Legislature(1993 - 1994)
02/12/1994 08:00 AM STA
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HOUSE STATE AFFAIRS STANDING COMMITTEE February 12, 1994 8:00 a.m. MEMBERS PRESENT Representative Al Vezey, Chairman Representative Pete Kott, Vice Chairman Representative Gary Davis Representative Harley Olberg Representative Jerry Sanders Representative Fran Ulmer MEMBERS ABSENT Representative Bettye Davis COMMITTEE CALENDAR HB 351: "An Act relating to the issuance of permits for the carrying of a concealed weapon and relating to the possession of weapons." HELD OVER HJR 40: Proposing an amendment to the constitution of the State of Alaska relating to the individual right to keep and bear arms. HELD OVER WITNESS REGISTER GIOVANNI TALLINO, President Kodiak Sportsmen Association P.O. Box 4496 Kodiak, AK 99615 Phone: 486-3043 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in favor of HB 351 and HJR 40. CHARLES TRIPP 1820 Larch St. Kodiak, AK 99615 Phone: 486-4229 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in favor of HB 351. GILBERT CROSS Box 666 Barrow, AK 99723 Phone: 852-3455 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in favor of HB 351 and HJR 40. DOUG SOMERS P.O. Box 58195 Fairbanks, AK 99711 Phone: 488-9366 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in favor of HB 351. LEE PUTMAN, President Ketchikan Sports Wildlife Club 6005 Roosevelt Dr. Ketchikan, AK 99901 Phone: 225-7694 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in favor of HJR 40 and offered suggestions for HB 351. GEORGE CHIPMAN Box 8990 Ketchikan, AK 99901 Phone: 225-8180 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in favor of HB 351. BILL GILLAM Box 221 Glennallen, AK 99588 Phone: 822-3658 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in favor of HB 351. EDWARD KNOEBEL Box 84 Glennallen, AK 99588 Phone: 822-3208 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in favor of HB 351 and HJR 40. NORM STUARD P.O. Box 497 Soldotna, AK 99669 Phone: 262-1705 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in favor of HB 351 and HJR 40. RUSS MORRISON P.O. Box 4623 Soldotna, AK 99669 Phone: 262-7536 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in favor of HB 351 and HJR 40. ROGER ROTHSCHILD P.O. Box 213 Bethel, AK 99559 Phone: 543-5478 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in favor of HB 351 and commented on HJR 40 WAYNE HORINE P.O. Box 10249 Fairbanks, AK 99701 Phone: 488-3250 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in favor of HB 351 and HJR 40. MARC FARRINGTON 3734 Aune Ct. North Pole, AK 99705 Phone: 488-8307 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in favor of HB 351 MARK CHRYSON, State Field Coordinator Gun Owners of America 2140 Wolverine Circle Wasilla, AK 99654 Phone: 376-8285 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in favor of HJR 40 and offered an amendment to HB 351. ROY W. WHITE PO Box 105 Palmer, AK 99645 Phone: 746-3006 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in favor of HB 351 and HJR 40. GENE OTTENSTROER P.O. Box 1059 Delta Junction, AK 99737 Phone: 895-4805 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in favor of HB 351 and HJR 40. BERNARD GOODNO P.O. Box 92 Delta Junction, AK 99737 Phone: 895-4000 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in favor of HB 351. JOHN HANDELAND Box 295 Nome, AK 99762 Phone: 443-2486 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in favor of HB 351. TOM WALKER, Chief of Police P.O. Box 167 Seward, AK 99664 Phone: 224-3338 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in opposition to HB 351 and HJR 40. VALERIE MAXWELL P.O. Box 3701 Seward, AK 99664 Phone: 224-8689 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in favor of HB 351 and HJR 40. PATRICK JOHNSON 54540 E. End Rd. Homer, AK 99603 Phone: 235-6656 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in favor of HB 351 and HJR 40. WARREN TROY P.O. Box 3376 Homer, AK 99603 Phone: Not given. POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in favor of HB 351 and HJR 40. DANIEL J. CAMPBELL P.O. Box 3304 Valdez, AK 99686 Phone: 835-3304 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in favor of HB 351 and HJR 40. MARK L. CRADDUK P.O. Box 1808 Valdez, AK 99686 Phone: 835-2492 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in favor of HB 351 and HJR 40. JOHN R. OLSEN Box 1135 Petersburg, AK 99833 Phone: 772-3405 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in favor of HB 351 and HJR 40. BENJAMIN SHERBURNE 24807 Teal Loop Chugiak, AK 99567 Phone: 688-0102 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in favor of HB 351 and HJR 40. SYLVAN MORGAN, JR. 9806 Dinaaka Dr. Eagle River, AK 99577 Phone: 696-5302 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in favor of HB 351 and HJR 40. DEBORAH SMITH, Executive Director Alaska Mental Health Board 431 N. Franklin #101 Juneau, AK 99801 Phone: 465-3071 POSITION STATEMENT: Offered suggestions to HB 351. LEONARD ABEL Division of Mental Health & Developmental Disabilities Department of Health and Social Services 326 4th St. #1002J Juneau, AK 99801 Phone: 465-3370 POSITION STATEMENT: Offered suggestions to HB 351. REXENE OLSON P.O. Box 1448 Kodiak, AK 99615 Phone: 486-4101 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in favor of HB 351 and HJR 40. MIKE MILLIGAN S.R. 9121 Kodiak, AK 99615 Phone: 487-4402 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in favor of HB 351 and against HJR 40. CASEY WHEELER 2668 Scotch Pine North Pole, AK 99705 Phone: 488-2064 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in favor of HB 351 and HJR 40. BYRON M. NASH 2200 Persinger Dr. North Pole, AK 99705 Phone: 488-6310 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in favor of HB 351. SCOTT CORYELL P.O. Box 1044 Ward Cove, AK 99901 Phone: 247-2494 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in favor of HB 351 and HJR 40. ANDREA JACOBSON 15 Wood Rd. Stg. Ketchikan, AK 99901 Phone: 225-5934 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified against HB 351. JIM JENCKES 616 Maple Kenai, AK 99611 Phone: 283-5244 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in favor of HB 351. MARLENE MEYER P.O. Box 935 Sterling, AK 99672 Phone: 262-9346 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in favor of HB 351 and HJR 40. RICHARD MITCHELL P.O. Box 990 Delta Junction, AK 99737 Phone: 895-5008 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in favor of HB 351 and HJR 40. PAT MCKEEN P.O. Box 151 Delta Junction, AK 99737 Phone: 895-1057 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in favor of HB 351 and HJR 40. AUSTIN MAHALKEY Box 455 Glennallen, AK 99588 Phone: 822-3613 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in favor of HB 351 and HJR 40. DOUG SWEET 1941 Hilling Ave. Fairbanks, AK 99709 Phone: 456-8856 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in favor of HB 351 and HJR 40. CLARENCE BAYSINGER P.O. Box 96 Nenana, AK 99760 Phone: 832-1006 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in favor of HB 351 and HJR 40. PHU LE WHITE P.O. Box 105 Palmer, AK 99645 Phone: 746-3006 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in favor of HB 351 and HJR 40. GERALD ANDERSON HC30 Box 5342J Wasilla, AK 99687 Phone: 373-4080 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in favor of HB 351. ALBERT SORENSEN 38675 Yukon Ave. Homer, AK 99603 Phone: 235-4867 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in favor of HJR 40 and opposed HB 351. BEAVER BENTLEY 41955 Spencer Dr. Homer, AK 99603 Phone: 235-7389 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in favor of HB 351 and HJR 40. CRAIG D. SANDLER, Deputy Director & Retired Chief of Police Law Enforcement Activities National Rifle Association 1600 Rhode Island Ave. Washington, D.C. 20036 Phone: 703-883-9553 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in favor of HB 351 and HJR 40. GARY LUDWIG 1210 W. 15th Ave. Anchorage, AK 99501 Phone: 278-1400 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in favor of HB 351 and HJR 40. CHRIS SULLIVAN 4155 McLean Place Anchorage, AK 99504 Phone: 337-3075 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in favor of HB 351 and HJR 40. PREVIOUS ACTION BILL: HB 351 SHORT TITLE: PERMIT TO CARRY CONCEALED WEAPONS SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) JAMES,Bunde,Olberg,Sanders JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 01/07/94 2019 (H) PREFILE RELEASED 01/10/94 2019 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S) 01/10/94 2020 (H) STATE AFFAIRS,JUDICIARY,FINANCE 01/12/94 2043 (H) COSPONSOR(S): SANDERS 01/22/94 (H) STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102 01/22/94 (H) MINUTE(STA) 02/12/94 (H) STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102 BILL: HJR 40 SHORT TITLE: RIGHT TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) SANDERS,Olberg,Green,Kott JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 04/13/93 1178 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S) 04/13/93 1178 (H) STATE AFFAIRS, JUDICIARY 04/20/93 1387 (H) CORRECTION TO ORIGINAL SPONSORS: 04/20/93 1387 (H) SANDERS, OLBERG 04/22/93 1449 (H) COSPONSOR(S): GREEN 05/01/93 1641 (H) COSPONSOR(S): KOTT 01/18/94 (H) STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102 01/18/94 (H) MINUTE(STA) 01/29/94 (H) STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102 01/29/94 (H) MINUTE(STA) 02/12/94 (H) STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102 ACTION NARRATIVE TAPE 94-12, SIDE A Number 000 HB 351 - PERMIT TO CARRY CONCEALED WEAPONS HJR 40 - RIGHT TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS CHAIR AL VEZEY called the meeting to order at 8:02 a.m. Members present at the call to order were REPRESENTATIVES PETE KOTT, JERRY SANDERS, GARY DAVIS, HARLEY OLBERG and FRAN ULMER. REPRESENTATIVE BETTYE DAVIS was absent. Anchorage, Barrow, Bethel, Cordova, Delta Junction, Fairbanks, Glennallen, Homer, Kodiak, Ketchikan, Mat-Su, Nome, Petersburg, Seward, Kenai/Soldotna, and Valdez were on-line teleconference sites. CHAIR VEZEY announced public testimony would be taken on both HB 351 and HJR 40 simultaneously. Teleconference testimony began with Kodiak. Number 089 GIOVANNI TALLINO, PRESIDENT, KODIAK ARMED SPORTSMEN ASSOCIATION, testified in favor of HB 351 and HJR 40. Carrying weapons in the open is disrupting and not practical. He viewed law enforcement as a reactive, rather than proactive force. CHARLES SMITH testified in favor of HB 351. He felt the open presence of firearms in public places produces a state of paranoia. He also believed police should not be regarded as bodyguards. Number 188 CHAIR VEZEY moved to the Barrow teleconference site. GILBERT CROSS testified in support of HB 351 and HJR 40. He emphasized most criminal acts take place outside of the home, thereby, carrying weapons outside for protection would be useful. MR. CROSS questioned if page 3, line 16, prohibiting individuals with substance abuse records from obtaining a permit, could include a time limit. He felt individuals convicted of this sort of crime in their youth may be law abiding citizens now and would like to apply for a permit. Number 225 CHAIR VEZEY answered the latest amendments to HB 351 have deleted misdemeanors and only felony violations would prohibit an individual from obtaining a permit. Number 234 MR. CROSS reiterated the occurrence of crimes outside the home and wished for protection against attackers. Number 243 DOUG SOMERS testified in favor of HB 351. Throughout the country, he noticed "there has never been a private citizen armed to stop some of the carnage going on." HB 351 is a common sense issue. Number 255 CHAIR VEZEY moved to the Ketchikan teleconference site. Number 268 LEE PUTMAN, PRESIDENT, KETCHIKAN SPORTS WILDLIFE CLUB, testified in favor of HJR 40 and offered amendments to HB 351. The directors of the Ketchikan Sports Wildlife Club felt HB 351 should be amended to assimilate the approach of CSSB 237. Number 284 GEORGE CHIPMAN testified in favor of HB 351. He believed police currently act in an investigative manner and not as a deterrence. "Deterrent police protection is now an oxymoron." He felt if President Clinton were to put firearms into the hands of 100,000 private citizens instead of police, the national debt would decrease and the crime rate would decrease. MR. CHIPMAN urged for a quick passage of HB 351. Number 310 CHAIR VEZEY announced the House State Affairs Committee has received more than 200 public opinion messages (POMs) from Fairbanks alone, and 1,000-2,000 POMs statewide in favor of HB 351. He also noted HJR 40 has received approximately six letters a day in favor of it, with only three or four letters in opposition. He then continued testimony with the Glennallen teleconference site. Number 325 BILL GILLAM testified in favor of HB 351. He reminded the committee that shoulder holsters are difficult to put over large heavy parkas in the winter. Being from a small community, MR. GILLAM stated there are few police, with an area that's spread out to patrol, which makes for inadequate protection. Number 340 EDWARD KNOEBEL testified in favor of HB 351 and HJR 40. He questioned if the permits should have fingerprints on them. He also wondered if the fine of $25 dollars for not having a permit, could be reversed with the $125 fee to obtain a permit. Number 350 CHAIR VEZEY responded the subcommittee to HB 351 has addressed those issues. Testimony continued with Kenai/Soldotna. Number 362 NORM STUARD testified in favor of HB 351 and HJR 40. He noted other states, such as Florida, which have passed firearm carrying laws have had a decrease in their crime rates. Primarily in Florida, vehicles with out-of-state plates are more prone to criminal activities due to the premise they may be without concealed weapons permits. MR. STUARD suggested the fees for permits should be similar to Washington; $5 dollars for five years. He believes $125 for three years is prohibitive. Number 400 CHAIR VEZEY replied the latest amendments to HB 351 revise the permit fee to $100 for five years. Number 407 RUSS MORRISON testified in favor of HB 351 and HJR 40. Number 411 CHAIR VEZEY moved to the Bethel teleconference site. Number 419 ROGER ROTHSCHILD testified in favor of HB 351. He noted since the 1978 handgun ban in Washington D.C., the murder rate has increased 200 percent, while the population has decreased 20 percent. MR. ROTHSCHILD cited the following statistics from the U.S. Department of Justice, Borough of Justice Statistics, National Institute for Justice Victimization. "70 percent of all violent crimes are committed by six percent of all criminals. Thirty five states and 128 localities are under court orders to release criminals to our streets. Two out of three released criminals will be arrested again within 36 months. More than half are released while awaiting trial, of those 20 percent escaped, 16 percent commit another crime while released. For every 100 serious crimes committed, only five criminals go to prison, where they serve an average of one third of their sentence. The result, five out of six Americans will be victims of violent crime, or attempted violent crime,..." MR. ROTHSCHILD noted Weiner v. Metropolitan Police Transportation Authority in New York City. In this case, the court stated the city was not obligated to provide protection to individuals. Warren v. District of Columbia, 1981, the court ruled under sovereign immunity no government agency is required to private protection. MR. ROTHSCHILD cited these cases to prove the need for personal protection. Number 465 CHAIR VEZEY moved to the Fairbanks teleconference site. Number 467 WAYNE HORINE testified in favor of HB 351 and HJR 40. He felt these bills would not provide a "wild west atmosphere" in Alaska. Number 476 MARC FARRINGTON testified in favor of HB 351 and HJR 40. He referred to the 2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution to establish the public's right to bear arms. He felt with HB 351, he would better be able to protect his family and make Alaska a safer place to live. CHAIR VEZEY asked each teleconference site to send a list of individuals who wished to testify and also the written testimony of those who will not be able to. Mat-Su teleconference site continued the testimony. Number 495 MARK CHRYSON, STATE FIELD COORDINATOR, GUN OWNERS OF AMERICA, asked CHAIR VEZEY if HB 351 and HJR 40 would pass out of the committee today. Number 499 CHAIR VEZEY replied passing HB 351 and HJR 40 was possible because a quorum was present, however, the subcommittee for HB 351 may want to make additional changes after hearing the testimony. His intent was to finalize the changes on Monday, hear HB 351 again on Tuesday for a technical review, and possibly pass it out of committee then. Number 504 MR. CHRYSON questioned page 3, line 19 of HB 351, regarding the use of an individual's social security number. He reminded the committee of a lawsuit the state lost when they required a social security number from an individual. He felt this conflict could be avoided by eliminating this part of HB 351. CHAIR VEZEY clarified, the latest amendments to HB 351, no longer include the social security number requirement. A valid picture I.D., such as a driver's license, is now required. Number 524 ROY W. WHITE, licensed psychotherapist, testified in favor of HB 351 and HJR 40. He spoke specifically to the perceived law enforcement resistance on some parts of HB 351. "The law enforcement perspection often is distorted as to the validity of citizen arms carried, because of the distorted sample with which the law enforcement individuals come into contact." MR. WHITE stated "2.4 million U.S. citizens deter crime annually by the use of a firearm. This also can be verbal reference to the firearm or the mere presentation of the firearm. This indicates that the police department come only in contact with those people where the situation has deteriorated to a shooting. So it does give a distorted view of what the capabilities of the American public are, in terms of the view of law enforcement." MR. WHITE addressed the issue of concealed carry versus open carry and pointed out that with open carry particularly, if the victim is a female or an elderly person, a mugger or criminal-intent person will immediately notice and attempt to neutralize the weapon. MR. WHITE stated he thinks it's imperative that a person has the right to carry their own protection and carry it in a concealed manner. Number 555 CHAIR VEZEY moved to the Delta Junction teleconference site. Number 558 GENE OTTENSTROER testified in favor of HB 351 and HJR 40. He asked the committee what the term "concealed weapons" included in types of weapons. Number 562 CHAIR VEZEY answered that by statutory definition, a concealed weapon includes everything but an ordinary pocket knife. Number 564 MR. OTTENSTOER asked if that statute was a means of taking guns away from the public? Number 570 CHAIR VEZEY believed the statute has been effective for about 30 years. Number 584 BERNARD GOODNO testified in favor of HB 351. He believed the screening process would be effective to weed out undesirable individuals who apply for the permit. He stated, "Florida has issued 180,000 concealed carry permits and has only revoked eight." Number 607 CHAIR VEZEY moved to the Nome teleconference site. Number 607 JOHN HANDELAND testified in favor of HB 351. He believed that in his line of work, a handgun carried openly would attract attention and may cause more confrontation than by allowing a weapon to be concealed. Individuals should be registered so police may know who is carrying firearms. He was concerned about the restrictions in AS 18.65.755 because smaller communities have several buildings which house state or federal as well as public offices. If this provision was enacted, he felt buildings should be properly marked to inform individuals of buildings where firearms are prohibited. MR. HANDELAND did like the training aspect of HB 351. He emphasized AS 18.65.770 would propose a problem by not allowing municipalities to determine specific gun prohibited areas. He asked if AS 18.65.770 was addressing the qualification to hold a firearm or where it may not be possessed. In Nome, for example, carrying a gun into a tavern or bar is prohibited. Number 656 CHAIR VEZEY responded MR. HANDELAND's concerns had been addressed by the subcommittee and they are still under debate. Testimony continued in Seward. Number 660 TOM WALKER, SEWARD CHIEF OF POLICE, testified in opposition to HB 351 and HJR 40. MR. WALKER questioned how firearm competency could be shown before issuing a license. The psychological stress for a private citizen when carrying or shooting a firearm will also be difficult to judge. He noted the constant training that officers undergo to learn how to shoot at the proper time, and voiced his concern about private citizens responding inappropriately and shooting irresponsibly. With HJR 40, he questioned how people who are mentally incompetent, convicted felons, or intoxicated will be controlled with an unlimited right to bear arms. Number 680 VALERIE MAXWELL testified in favor of HB 351 and HJR 40. As a victim of rape, having also been trained in firearm use, she felt no one could properly be prepared for a life threatening situation. She did, however, feel a firearm would have been a help to her in her situation. TAPE 94-12, SIDE B Number 000 CHAIR VEZEY moved to the Homer teleconference site. PATRICK JOHNSON, a 13-year hunter education instructor and 3-year personal protection instructor, testified in favor of HB 351 and HJR 40. MR. JOHNSON questioned the qualification courses required in HB 351. He felt people should be educated in what their rights really are and what problems they may encounter. A hunter education course would only provide the safety aspect, not the legal aspects. He also questioned the permit fees of HB 351. CHAIR VEZEY asked MR. JOHNSON to be more specific about his question of fees. Number 076 MR. JOHNSON felt the fees were too high. Single women raising a family may not have the funds available to buy a permit. He knew background checks cost more money, but felt the renewal fee should be less. Number 094 WARREN TROY testified in favor of HB 351 and HJR 40. He believed the police should aid in public peace, not hinder it. Number 134 CHAIR VEZEY moved to the Valdez teleconference site. DANIEL JAMES CAMPBELL testified in favor of HB 351 and HJR 40. He referred to a man in Anchorage who successfully defended his wife by killing his perpetrator with a 380 automatic when he was abducted at an ATM machine. Four out of four police officers he has spoken with in Valdez support HB 351. He does not believe it should be easy to obtain a gun and a screening process should be required. After moving to Alaska 10 years ago, he tried to request a permit for a handgun. He felt the police were intimidating and ill-mannered. In response to his request for a permit, the police chief replied, "We don't have concealed weapons permits, if you can't carry your gun out in the open, you don't need to be carrying it at all." Carrying a concealed weapon license should be a privilege like driver's and hunting licenses. Number 242 MARK L. CRADDUCK testified in support of HB 351 and HJR 40. He felt that in a time of social restriction, HB 351 and HJR 40 would set an example and encourage other people throughout the nation to stand up for their rights. Number 256 CHAIR VEZEY moved to the Petersburg teleconference site. JOHN OLSON testified in favor of HB 351 and HJR 40. He is a NRA member and instructor. Number 278 CHAIR VEZEY moved to the Anchorage teleconference site. (REPRESENTATIVE KOTT left the room at 8:55 a.m.) BENJAMIN SHERBURNE testified in favor of HB 351 and HJR 40. MR. SHERBURNE cited JUSTICE HUGO BLACK in reference to the Bill of Rights, "It is my belief that there are absolutes in our Bill of Rights, and that they were put there on purpose by men who knew what words meant. And they meant their prohibitions to be absolutes." HB 351 would reaffirm (our) rights. He did not agree with the breakdown of the fees, believing $100 was too high for a renewal. Number 330 SYLVAN MORGAN, PRESIDENT, ALASKA COMPETITIVE SHOOTERS ORGANIZATION and PROGRAM COORDINATOR, ALASKA RIFLE CLUB, testified in favor of HB 351 and HJR 40. He believed American citizens are responsible and will be able to handle carrying concealed firearms. Number 371 CHAIR VEZEY moved back to Juneau for testimony. Number 375 DEBORAH SMITH, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, ALASKA MENTAL HEALTH BOARD, testified in opposition to Section 18.65.705(4), qualifications to obtain a permit, in HB 351. The department remains neutral on the rest of the bill. Section 18.65.705(4) presumes an "antiquated state" for those who are suffering from a mental illness. HB 351 presumes anyone committed, voluntarily or involuntarily, to a treatment facility, is capable of violent action. MS. SMITH believed this is not true. Being mentally ill is not a criminal offense. HB 351 could be revised to not discriminate against the mentally ill. Those committed voluntarily and involuntarily could be separated. HB 351 may limit the number of people seeking treatment voluntarily because of the stigma which will be connected to it. MS. SMITH pointed out the five year waiting period for the mentally ill to obtain a permit would not be feasible. After such a long time, a doctor could no longer advise if an individual was of sound mind. She would like to work with the subcommittee to make HB 351 more plausible. Number 438 LEONARD ABEL, DIVISION OF MENTAL HEALTH AND DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICES, stated his department was neutral on HB 351. Their concerns mainly deal with mental illness and substance abuse. He noted the requirement for a clean state of mind from a psychiatrist would not always be viable, because the majority of people are seen by clinical psychologists or social workers. With substance abuse, most are treated by certified substance abuse counselors. MR. ABEL believed there would be a problem in relying on individuals to disclose all past treatment. There is also a difference between controllable and curable illnesses. Manic depression due to a polar disorder or schizophrenia can be controlled, but not cured. Situational depression because of life stresses can be cured. In controllable illnesses no one can say if the illness is gone. Stating mental illness is a disability may conflict with the Americans For Disabilities Act. CHAIR VEZEY commented "He would like to see the day when the U.S. government sued the State of Alaska for not its' citizens carry a weapon; that would be a most unique event". REPRESENTATIVE OLBERG wanted to know MR. ABEL's affiliation. Number 486 MR. ABEL repeated he was with the DIVISION OF MENTAL HEALTH AND DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICES. Number 490 REPRESENTATIVE OLBERG asked what percentage of the mentally ill population was MR. ABEL referring to. MR. ABEL replied approximately one percent of the population will have schizophrenia at some point in their life, about a third of one percent will have bipolar disorder at some point in their life, in Alaska this amounts to about 5,500 people. Number 497 REPRESENTATIVE ULMER asked for an estimate of the substance abuse population and who would certify a person had been alcohol free for three years immediately preceeding the application. She noted people who are cited for driving under the influence voluntarily seek alcohol treatment programs to save their jobs, etc. Number 507 MR. ABEL said substance abuse was not his area of expertise, but he believed roughly nine percent of the population nationwide will have a substance abuse problem. A certified substance abuse counselor with the Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse would do the majority of the treatment, and would be more likely to certify the patients health than a psychologist. Number 517 CHAIR VEZEY moved to the Kodiak teleconference site. Number 522 REXENE OLSON, KODIAK ISLAND SPORTSMEN ASSOCIATION and KODIAK ISLAND NATIONAL RIFLE ASSOCIATION GRASSROOTS, testified in favor of HB 351 and HJR 40. She does not believe her role in life is to be a victim and she wants to be able to protect herself. She recently discussed HB 351 with a policeman and he stated after hearing the testimony, he realized honest citizens could be a help to the police force, instead of just putting more guns on the street. Number 543 MIKE MILLIGAN testified in favor of HB 351 and against HJR 40. He referred to the Brady Bill and how he believed it disenfranchised women. He referred to his trip to East St. Louis and how all of the store operators wore handguns. He noticed this presence and observed the lack of violence in the area. People should be allowed the autonomy to protect themselves in a violent situation. MR. MILLIGAN opposed HJR 40 where "private state or political subdivision of the state" is included. He noted the need to pass ordinances to protect school campuses in different areas. He noted his local health center as an example of a place which needs to have the carriage of firearms prohibited. Number 605 CHAIR VEZEY moved to the North Pole teleconference site. Number 606 CASEY WHEELER testified in favor of HB 351 and HJR 40. He felt if he was qualified to fight for his country, he should be qualified to carry a concealed weapon. To save money, he offered the suggestion that military personnel release their background checks because they have already been done. Number 620 BYRON NASH testified in favor of HB 351. He believed police were reactive, not proactive. The best defense against armed psychopaths is armed citizens. Criminals are already armed and people should be able to even the odds. He emphasized the state should reexamine the administrative costs and lower the fees. Number 637 CHAIR VEZEY moved to the Ketchikan teleconference site. Number 640 SCOTT CORYELL testified in favor of HB 351 and HJR 40. He believed HB 351 would give the people the right to defend themselves. Being a deckhand, he liked the provision which prevents individuals from carrying weapons on the Alaska state ferry system. Number 653 ANDREA JACOBSON, police officer in Ketchikan, testified against HB 351. She had two reasons: 1) HB 351 is unnecessary, as citizens can already carry weapons openly and protect themselves; and 2) a police officer's job would be much more dangerous because after honest, responsible citizens may be approved for concealed carriage permits, they can still get drunk and take drugs which vary their usual personality. Number 682 CHAIR VEZEY moved to the Bethel teleconference site. ROGER ROTHSCHILD testified HJR 40 would strengthen the 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Number 688 CHAIR VEZEY moved to the Kenai/Soldotna teleconference site. JIM JENCKES testified in support of HB 351. He believed citizens are responsible enough to carry arms, as proven in readings from the National Rifle Association. TAPE 94-13, SIDE B Number 000 MR. JENCKES continued his testimony with a dislike for the high fees and noted AS 18.65.755 was too restrictive by not allowing the firearms in certain buildings. Number 034 MARLENE MEYER testified in favor of HB 351 and HJR 40. As a woman, she felt a concealed weapon would be the only way to effectively protect herself. She expressed the fees were too high. MS. MEYER quoted, "All it takes for the forces of evil to rule this world is for enough good people to do nothing." Number 063 CHAIR VEZEY moved to the Delta Junction teleconference site. Number 068 RICHARD MITCHELL testified in favor of HB 351 and HJR 40. He emphasized, as he is often outdoors, applying a firearm holster on top of his clothing, could be quite difficult. He also felt the fees were too high. Number 101 PAT MCKEEN, veteran, testified in favor of HB 351 and HJR 40. He believed, due to the "new world order", the government will attempt to take away all of the firearms from the public. In a state of repression, he stated, the government is wary of the public taking up arms. CHAIR VEZEY moved to the Glennallen teleconference site. Number 145 AUSTIN MAHALKEY testified in favor of HB 351 and HJR 40. He asked for only a one time fee to receive a permit, unless otherwise revoked. CHAIR VEZEY reminded the teleconference sites REPRESENTATIVE JEANNETTE JAMES is the sponsor of HB 351. Number 158 EDWARD KNOEBEL questioned page 4, line 15 of HB 351, and wanted to know if the National Guard and the State Guard would qualify under this provision. He is retired from the Navy and is currently the 1st Sergeant for the 2nd Air Commander of the State Guard. CHAIR VEZEY replied firearm proficiency from the Armed Forces would qualify as proficient in firearms in HB 351. Testimony continued with the Fairbanks teleconference site. DOUG SWEET testified in favor of HB 351 and HJR 40. He noted the shortage of Alaska State Troopers in Fairbanks and the large area they must cover. Number 198 CLARENCE BAYSINGER testified in favor of HB 351 and HJR 40. He believed HJR 40 would strengthen the original intentions of our founding fathers to protect the public from an overbearing government. He also felt citizens should be responsible for themselves. Number 228 CHAIR VEZEY moved to the Mat-Su teleconference site. PHU LE WHITE testified in favor of HB 351 and HJR 40. She has participated in NRA training and she would to be able to protect herself as a woman. (REPRESENTATIVE KOTT returned to the meeting at 9:45) Number 250 GERALD ANDERSON, former marine and policeman, testified in favor of HB 351. MR. ANDERSON cited "Vermont has no restrictions, any kind of gun restrictions, and they have one of lowest crime rates in the nation." He stated Arizona is in the process of enacting the same law as HB 351 in Alaska. He asked the committee if they could recall a case where a policeman had been robbed or a policewoman had been raped. Because of the rarity of these situations, he believed the people should be allowed to carry weapons. "An unarmed nation, is a weak nation," stated MR. ANDERSON. Number 281 CHAIR VEZEY moved to the Homer teleconference site. Number 287 ALBERT SORENSEN testified in favor of HJR 40 and against HB 351. MR. SORENSEN noted Article 6 and the 2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution to argue against HB 351. These sections provide wording which makes HB 351 unnecessary. Article 1, Section 19 of the Alaska State Constitution, right to bear arms, was another example. Article 7, Section 9 of the Alaska State Constitution he stated, makes the provisions of the Constitution self-executing whenever possible. AS 11.61.220, as being amended by HB 351, would be in conflict with both the U.S. and Alaska Constitution. He believed HB 351 would infringe on the rights of honest citizens and AS 11.61.220 would be invalid. (REPRESENTATIVE ULMER left the meeting at 9:50) Number 330 BEAVER BENTLEY testified in favor of HB 351 and HJR 40. MR. BENTLEY stated the Long Island train shooting incident, which happened two weeks ago, could have been of much less severity if one of the individuals aboard had a license for a concealed weapon. He also reminded the committee of an incident in Texas where a man crashed his truck into a restaurant and came out shooting with two guns. One woman in the restaurant, he said, commented if she only had her gun on her, and not in the car, she would have been able to stop the man within three of his shots. Number 347 CHAIR VEZEY moved to an offnet teleconference site in Virginia for a witness asked to testify by REPRESENTATIVE JEANNETTE JAMES. Number 354 CRAIG D. SANDLAR, DIRECTOR OF LAW ENFORCEMENT ACTIVITIES, NATIONAL RIFLE ASSOCIATION and RETIRED CHIEF OF POLICE, testified in favor of HB 351 and HJR 40. He stated, even with the thousands of permits he has issued, the murder rate in his community has continued to decrease. The people applying for permits are not the same people who are committing the crimes. He emphasized when the 1987 concealed weapons law was passed in Florida, it received the same criticism. Florida has experienced a 21 percent decrease in homicides over five years. Number 380 CHAIR VEZEY stated the committee has expressed their support for HB 351 and they are working on it very hard to make it a good. Areas such as permit fees, local determination, mental health and substance abuse will still be addressed. Testimony continued with the Anchorage teleconference site. Number 404 GARY LUDWIG testified in favor of HB 351 and HJR 40, with minor exceptions. HB 351 needs to address nonviolent felons, such as those who miss child support payments, in a different category than violent felons. Fingerprinting may be substituted with a "read only memory strip" on a driver's license which indicates an individual's criminal record. This record could be installed on the cards for a fee. Gun Owners of America has legislation out on the "read only memory strip." Number 437 CHAIR VEZEY pointed out not paying child support is only a violation, not a felony. Fingerprinting has been eliminated, reducing the cost to the Department of Public Safety in processing the application. Number 445 REPRESENTATIVE SANDERS commented to MR. LUDWIG that a bill was introduced on February 12 that refers to driver's licenses on gun bills. REPRESENTATIVE SANDERS noted MR. LUDWIG's phone number and informed him he would be personally contacted with the bill number when it is read across the floor. Number 452 CHRIS SULLIVAN testified in favor HB 351 and HJR 40. He asked REPRESENTATIVE SANDERS for a copy of the bill he mentioned. MR. SULLIVAN realized the danger police are in everyday on the streets, and expressed he would notify them of his firearm if required to do so. Number 464 ADJOURNMENT CHAIR VEZEY terminated the teleconference and encouraged written testimony. Hearing no more business before the committee, CHAIR VEZEY adjourned the meeting at 10:02 a.m. ANNOUNCEMENTS: The Subcommittee on the Alaska Railroad will meet in Room 102, February 12, 1994, at 1 p.m.