCAN  asked Mr. Guaneli if he believes it is best to keep          
 the restrictions listed in one place in the statutes.   MR. GUANELI           
 said he does.                                                                 
                                                                               
  SENATOR DUNCAN  asked Mr. Guaneli whether he has any concerns about          
 the restaurant/bar exclusion.   MR. GUANELI  replied he shares Deputy         
 Commissioner Smith's concern about people drinking alcohol when               
 carrying a concealed handgun.  Current law prohibits a person who             
 is under the influence of intoxicating liquor from carrying a gun,            
 but some judges require that the gun be exposed or used before they           
 can be prosecuted.  He said the current concealed weapon law                  
 prohibits a person from entering a place where alcohol is being               
 served with a concealed weapon.                                               
                                                                               
  CHAIR GREEN  noted under CSSB 141(STA) a person could go into a              
 restaurant that serves liquor with a concealed weapon and eat.                
  SENATOR DUNCAN  asked whether that person could drink liquor.   MR.          
 GUANELI  said he did not see any prohibition in the bill, as                  
 drafted, against drinking liquor.                                             
                                                                               
 Number 222                                                                    
                                                                               
  LAUREE HUGONIN , Executive Director of the Alaska Network on                 
 Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault (ANDVSA), discussed three                
 sections of concern in the committee substitute.  Section 5(2) will           
 allow people who have been convicted of crimes involving domestic             
 violence to be eligible for a concealed weapon permit, therefore              
 ANDVSA prefers the current state law.  She noted last year, persons           
 convicted of the crime of domestic violence were added to the list            
 of those disqualified from getting a permit.                                  
                                                                               
  CHAIR GREEN  referred to 18 U.S.C. 922(g) and read the following:            
 (8) who is subject to a court order that--                                   
 (A) was issued after a hearing of which such person received                 
 actual notice, and at which such person had an actual                         
 opportunity to participate;                                                   
 (B) restrains such person from harassing, stalking,                          
 threatening an intimate partner or such person or child of                    
 such intimate partner or person, or engaging in other conduct                 
 that would place an intimate partner in reasonable fear of                    
 bodily injury to the partner and child and                                    
 (C)(i) includes a finding that such a person represents a                    
 creditable threat to the physical safety of such intimate                     
 partner or child; or                                                          
   (ii) by its terms explicitly prohibits the use, attempted                  
 use, or threatened use of physical force against such intimate                
 partner or child that would reasonably be expected to cause                   
 bodily injury; or                                                             
 (9) who has been convicted in any court of a misdemeanor crime               
 of domestic violence.                                                         
                                                                               
  MS. HUGONIN  stated it was her understanding that all of Section (8)         
 is applicable to protective orders and that the misdemeanor crime             
 of domestic violence in Section (9) does not include all of the               
 criminal activity that is included in Alaska's domestic violence              
 statute.  She repeated her preference for the state law.                      
                                                                               
  CHAIR GREEN  said all of the complaints being received in her office         
 are based on the new federal law because it seems to be more                  
 onerous than the state law.   MS. HUGONIN  expressed concern that             
 people who have been convicted of crimes involving domestic                   
 violence in this state, that do not fall under the federal law,               
 will be eligible for a concealed weapon permit.                               
                                                                               
  MS. HUGONIN  also expressed concern that although Section (8)                
 applies to protective orders, it might not apply to ex parte                  
 orders.  ANDVSA would prefer that the bill specifically list ex               
 parte orders and require DPS to immediately suspend a permit if the           
 permittee is the respondent in a protective order because not all             
 protective orders include the prohibition against carrying                    
 firearms, concealed or openly.                                                
                                                                               
 Regarding Section 10,  MS. HUGONIN  said the original bill required           
 DPS to provide copies of the laws to applicants, and included                 
 facilities for domestic violence victims, which ANDVSA appreciated.           
                                                                               
 Number 123                                                                    
                                                                               
  CHAIR GREEN  stated she is discouraged that her staff made several           
 attempts to share information with DPS during the previous four or            
 five weeks, but DPS staff did not respond.   MR. SMITH  disputed that         
 comment.                                                                      
                                                                               
  SENATOR WARD  moved CSSB 141(STA) from committee with individual             
 recommendations and its accompanying fiscal notes.   SENATOR DUNCAN           
 objected because the committee substitute was not distributed early           
 enough for adequate review by anyone, because of the concerns                 
 presented during the hearing, and specifically the repeal of the              
 statute that lists specific places that are prohibited.                       
                                                                               
 A roll call vote was taken and the motion carried with Senators               
 Green, Ward, and Miller voting in favor, and Senator Duncan voting            
 against.                                                                      

Document Name Date/Time Subjects