Legislature(1993 - 1994)
03/16/1993 01:30 PM JUD
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HOUSE JUDICIARY STANDING COMMITTEE March 16, 1992 1:30 p.m. MEMBERS PRESENT Representative Dave Donley, Chairman Representative Max Gruenberg, Vice-Chairman Representative Johnny Ellis Representative Mark Hanley Representative Pat Parnell Representative Terry Martin MEMBERS ABSENT Representative Mike Miller COMMITTEE CALENDAR SJR 1: Proposing and amendment to the Constitution of the State of Alaska relating to the individual right to keep and bear arms. HEARD AND HELD TO WEDNESDAY, MARCH 18, 1992 WITNESS REGISTER Robert Laguire P.O. Box 792 Sitka, Alaska 99835 Phone: 747-8791 Position Statement: Opposed State Affairs CS Richard Barlow HC02, Box 7550 Palmer, Alaska 99645 Phone: none Position Statement: Supported SJR 1 Jean Woods P.O. Box 827 Palmer, Alaska 99645 Phone: none Position Statement: Opposed State Affairs CS Senator Pat Rodey Alaska State Legislature State Capitol Juneau, Alaska 99801-1182 Phone: 465-3793 Position Statement: Sponsor of SJR 1 Mike Milligan S.R. 9121 Kodiak, Alaska 99615 Phone: 487-2686 Position Statement: Supported SJR 1 Karl Berggren, Jr. P.O. Box 2079 Kodiak, Alaska 99615 Phone: 486-3462 Position Statement: Opposed State Affairs CS Elzie Isley 2533 3rd Ave. Ketchikan, Alaska 99901 Phone: 225-4881 Position Statement: Supported SJR 1 Dave Helmick P.O. Box 913 Petersburg, Alaska 99833 Phone: 772-4790 Position Statement: Opposed State Affairs CS Dave Claytor P.O. Box 882 Petersburg, Alaska 99833 Phone: 772-3761 Position Statement: Opposed State Affairs CS William F. Smith P.O. Box 68 Valdez, Alaska 99686 Phone: 835-2910 Position Statement: Opposed State Affairs CS Nick Zerbinos P.O. Box 371 Glenallen, Alaska 99588 Phone: 822-3033 Position Statement: Opposed State Affairs CS Ed Knoebel P.O. Box 84 Glenallen, Alaska 99588 Phone: 822-3208 Position Statement: Opposed State Affairs CS Rocky Ansell P.O. Box 217 Copper Center, Alaska 99573 Phone: 822-3033 Position Statement: Supported SJR 1 C.P. Bartley HC003, Box 8758 Palmer, Alaska 99645 Phone: 822-3905 Position Statement: Opposed State Affairs CS Harris Stuermer P.O. Box 508 Barrow, Alaska 99733 Phone: 852-7606 Position Statement: Opposed State Affairs CS Dave Lovett P.O. Box 411 Delta Junction, Alaska 99737 Phone: 895-5113 Position Statement: Opposed State Affairs CS Joe Vogler P.O. Box 40 Fairbanks, Alaska 99707 Phone: 479-2344 Position Statement: Opposed State Affairs CS Lynette Clark 2521 Old Steese Hwy. N. Fairbanks, Alaska 99712 Phone: 457-1884 Position Statement: Opposed State Affairs CS Jamie Cox 2132-A Old Steese Hwy. N. Fairbanks, Alaska 99712 Phone: 457-2620 Position Statement: Opposed State Affairs CS Sybil Skelton 15 Eleanor Fairbanks, Alaska 99709 Phone: 451-8599 Position Statement: Opposed SJR 1 Bob Brunlow 3811 E. 84th Street Anchorage, Alaska 99507 Phone: 349-8237 Position Statement: Opposed State Affairs CS Lucille Clark 525 B Street Anchorage, Alaska 99501 Phone: 277-3733 Position Statement: Opposed State Affairs CS Harold Stafford P.O. Box 1911 Anchorage, Alaska 99521 Phone: 337-8577 Position Statement: Opposed State Affairs CS Rudy Vetter P.O. Box 70342 Fairbanks, Alaska 99707 Phone: none Position Statement: Opposed State Affairs CS Bruce Campbell P.O. Box 2245 Fairbanks, Alaska 99708 Position Statement: Opposed State Affairs CS Gary Hammond P.O. Box 71136 Fairbanks, Alaska 99707 Phone: 455-6131 Position Statement: Opposed State Affairs CS Steven Guildner P.O. Box 75303 Fairbanks, Alaska 99707 Phone: 455-6131 Position Statement: Opposed State Affairs CS Larry Bendall 2255 Solstice Ave. Fairbanks, Alaska 99707 Phone: 455-6543 Position Statement: Supported original version of SJR 1 Richard L. Burton Commissioner Department of Public Safety P.O. Box 111200 Juneau, Alaska 99811-0200 Phone: 465-4322 Position Statement: Testified on DPS concerns on SJR 1 Dean Guaneli Department of Law P.O. Box 110300 Juneau, Alaska 99811-0300 Phone: 465-3600 Position Statement: Explained department's views on SJR 1 Randy Smith 430 W. 7th Street #117 Anchorage, Alaska 99501 Phone: 277-3733 Position Statement: Supported original version of SJR 1 Wayne Ross P.O. Box 101522 Anchorage, Alaska 99510 Phone: 277-1617 Position Statement: Supported original version of SJR 1 Duane Udland Alaska Association of Chiefs of Police 4501 S. Bragaw Anchorage, Alaska Phone: 786-8583 Position Statement: Opposed State Affairs CS Harry Keller P.O. Box 32442 Juneau, Alaska 99803 Phone: 789-7218 Position Statement: Supported original version of SJR 1 Scott Burgess Alaska Municipal League 27 2nd Street Juneau, Alaska 586-1325 Position Statement: Supported intent of SJR 1 Dick Bishop Alaska Outdoor Council P.O. Box 34097 Juneau, Alaska 99803 Phone: 463-3830 Position Statement: Supported SJR 1 PREVIOUS ACTION BILL: SJR 1 SHORT TITLE: RIGHT TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS SPONSOR(S): SENATOR(S) RODEY,Fischer,Halford,Sturgulewski, Shultz,Frank,Menard,Jones; REPRESENTATIVE(S) Zawacki,Donley JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 01/11/91 17 (S) PREFILE RELEASED 01/21/91 17 (S) READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S) 01/21/91 17 (S) JUD, THEN FINANCE 01/31/91 (S) JUD AT 01:30 PM BUTROVICH ROOM 205 01/31/91 (S) MINUTE(JUD) 03/05/91 (S) JUD AT 01:30 PM BUTROVICH ROOM 205 03/05/91 (S) MINUTE(JUD) 03/06/91 442 (S) JUD RPT 4DP 1DNP 03/06/91 443 (S) FISCAL NOTE PUBLISHED (ELECT) 03/06/91 443 (S) ZERO FISCAL NOTE PUBLISHED (LAW) 04/05/91 770 (S) FIN RPT 2DP 3NR 2DNP 04/05/91 770 (S) PREVIOUS FISCAL NOTE (ELECT) 04/05/91 770 (S) PREVIOUS ZERO FN (LAW) 04/05/91 (S) FIN AT 09:00 AM FINANCE ROOM 518 04/05/91 (S) MINUTE(FIN) 04/08/91 (S) RLS AT 12:00 PM BUTROVICH ROOM 205 04/08/91 (S) MINUTE(RLS) 04/10/91 822 (S) RULES TO CALENDAR 4/10/91 04/10/91 824 (S) READ THE SECOND TIME 04/10/91 825 (S) ADVANCED TO THIRD READING UNAN CONSENT 04/10/91 825 (S) READ THE THIRD TIME SJR 1 04/10/91 825 (S) COSPONSOR(S): JONES 04/10/91 825 (S) PASSED Y14 N3 E2 A1 04/10/91 825 (S) HALFORD NOTICE OF RECONSIDERATION 04/12/91 852 (S) RECON TAKEN UP-IN THIRD READING 04/12/91 852 (S) HELD UNDER RECONSIDERATION TO 4/17/91 04/17/91 903 (S) HELD UNDER RECONSIDERATION TO 4/24/91 04/24/91 988 (S) RETURN TO SECOND FOR AM 2 UNAN CONSENT 04/24/91 988 (S) AM NO 1 NOT OFFERED 04/24/91 988 (S) AM NO 2 OFFERED BY COTTEN 04/24/91 988 (S) AM NO 2 FAILED Y8 N10 E1 A1 04/24/91 988 (S) AUTOMATICALLY IN THIRD READING 04/24/91 989 (S) PASSED ON RECONSIDERATION Y15 N3 E1 A1 04/24/91 991 (S) TRANSMITTED TO (H) 04/26/91 960 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S) 04/26/91 960 (H) STA, JUD, FINANCE 04/26/91 989 (H) CROSS SPONSOR(S): ZAWACKI 05/17/91 (H) STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL RM 102 05/17/91 (H) MINUTE(STA) 05/18/91 1570 (H) STA RPT HCS(STA) 5DP 05/18/91 1570 (H) (DP: BRUCKMAN, GRUENBERG,MOYER, 05/18/91 1570 (H) ...CHOQUETTE, KUBINA) 05/18/91 1570 (H) -PREV SEN FN (ELECT) 3/6/91 05/18/91 1570 (H) -PREV SEN ZERO FN (LAW) 3/6/91 01/13/92 1959 (H) CROSS SPONSOR(S): DONLEY 03/16/92 (H) JUD AT 01:30 PM CAPITOL 120 ACTION NARRATIVE TAPE JUD 92-37, SIDE A Number 000 Chairman Donley called the meeting to order at 1:35 p.m., noting the members in attendance. He announced he would take testimony from around the state by teleconference on SJR 1. Number 026 ROBERT LAGUIRE testified from Sitka that he objected to the use of the word "unreasonably" in the State Affairs committee substitute for SJR 1. Number 123 RICHARD BARLOW testified from the Mat-Su teleconference site that as a member of the National Rifle Association (NRA) he supported the concept of the resolution to protect second amendment rights. Number 157 JEAN WOODS spoke on behalf of the Matanuska Valley Sportsmen, stating the group did not support the inclusion of "unreasonably" in the CS. Number 200 Representative Ellis asked Ms. Woods whether the group generally supported the right to keep and bear arms. Ms. Woods replied that it was important to include the individual right in the constitution, and her organization supported the resolution except for the term "unreasonably." Number 225 SENATOR PAT RODEY, sponsor of SJR 1, referred to a legal opinion from the Department of Law that says the current language in the state constitution does not extend the right to bear arms to individuals, which is the reason for this legislation. Number 265 Representative Ellis asked whether there were new legal opinions from the current administration. Chairman Donley pointed out documents in members' files from the Departments of Law and Public Safety. Number 294 MIKE MILLIGAN testified from Kodiak that he supported the right to keep and bear arms, and supported the inclusion of "unreasonably" in the CS. He voiced support for local governments retaining the right to regulate use of guns as they deem appropriate. Number 365 Representative Martin raised the question of municipal authority being undermined by restriction of their ability to regulate gun possession. Discussion followed on the references in the resolution to political subdivisions and whether that language should be deleted. Number 424 KARL BERGGREN testified from Kodiak in support of the spirit of the resolution, but opposed the use of "unreasonably." Chairman Donley discussed the question of which standard would be applied; specifically, a compelling public safety interest or other standard of reasonableness. Number 475 ELZIE ISLEY of Ketchikan testified that he would like to see the right to bear arms extended to include possession of semi-automatic weapons. Number 495 DAVE HELMICK testified from Petersburg in support of the resolution, but objected to "unreasonably" in the CS. Number 509 DAVID CLAYTOR of Petersburg said he favored existing statutes, and "unreasonably" should be left in the CS. Number 523 WILLIAM SMITH of Valdez objected to "unreasonably" in the CS. Number 530 NICK ZERBINOS of Glenallen strongly opposed including "unreasonably" in the CS. Number 550 ED KNOEBEL, also of Glenallen, testified that "unreasonably" should be removed from the resolution. Number 564 ROCKY ANSELL testified that if "unreasonably" was to be used in the resolution, it should be clearly defined. Number 588 HARRIS STUERMER from Barrow objected to "unreasonably" and supported a higher standard. Number 597 DAVE LOVETT of Delta Junction supported the resolution to include individual rights to bear arms in the state's constitution, but said he believed that the "unreasonably" amendment weakens the right. Number 610 JOE VOGLER of Fairbanks spoke against including "unreasonably" in the resolution. Number 625 LYNETTE CLARK said the language in the State Affairs CS would open a myriad of problems for the legislature and municipalities to resolve. Number 661 JAMIE COX testified from Fairbanks that she did not support the "unreasonably" provision, because it would give too much power to the courts and law enforcement officers. Number 692 SYBIL SKELTON said she saw no reason for this legislation. Number 713 BOB BRUNLOW, a firearms instructor of the University of Alaska Anchorage, suggested a permit system might help resolve gun problems. He said he supported the individual right to bear arms and opposed the use of "unreasonably" in the resolution. Number 730 LUCILLE CLARK said she felt including "unreasonably" in the resolution would infringe on constitutional rights. Number 747 HAROLD STAFFORD objected to "unreasonably." He said he believed citizens should be able to get permits to carry concealed weapons. Number 780 RUDY VETTER of Fairbanks objected to "unreasonably" and said individuals should have the right of self-protection. Number 790 BRUCE CAMPBELL testified from Fairbanks that existing laws should be used to limit criminal use of firearms. He said "unreasonably" should be deleted. Number 805 GARY HAMMOND testified that, as written, the current constitutional provision might be misinterpreted. He supported specifically guaranteeing individual rights. Number 838 STEVEN GUILDNER strongly objected to "unreasonably" in the resolution. Number 842 LARRY BENDALL testified that he preferred the original version of the resolution and objected to the addition of "unreasonably." TAPE 92-37, SIDE B Number 000 Chairman Donley announced he would take testimony from witnesses present with the committee in Juneau. COMMISSIONER RICHARD BURTON of the Department of Public Safety related the term "unreasonably" to fourth amendment protections from unreasonable search and seizure. He said the probable cause standard had stood the test in courts, and there does need to be some regulation of firearms. Chairman Donley announced that a current Judiciary CS work draft would delete "unreasonably." He explained the effect this would have on actions taken to protect a compelling public safety interest. Number 107 Commissioner Burton cautioned that he did not want to see legislation that would prohibit reasonable regulation relating to firearms in the future. Number 130 Representative Gruenberg discussed with Commissioner Burton the issue of court interpretation and application of standards, including a compelling public interest standard. Number 267 DEAN GUANELI testified on behalf of the Department of Law. He said the Criminal Division supported the right to bear arms and he believed that Article 1, Section 19, of the state constitution had served the state well. He said it was a serious matter to amend the constitution. He explained the department's views on the courts' interpretation of firearms laws. Number 344 Chairman Donley clarified that under this constitutional amendment, current firearms laws would be grandfathered into statutes. Number 354 Mr. Guaneli and the chairman discussed self-defense laws in relation to possession of concealed weapons, and a Colorado case in particular. Number 412 Representative Gruenberg referred to the sliding scale test and discussed the appropriate standards for courts to apply in deciding cases. He stressed the importance of stating the intent clearly in the resolution. Number 467 Senator Rodey mentioned that the Alaska Supreme Court had never decided a case based on the second amendment. Number 479 Mr. Guaneli cited cases in Anchorage relating to concealed weapons in vehicles, as well as other municipal firearms laws. He cautioned this resolution could allow the courts to strike down those municipal laws. Number 525 Senator Rodey assured the committee that the resolution was intended to provide for reasonable exercise of police powers. Number 600 Discussion followed among the committee members, the sponsor, and Mr. Guaneli regarding the local preemption issue. It was agreed that passage of the resolution should not tie the hands of future legislators. Number 638 Representative Gruenberg identified two specific issues for the committee to address: first, the danger in subsection (b) of the proposed CS of "freezing" the amendment in time by prohibiting future legislators from passing firearms legislation; and second, identification of the appropriate standard of reasonableness. Number 672 Senator Rodey said he did not find current laws on the books to be inappropriate. Number 702 Chairman Donley announced the committee would continue to hear testimony from the teleconference network. Number 711 RANDY SMITH spoke on behalf of the Alaska Outdoor Council, supporting the original version of SJR 1. Number 756 WAYNE ROSS, a member of the NRA, said he supported the original version of SJR 1, and he felt subsection (b) of the CS was workable. He said he believed that law enforcement officials have raised issues that were not legitimate. TAPE 92-38, SIDE A Number 000 Chairman Donley announced that the scheduled teleconference network time had expired so the remainder of the testimony would be from the Juneau committee room. Number 069 DUANE UDLAND, Deputy Chief of the Anchorage Police Department, testified that he did support the individual right to bear arms. He said the opposition from the Chiefs of Police organization was based on the drafting of proposed amendments. He said it was important to preserve a legitimate state interest in making laws and reasonable regulations. He discussed with the chairman the issue of local preemption, which Chairman Donley felt was not relevant to the proposal before the committee. There was continued discussion on the issue among the committee members and the witness. Number 362 HARRY KELLER of Juneau offered support for SJR 1 as originally drafted. Number 380 SCOTT BURGESS, on behalf of the Alaska Municipal League (AML), agreed that the intent of the legislation was good, but the AML had problems with the potential of the law. He expressed concern over future interpretation of the law, and felt that reasonable regulation was necessary to protect the public. Number 431 Chairman Donley cited states that did not have state preemption of local lawmaking. Number 478 DICK BISHOP of the Alaska Outdoor Council supported the resolution but spoke in opposition to the House State Affairs committee substitute, stating that it would open the opportunity for a range of interpretation. He referred to gun laws in Washington, D.C., and New York City, and the issue of gun registration. He urged the committee to weigh the issues of rational regulation and a compelling state interest. He added that the burden should be on the state. Number 575 Chairman Donley said the day's testimony had helped narrow the focus of key issues to be resolved and announced that SJR 1 would be held over to Wednesday, March 18. He adjourned the meeting at 3:40 p.m.