Legislature(2021 - 2022)BARNES 124

04/27/2021 08:00 AM COMMUNITY & REGIONAL AFFAIRS

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
*+ HB 16 SEARCH AND RESCUE SURPLUS STATE PROPERTY TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
*+ HB 11 DEFENSIVE DISPLAY OF FIREARM TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
    HOUSE COMMUNITY AND REGIONAL AFFAIRS STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                   
                         April 27, 2021                                                                                         
                           8:03 a.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Sara Hannan, Co-Chair                                                                                            
Representative Calvin Schrage, Co-Chair                                                                                         
Representative Harriet Drummond                                                                                                 
Representative Ken McCarty                                                                                                      
Representative Kevin McCabe                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Josiah Patkotak, Vice Chair                                                                                      
Representative Mike Prax                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 16                                                                                                               
"An Act relating to the right of first refusal of a volunteer                                                                   
search and rescue group with respect to surplus state property."                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 11                                                                                                               
"An Act relating to assault in the third and fourth degrees; and                                                                
relating to reckless endangerment."                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB  16                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: SEARCH AND RESCUE SURPLUS STATE PROPERTY                                                                           
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) JOHNSON                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
02/18/21       (H)       PREFILE RELEASED 1/8/21                                                                                
02/18/21       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/18/21       (H)       CRA, STA                                                                                               
04/27/21       (H)       CRA AT 8:00 AM BARNES 124                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB  11                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: DEFENSIVE DISPLAY OF FIREARM                                                                                       
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) RAUSCHER                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
02/18/21       (H)       PREFILE RELEASED 1/8/21                                                                                
02/18/21       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/18/21       (H)       CRA, STA, JUD                                                                                          
04/27/21       (H)       CRA AT 8:00 AM BARNES 124                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE DELENA JOHNSON                                                                                                   
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  As prime sponsor, presented HB 16.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SAVAYA BIEBER, Staff                                                                                                            
Representative DeLena Johnson                                                                                                   
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Explained the changes made under a proposed                                                              
committee substitute for HB 16 on behalf of Representative                                                                      
Johnson, prime sponsor.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MARK STIGAR, President                                                                                                          
Alaska Search and Rescue Association                                                                                            
City & State                                                                                                                    
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions during the hearing on HB
16.                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
THOR VUE, Chief Procurement Officer                                                                                             
Office of Procurement and Property Management                                                                                   
Department of Administration                                                                                                    
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Responded to questions during the hearing                                                                
on HB 16.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
LIEUTENANT PAUL FUSSEY, Search and Rescue Coroner                                                                               
Alaska State Troopers                                                                                                           
Department of Public Safety                                                                                                     
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions during the hearing on HB
16.                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GEORGE RAUSCHER                                                                                                  
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  As prime sponsor, offered the sponsor                                                                    
statement for HB 11.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
JESSE LOGAN, Staff                                                                                                              
Representative George Rauscher                                                                                                  
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:   Offered a sectional analysis for  HB 11 and                                                             
responded  to questions  on  behalf  of Representative  Rauscher,                                                               
prime sponsor.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
8:03:56 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR CALVIN  SCHRAGE called the House  Community and Regional                                                             
Affairs  Standing  Committee  meeting   to  order  at  8:03  a.m.                                                               
Representatives  McCarty, Drummond,  McCabe, Hannan,  and Schrage                                                               
were present at the call to order.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
         HB 16-SEARCH AND RESCUE SURPLUS STATE PROPERTY                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
8:04:42 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  SCHRAGE  announced that  the  first  order of  business                                                               
would be  HOUSE BILL  NO. 16,  "An Act relating  to the  right of                                                               
first  refusal  of  a  volunteer search  and  rescue  group  with                                                               
respect to surplus state property."                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
8:05:09 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR HANNAN moved to adopt  the proposed committee substitute                                                               
(CS) for  HB 16,  Version 32-LS0128\B,  Bannister, 4/19/21,  as a                                                               
work draft.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
8:05:21 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR SCHRAGE objected for the purpose of discussion.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
8:05:32 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  DELENA  JOHNSON,  Alaska  State  Legislature,  as                                                               
prime  sponsor, presented  HB 16.   She  explained that  there is                                                               
similar legislation  making its way  through the Senate,  and the                                                               
proposed CS was  created to conform with the bill  in the Senate.                                                               
She said  the CS  would broaden  the scope  of search  and rescue                                                               
groups contained under the proposed  legislation.  In response to                                                               
Co-Chairs Hannan  and Schrage,  she said  she thinks  the changes                                                               
that would be made under the proposed CS are good.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
8:08:49 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SAVAYA  BIEBER,  Staff,  Representative  DeLena  Johnson,  Alaska                                                               
State Legislature,  explained the  changes made under  a proposed                                                               
committee  substitute  for  HB 16  on  behalf  of  Representative                                                               
Johnson,  prime sponsor.   She  said there  are 1,100  search and                                                               
rescue  groups  across  Alaska   that  do  the  following  rescue                                                               
missions:    avalanche, flood,  grid  rescues,  lost sailors  and                                                               
hikers, and  people trapped in  collapsed buildings.   The rescue                                                               
groups  receive  little  to  no   financial  compensation.    The                                                               
proposed legislation  would allow these groups  to exercise first                                                               
right to obtain  surplus state property that may  be necessary to                                                               
carry out  search and rescue  missions after state  agencies have                                                               
had the opportunity to buy the property.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS. BIEBER explained  that the Department of  Public Safety (DPS)                                                               
would decide  what property is  necessary for the  rescue groups,                                                               
and  the   Department  of   Administration  (DOA)   would  choose                                                               
regulations and  price.  Groups  approved by DOA would  receive a                                                               
list of items going up for  auction.  She offered further details                                                               
about  the auction  process, including  that the  items would  be                                                               
available to  the search and  rescue groups for 7-14  days before                                                               
they are made available to the  general public.  She noted people                                                               
available for questions.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
8:10:43 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The committee took an at-ease from 8:10 a.m. to 8:12 a.m.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
8:12:03 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR SCHRAGE announced that  the committee would hear invited                                                               
testimony.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
8:12:18 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MARK  STIGAR, President,  Alaska Search  and Rescue  Association,                                                               
listed   his  experience   in   search   and  rescue,   including                                                               
volunteering  with "MAT+SAR  Search &  Rescue" in  the Matanuska-                                                               
Susitna  ("Mat-Su") Valley,  training  and  safety board  member,                                                               
canine handler, and incident commander.   He said he retired from                                                               
running the  Alaska Army National  Guard Aviation  Program, which                                                               
uses Blackhawk  helicopters, and he  was involved in  hundreds of                                                               
search and  rescue and  medivac operations in  his 10  years with                                                               
the  guard.   He noted  that unique  to Alaska  is that  all land                                                               
search and rescue fall under  the Alaska State Troopers, while in                                                               
other states they fall under county sheriffs.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. STIGAR said  the Alaska Search and  Rescue Association (ASRA)                                                               
is   the  Alaska   State  Trooper's   search  and   rescue  first                                                               
responders,  and it  operates with  little or  no funding,  other                                                               
than  limited reimbursement  from the  Alaska State  Troopers for                                                               
fuel, plane  tickets, and [costs resulting  from] minor equipment                                                               
damage.  Many  times ASRA runs the search.   To be effective, its                                                               
volunteers need  equipment beyond their personally  owned trucks,                                                               
all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), and boats.   He said ASRA was losing                                                               
its certification for  its canines.  He explained  the process by                                                               
which a canine  works on a boat with humans  and can detect human                                                               
remains under  water, but said  the person  with a boat  left the                                                               
search team.   All  other expenses  are out  of pocket  or gained                                                               
through fund-raising.   Mr. Stigar said ASRA is looking  at HB 16                                                               
as a means to gain benefits  found in other states, wherein basic                                                               
equipment  is  available to  conduct  searches.   He  offered  to                                                               
answer questions.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
8:15:21 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MCCABE  relayed  his   experience  30  years  ago                                                               
handling a  search dog.   He  asked whether  "govdeals.com" would                                                               
allow  search and  rescue volunteers  access  to federal  surplus                                                               
items, as well as state.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. STIGAR  responded that  he has gone  through the  process "to                                                               
get MAT+SAR  on that  list" and periodically  it receives  "an e-                                                               
mail  from them."    Generally the  surplus  items available  are                                                               
office equipment.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSON  suggested someone  from DOA could  add to                                                               
Mr. Stigar's response.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
8:17:25 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
THOR VUE,  Chief Procurement Officer,  Office of  Procurement and                                                               
Property  Management,  Department  of  Administration,  confirmed                                                               
that  volunteer rescue  groups could  get  federal surplus  items                                                               
from govdeals.com,  and he  said to do  so would  require signing                                                               
up.                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MCCABE  expressed a desire for  the legislature to                                                               
help.   He then asked  Mr. Stigar  whether MAT+SAR has  "a higher                                                               
priority" on the govdeals.com list.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
8:19:24 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. STIGAR offered his understanding  that MAT+SAR is just on the                                                               
list.   He said  the group  has a  point of  contact person.   He                                                               
added  that MAT+SAR  has  never tried  to  obtain anything  [from                                                               
govedeals.com], so he does not know the process.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
8:19:50 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MCCARTY asked whether  there was a timeframe under                                                               
HB  16 by  which the  search and  rescue groups  had priority  to                                                               
obtain items before they were offered to the general public.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. BIEBER reiterated that the time would be 7-14 days.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
8:20:30 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HANNAN asked  Mr. Vue  if the  search and  rescue                                                               
groups would be acting as  state agencies in their acquisition of                                                               
items through deals.com.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. VUE replied that they would  not be "acting as state entities                                                               
at  no cost  for  these  properties."   The  properties would  be                                                               
acquired at  fair market value.   The  first line of  transfer of                                                               
surplus goods would remain interdepartmental;  the second line of                                                               
transfer  would be  search and  rescue  organizations; the  third                                                               
tier would be the general public.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  HANNAN  asked how  DOA  would  determine which  of  the                                                               
search and rescue entities get a  boat, for example, if more than                                                               
one of them wanted the boat.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. VUE speculated  there would be an evaluation  of the specific                                                               
needs of each  entity, and the department  may determine "whether                                                               
there is the opportunity to acquire  the property at a little bit                                                               
higher cost than what  is being listed just to see  if there is a                                                               
way for us to implement that in the most fair manner."                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HANNAN  asked what  the  current  process is  for                                                               
state entities vying  for the same item.  She  explained that she                                                               
wants  to ensure  that the  search and  rescue groups  that would                                                               
qualify for surplus items under HB  16 would not be "competing in                                                               
a cutthroat  way for vital  resources that they need"  while also                                                               
ensuring DOA is not overburdened in the process.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
8:25:23 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. VUE  answered that in-house,  the property is awarded  to the                                                               
agency  that asks  for it  first.   For the  general public,  the                                                               
property is awarded  to the highest bidder.  He  said perhaps "it                                                               
could be some  sort of hybrid function for the  search and rescue                                                               
groups."                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
8:26:16 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSON  shared that  the original  bill addressed                                                               
only the search and rescue  organizations that work for the state                                                               
through the Alaska  State Troopers.  She then  related that "many                                                               
of these groups  will pay out of pocket, so  it doesn't take away                                                               
the  need  for   a  grant  necessarily,  it   just  makes  things                                                               
available."  She  said groups such as ones that  work with search                                                               
and  rescue dogs  are funded  fully in  other states  but not  in                                                               
Alaska, where its members pay their  expenses out of pocket.  She                                                               
said  she does  not think  DOA has  a process  for dispensing  of                                                               
property "pre-public  disposal" yet; however, "that  is something                                                               
that we can define as we go."                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
8:28:20 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MCCABE  speculated that  search and  rescue groups                                                               
would have  to pay for transport  of any item they  acquired from                                                               
state  surplus not  in  their  area; therefore,  if  a boat  were                                                               
available through  state surplus and  located in King  Salmon, he                                                               
surmised, the  only people  that would  bid on  it would  be "the                                                               
people around King Salmon that would  be able to get to that boat                                                               
pretty cheap."  He further  speculated that the state has certain                                                               
areas  where surplus  items are  stored.   He asked  Mr. Vue  for                                                               
comment.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
8:29:43 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  VUE  replied that  economics  is  not  the only  driver  and                                                               
entities  far  from the  item  needed  are  willing to  take  the                                                               
responsibility to transport it.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
8:31:31 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR HANNAN  referenced AS 18.60.120, which  refers to search                                                               
and rescue parties  and does not distinguish  between the various                                                               
types, and  she asked Mr. Stigar  to talk about which  groups may                                                               
be included under statute.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
8:32:37 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. STIGAR  responded that the  most accurate list of  search and                                                               
rescue groups  is maintained  by the Alaska  State Troopers.   He                                                               
indicated that  [the proposed  legislation] would  include anyone                                                               
that is known by the Alaska  State Troopers to conduct search and                                                               
rescue missions.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
8:34:21 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MCCARTY  noted there  are areas  in the  state far                                                               
from any troopers; therefore, he  asked for confirmation that [HB
16]  would  include any  organized  search  and rescue  group  in                                                               
Alaska.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. STIGAR  answered that  was his original  intent.   He offered                                                               
his  understanding  that  remote  areas  would  follow  the  same                                                               
process, wherein information would  be spread through the village                                                               
and then the Alaska State Troopers would be notified.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
8:35:46 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  HANNAN  said it  appears  the  groups listed  under  AS                                                               
18.60.120 are those  that the Alaska State  Troopers can utilize.                                                               
She  questioned whether  there is  an  active list  and how  many                                                               
groups there are.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
8:36:27 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LIEUTENANT PAUL  FUSSEY, Search and Rescue  Coroner, Alaska State                                                               
Troopers,  Department of  Public Safety,  related there  are some                                                               
501(c)(3) groups that  can be deployed across the  state, as well                                                               
as small  search and rescue  entities in each village  across the                                                               
state that can  be deployed to do searches at  the request of the                                                               
Alaska State Troopers.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
8:37:22 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   MCCABE  offered   his  understanding   that  the                                                               
Department  of  Natural  Resources  (DNR)  utilizes  a  voluntary                                                               
assistance  program to  provide surplus  items to  volunteer fire                                                               
fighters, and "this is sort of separate from that."                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
8:38:01 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSON responded that  it seems like an oversight                                                               
that Alaska's search and rescue  groups are paying for search and                                                               
rescue out  of their own  pockets; those are the  groups targeted                                                               
under HB 16.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
8:38:47 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE DRUMMOND noted the use  of the word "obsolete" and                                                               
asked how,  if the state is  getting rid of equipment  because it                                                               
is obsolete, that equipment would  be useful to search and rescue                                                               
operations.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSON remarked that  "one man's trash is another                                                               
man's treasure"  and said the  homily illustrates  that something                                                               
that is  considered obsolete  by the state  could be  something a                                                               
local organization could use.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  DRUMMOND noted  that search  and rescue  dogs are                                                               
expensive and trained  for specific purposes.   She asked whether                                                               
the  dogs  are  the  personal   property  of  search  and  rescue                                                               
volunteers, and she speculated that  the volunteers would need to                                                               
raise funds to acquire such animals.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSON  responded that  these animals are  a cost                                                               
borne by the search and rescue groups  as a "labor of love."  She                                                               
said the  search dogs  she has  known were  each paired  with one                                                               
human, and they are not "surplus" dogs.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
8:41:48 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MCCABE,  having done search and  rescue with dogs,                                                               
proffered that the dog is part  of the trainer's family.  He said                                                               
he spent hundreds  of hours training a dog named  "Toga" from the                                                               
time she was  a pup.  He  confirmed there would be  no surplus in                                                               
terms of dogs.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
8:42:27 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. STIGAR added  that what got him into search  and rescue was a                                                               
new dog  he had and  the desire to do  more with her  than having                                                               
her be his  exercise buddy.  He said the  trainer/owner bears the                                                               
cost of vaccinations and potential injuries.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
8:43:05 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  DRUMMOND  relayed that  during  her  time on  the                                                               
Anchorage School Board, she learned  about the police using a dog                                                               
to search  hundreds of  lockers for any  suspect materials.   She                                                               
noted dogs have a limited time in  which they can stay on a scent                                                               
track.   She commented on  the emotional  nature of having  a dog                                                               
find a body  in the water, for example, and  she expressed that a                                                               
conversation about this topic is  helpful in educating members of                                                               
the committee.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
8:44:28 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR HANNAN asked  about a short title on page  1, line 6, of                                                               
the proposed CS, which read as follows:                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
        SHORT TITLE. This Act may be known as the Ellie                                                                         
     Mae Act.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
8:44:58 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSON  related her understanding that  Ellie Mae                                                               
was the  name of a  service dog; she  said that language  was not                                                               
part of the original bill.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
8:45:11 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR SCHRAGE  removed his  objection to  the motion  to adopt                                                               
the  proposed  CS  for HB  16,  Version  32-LS0128\B,  Bannister,                                                               
4/19/21,  as a  work draft.   There  being no  further objection,                                                               
Version B was before the committee.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
8:45:23 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR SCHRAGE announced that HB 16 was held over.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
               HB 11-DEFENSIVE DISPLAY OF FIREARM                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
8:45:32 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  SCHRAGE  announced that  the  final  order of  business                                                               
would be  HOUSE BILL NO. 11,  "An Act relating to  assault in the                                                               
third   and   fourth   degrees;    and   relating   to   reckless                                                               
endangerment."                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
8:45:53 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GEORGE  RAUSCHER,  Alaska State  Legislature,  as                                                               
prime sponsor,  offered the  sponsor statement  for HB  11, which                                                               
read as follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
       Article 1, Section 19 of the Alaska Constitution,                                                                        
     among the declaration of rights enshrines the right of                                                                     
     Alaskans to keep and bear arms.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     "A  well-regulated  militia   being  necessary  to  the                                                                    
     security of  a free state,  the right of the  people to                                                                    
     keep  and  bear  arms  shall   not  be  infringed.  The                                                                    
     individual right  to keep  and bear  arms shall  not be                                                                    
     denied  or  infringed  by  the  State  or  a  political                                                                    
     subdivision of the State."                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     House Bill  11 is an  effort to preserve  these rights,                                                                    
     and protect  individuals acting in a  manner in defense                                                                    
     of  self,  defense  of  a third  party  or  defense  of                                                                    
     property  and premises,  from  arrest when  defensively                                                                    
     displaying a firearm.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Current  law allows  for police  to arrest  individuals                                                                    
     who display  a weapon  defensively for third  or fourth                                                                    
     degree  assault,  or  for reckless  endangerment.  This                                                                    
     bill  would   exclude  the  provisions  of   the  above                                                                    
     mentioned offenses  against a person if  the individual                                                                    
     displays a weapon in a defensive manner.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     The  bill  continues  to define  defensive  display  as                                                                    
     follows:                                                                                                                   
          ?  Openly   wearing,  carrying  or   possessing  a                                                                    
     firearm                                                                                                                    
             Verbally   informing  another  person   of  the                                                                    
     possession of a firearm                                                                                                    
          ? Holding  a firearm in  a position that  does not                                                                    
     point the firearm directly at another person                                                                               
          ? Displaying  a firearm to dissuade  a threatening                                                                    
     person                                                                                                                     
          ? Warning another person of  the availability of a                                                                    
     firearm to dissuade a threat by the other person                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     House Bill 11 will protect  the rights of Alaskans from                                                                    
     the  unnecessary  arrests  and expense  of  claiming  a                                                                    
     justification  defense, when  they  merely displayed  a                                                                    
     firearm, and  did not  act in a  manner that  is beyond                                                                    
     definition in the bill.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     I  urge  your support  for  this  bill to  protect  the                                                                    
     rights of Alaskans to bear arms in a defensive manner.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
8:49:00 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JESSE LOGAN, Staff, Representative George Rauscher, Alaska State                                                                
Legislature, offered a sectional analysis for HB 11 on behalf of                                                                
Representative Rauscher,  prime sponsor.  The  sectional analysis                                                               
read as follow [original punctuation provided]:                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Section 1 Excludes defensive display of a firearm from                                                                     
     the violations of third degree assault.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Section 2 Excludes defensive display of a firearm from                                                                     
     the violations of fourth degree assault.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Section 3 Excludes defensive display of a firearm from                                                                     
     the violations of reckless endangerment.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Section 4 Defines defensive display of a firearm.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
      Section 5 Defines the applicability of the bill and                                                                       
      offenses to only those committed after the effective                                                                      
     date.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. LOGAN  said third  degree assault  means to  recklessly place                                                               
another person in  fear of imminent serious injury by  means of a                                                               
dangerous  instrument; it  is a  Class  C felony  that carries  a                                                               
penalty of up to  five years in prison and up  to a $50,000 fine.                                                               
He said  fourth degree  assault is a  Class A  misdemeanor, which                                                               
carries with  it a fine of  up to $10,000  and up to one  year in                                                               
jail.   Reckless endangerment is  also a Class A  misdemeanor, he                                                               
noted.   He  said anyone  allowed carry  a firearm  can carry  it                                                               
opened or  concealed.   An "open  carry" can  be seen  by others.                                                               
Regarding  concealed carry,  Mr. Logan  said the  question before                                                               
the committee  is:  "How do  you communicate that to  a perceived                                                               
threat?"    He  said  19  states  allow  "permit-less  carry"  or                                                               
concealed carry; only  5 of those states have  determined "how to                                                               
communicate that."   He indicated  that no [states]  have defined                                                               
"brandishing," although  there is federal code  pertaining to the                                                               
term.   He paraphrased the  definition of "brandishing"  found in                                                               
Merriam Websters  Dictionary, which read  as follows:   "to shake                                                             
or wave (something, such as a weapon) menacingly."                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR.  LOGAN directed  attention to  Section  4 [page  1, line  13,                                                               
through page 2, line  6], which he said offers a  list of what is                                                               
included under "defensive display of  a firearm."  He warned that                                                               
in law, anything not included on  the list "is considered to have                                                               
been excluded on  purpose"; therefore, he urged  the committee to                                                               
consider  creating a  committee substitute  that would  provide a                                                               
definition instead of a list.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. LOGAN named two  scenarios:  One is a person  at home and the                                                               
other is a  person in public; both perceive a  threat.  He asked,                                                               
"How do you communicate to that  perceived threat that you have a                                                               
deadly weapon  and you're  willing to  use it?"   He  then asked,                                                               
"Without that definition of communication,  what's the purpose of                                                               
having [a] concealed weapon?"                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
8:52:25 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MCCABE  noted that before President  Joe Biden was                                                               
elected, he  had talked about taking  a shotgun out to  his porch                                                               
and shooting  a couple rounds.   Representative McCabe  said that                                                               
in  Alaska, a  person who  fires a  shotgun from  the porch  at a                                                               
person  "coming at"  the house  would be  arrested by  the Alaska                                                               
State Troopers for "brandishing and  scaring a person."  He asked                                                               
whether HB 11 would "make that legal."                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. LOGAN answered,  "No, I don't think there's  a scenario where                                                               
you  fire a  weapon in  any direction  that's going  to be  okay,                                                               
except for  in defense of  a deadly  threat."  He  indicated that                                                               
[HB  11]  "goes   into  the  definitional  of  ...   how  do  you                                                               
communicate it?"                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MCCABE  remarked that if  the person on  the porch                                                               
announced,  "I have  a shotgun,"  then that  would be  considered                                                               
brandishing under  Alaska law.  He  said the same would  apply to                                                               
someone  stepping  outside his/her  car  and  saying, "I  have  a                                                               
pistol."                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
8:54:14 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR HANNAN questioned whether the  bill sponsor had heard of                                                               
situations where an individual was  apprehended solely for having                                                               
a weapon on  the porch rather than also being  a case of domestic                                                               
violence,  for  example, where  the  gun  is  being used  by  the                                                               
husband to remind the wife to  behave.  She explained that she is                                                               
curious   whether   "we    are   prosecuting   those   statements                                                               
exclusively, in isolation from ... the charge of threat."                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  RAUSCHER replied  that his  office has  contacted                                                               
law enforcement  and is "asking  for those" but has  not received                                                               
the information, which he said  he would provide to the committee                                                               
once received.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. LOGAN, regarding  Co-Chair Hannan's example, said  he did not                                                               
think that would  be considered defensive.  He said  he thinks it                                                               
would be an  offensive display of a weapon -  a situation he said                                                               
he thinks  HB 11  does not seek  to address.   He noted  that the                                                               
bill  sponsor's office  had  spoken with  the  Department of  Law                                                               
(DOL) to  ensure that domestic  violence cases "are not  [in] any                                                               
way altered with this."                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR HANNAN  said she understands, but  also understands that                                                               
no  bills change  what is  in the  Constitution of  the State  of                                                               
Alaska  regarding the  right of  Alaskans to  own legal  weapons.                                                               
She  indicated  the issue  is  crafting  the distinction  between                                                               
"where's the problem?"  and "what's really happening?"   She said                                                               
theoretically   Alaska   State   Troopers  could   be   arresting                                                               
individuals for saying,  "I have a gun."  She  said she has never                                                               
heard  of that  happening,  and she  has  carried and  advertised                                                               
carrying a  concealed weapon and  permit to carry, both  of which                                                               
must  be professed  to law  enforcement immediately  upon getting                                                               
pulled over.   She  said she  is looking for  the problem,  not a                                                               
theoretical problem that may take place  in the future.  She said                                                               
in many  cases of  domestic violence, the  threats have  not been                                                               
carried  out,  which is  what  makes  so  many  of the  cases  so                                                               
challenging.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  RAUSCHER  reiterated  that information  would  be                                                               
forthcoming from DOL.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
8:58:14 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MCCARTY said he knows  of cases where people said,                                                               
"I've got  a firearm;  back off"  and were  arrested.   He talked                                                               
about the dialogue as compared to the outcome of a court case.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE RAUSCHER suggested that  if what is acceptable and                                                               
what is not  acceptable are defined, then a person  does not have                                                               
to  go to  court to  prove  whether or  not what  he/she did  was                                                               
acceptable.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MCCARTY  distinguished  between someone  using  a                                                               
firearm to  get someone out of  the house as compared  to someone                                                               
trespassing  on  property  and the  property  owner  telling  the                                                               
trespasser he/she has  a firearm.  He said he  has heard of cases                                                               
where "people  were arrested"  and yet  "the perpetrator  was not                                                               
the person on the porch - it's the person who's trespassing."                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
9:01:05 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  LOGAN said  he does  not have  any statistics  on "how  many                                                               
times this  happened in Alaska"  but said there are  thousands of                                                               
cases  across  the country  where  someone  has had  a  concealed                                                               
weapon, showed the weapon to a  person harassing them in the next                                                               
lane, and got arrested.  He  said "we" have guns, but asked, "How                                                               
do we dispel a threat without using it?"                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
9:01:52 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MCCABE said he has  carried a concealed weapon for                                                               
years and  has been  an officer  of the  law.   He said,  "We are                                                               
always taught, if you pull your weapon,  you have to use it."  He                                                               
opined, "An  armed society is  a polite society."   He said  if a                                                               
person instigates verbal  conflict and must pull  his/her gun and                                                               
take action,  then that person  is at  fault.  He  countered that                                                               
sometimes  a person  will "go  after"  a polite  person, and  the                                                               
polite person  cannot let the  offensive person know  that he/she                                                               
has a weapon without risking a  felony or Class A misdemeanor for                                                               
brandishing a weapon.   Being able to announce the  presence of a                                                               
gun to  deescalate a  situation may fill  "a gap,"  he suggested.                                                               
He indicated  that [HB 11]  makes sense to  him.  He  said people                                                               
might abuse  it, but the  proposed bill is  "kind of a  hole that                                                               
has been needed for many, many years."                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
9:04:22 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR   SCHRAGE  asked   for   distinction  between   verbally                                                               
informing  another person  of  the possession  of  a firearm  and                                                               
warning  another  person of  the  availability  of a  firearm  to                                                               
dissuade a threat by the other person.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. LOGAN suggested changes may be  needed to the language of the                                                               
CS and advised the language be made specific.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR SCHRAGE  said he  thinks that how  a person  relates the                                                               
existence of  a fire arm  is important.   He explained,  "I think                                                               
informing someone  that you  have a  gun may  not cause  the same                                                               
issues as  informing someone and  conveying an intent  to utilize                                                               
that gun, and so I think there's  some nuance to be worked out in                                                               
this bill."                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
[HB 11 was held over.]                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
9:07:22 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There being no  further business before the  committee, the House                                                               
Community  and Regional  Affairs Standing  Committee meeting  was                                                               
adjourned at 9:07 a.m.                                                                                                          

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
4.23.2021 HB 16 Sponsor Statement.pdf HCRA 4/27/2021 8:00:00 AM
HCRA 4/29/2021 8:00:00 AM
HB 16
4.23.2021 HB16 Ver. A.PDF HCRA 4/27/2021 8:00:00 AM
HCRA 4/29/2021 8:00:00 AM
HB 16
4.23.2021 HB 16 Sectional.pdf HCRA 4/27/2021 8:00:00 AM
HCRA 4/29/2021 8:00:00 AM
HB 16
2021.4.27 HB 16 CS ver. B.pdf HCRA 4/27/2021 8:00:00 AM
HCRA 4/29/2021 8:00:00 AM
HB 16
2021.4.27 HB 16 DOA Fiscal Note.pdf HCRA 4/27/2021 8:00:00 AM
HCRA 4/29/2021 8:00:00 AM
HB 16
4.23.2021HB 11 Sponsor Statement.pdf HCRA 4/27/2021 8:00:00 AM
HCRA 4/29/2021 8:00:00 AM
HB 11
4.23.2021 HB 11 ver A.PDF HCRA 4/27/2021 8:00:00 AM
HCRA 4/29/2021 8:00:00 AM
HB 11
4.23.2021 HB 11 Sectional Analysis.pdf HCRA 4/27/2021 8:00:00 AM
HCRA 4/29/2021 8:00:00 AM
HB 11