Legislature(2013 - 2014)BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)

03/03/2014 01:30 PM JUDICIARY

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                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
              SENATE JUDICIARY STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                         March 3, 2014                                                                                          
                           1:36 p.m.                                                                                            
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Senator John Coghill, Chair                                                                                                     
Senator Lesil McGuire, Vice Chair                                                                                               
Senator Fred Dyson                                                                                                              
Senator Bill Wielechowski                                                                                                       
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
Senator Donald Olson                                                                                                            
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
SENATE BILL NO. 108                                                                                                             
"An Act relating to the confidentiality of certain records of                                                                   
criminal cases; and providing for an effective date."                                                                           
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
SENATE BILL NO. 128                                                                                                             
"An Act relating to the crime of harassment."                                                                                   
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
SENATE BILL NO. 176                                                                                                             
"An Act relating to the regulation of firearms and knives by the                                                                
University of Alaska."                                                                                                          
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
SENATE BILL NO. 171                                                                                                             
"An Act relating to multidisciplinary child protection teams;                                                                   
and relating to investigation of child abuse or neglect."                                                                       
     - SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD                                                                                                  
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
BILL: SB 108                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: LIMIT PUBLIC ACCESS TO CRIMINAL RECORDS                                                                            
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) DYSON                                                                                                    
01/22/14       (S)       PREFILE RELEASED 1/10/14                                                                               
01/22/14       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/22/14       (S)       JUD, FIN                                                                                               
02/24/14       (S)       JUD AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
02/24/14       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/24/14       (S)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
02/28/14       (S)       JUD AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
02/28/14       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/28/14       (S)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
03/03/14       (S)       JUD AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
BILL: SB 128                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: ELECTRONIC BULLYING                                                                                                
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) MEYER                                                                                                    
01/22/14       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/22/14       (S)       JUD                                                                                                    
02/17/14       (S)       JUD AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
02/17/14       (S)       Scheduled But Not Heard                                                                                
02/19/14       (S)       JUD AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
02/19/14       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/19/14       (S)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
03/03/14       (S)       JUD AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
BILL: SB 176                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: REG. OF FIREARMS/KNIVES BY UNIVERSITY                                                                              
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) COGHILL                                                                                                  
02/14/14       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/14/14       (S)       JUD                                                                                                    
03/03/14       (S)       JUD AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
CHUCK KOPP, Staff                                                                                                               
Senator Fred Dyson                                                                                                              
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Presented changes in SB 108 on behalf of the                                                              
NANCY MEADE, General Council                                                                                                    
Alaska Court System                                                                                                             
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Presented information related to SB 108.                                                                  
EDRA MORLEDGE, Staff                                                                                                            
Senator Kevin Meyer                                                                                                             
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Presented changes in version Y of SB 128 on                                                               
behalf of the sponsor.                                                                                                          
KATHLEEN STRASBAUGH, Attorney                                                                                                   
Legislative Legal Services                                                                                                      
Legislative Affairs Agency                                                                                                      
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Answered questions related to SB 128.                                                                     
ANNE CARPENETTI, Assistant Attorney General                                                                                     
Criminal Division                                                                                                               
Legal Services Section                                                                                                          
Department of Law                                                                                                               
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Answered questions related to SB 128.                                                                     
HANS RODVIK, Intern                                                                                                             
Senator John Coghill                                                                                                            
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Presented SB 176 on behalf of the sponsor.                                                                
PAT GAMBLE, President                                                                                                           
University of Alaska System                                                                                                     
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in opposition to SB 176.                                                                        
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
1:36:58 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR JOHN COGHILL called the Senate Judiciary Standing                                                                       
Committee meeting to order at 1:36 p.m. Present at the call to                                                                  
order were Senators Wielechowski, Dyson, and Chair Coghill.                                                                     
1:37:59 PM                                                                                                                    
At ease                                                                                                                         
1:38:43 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COGHILL brought the meeting back to order.                                                                                
         SB 108-LIMIT PUBLIC ACCESS TO CRIMINAL RECORDS                                                                     
1:39:12 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COGHILL  announced that the  first order of  business would                                                               
be SB  108."An Act  relating to  the confidentiality  of certain                                                               
records of criminal cases; and providing for an effective date."                                                                
SENATOR DYSON related that he  had hoped the committee substitute                                                               
(CS)  would be  ready.  He  said Mr.  Kopp  would  report on  the                                                               
progress of the CS thus far.                                                                                                    
CHUCK KOPP, Staff, Senator Fred  Dyson, Alaska State Legislature,                                                               
Juneau, Alaska, presented the proposed changes to SB 108.                                                                       
   1. Consider language to treat as confidential the records of                                                                 
     criminal cases disposed of before  the effective date of the                                                               
     Act by acquittal  of all charges, dismissal  of all charges,                                                               
     or  a  combination  thereof,  and   applying  to  those  who                                                               
     appeared on CourtView.                                                                                                     
   2. Extend the time limit for a record to become confidential                                                                 
     from 90  days from  the date of  acquittal, dismissal,  or a                                                               
     combination thereof, to 120 days.  This is at the request of                                                               
     the Department  of Law (DOL)  in order to match  the 120-day                                                               
   3. Change the effective date of the Act from July 1, 2014 to                                                                 
     October 1, 2014 to give the court more time to comply.                                                                     
   4. Designate as confidential only those cases that were                                                                      
     dismissed by the prosecuting authority,  not by the court in                                                               
     the furtherance of  justice, or for other  reasons. He noted                                                               
     that  DOL  requested  this  change,   but  it's  yet  to  be                                                               
     resolved.  He requested  Ms. Meade  discuss  that issue  and                                                               
     whether or  not there  can be  a confidential  carve-out for                                                               
     state   agencies  on   the   database   that  is   otherwise                                                               
     confidential to the public.                                                                                                
CHAIR COGHILL announced the arrival of Senator McGuire.                                                                         
NANCY MEADE, General Counsel,  Administrative Staff, Alaska Court                                                               
System,  Anchorage,  Alaska,  noted  that  the  Court  System  is                                                               
neutral on the bill. She responded  to a request to address other                                                               
reasons for dismissal, aside from  dismissals by the prosecution.                                                               
She began by  describing reasons a court will  dismiss a criminal                                                               
case. She  said it is not  the case that the  court dismisses old                                                               
criminal  cases, except  if there  is a  violation in  the speedy                                                               
trial  rule. The  court does  dismiss some  criminal actions  for                                                               
reasons  that are  listed in  Rule of  Criminal Procedure  43, in                                                               
furtherance of  justice, mistaken identity, or  if probable cause                                                               
is  not found  under Criminal  Rule 5.1.  Those reasons  would be                                                               
discussed with the  prosecutor and be known by  the parties. When                                                               
cases  are  dismissed,  the  court   signs  an  order  making  it                                                               
official.  It  would  be  confusing if  cases  dismissed  by  the                                                               
prosecution were treated differently  than those dismissed by the                                                               
MS. MEADE  addressed whether  a state agency,  such as  DHSS, can                                                               
have access  to confidential files  on CourtView.  She understood                                                               
that the request is for public  safety reasons. She said there is                                                               
not currently a means for doing  so. There is a public version of                                                               
CourtView and an  internal court version. She did not  know if it                                                               
was possible  to allow  access to the  internal system.  It would                                                               
take a  vast change and would  have a cost. She  pointed out that                                                               
there is  a way that  prosecutors access confidential cases  - by                                                               
being  cleared  through  the  Alaska  Public  Safety  Information                                                               
Network (APSIN.)                                                                                                                
1:45:22 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COGHILL  advised that  those issues will  be dealt  with in                                                               
the next CS.                                                                                                                    
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI asked how hung  juries and moving violations                                                               
are treated in the bill.                                                                                                        
MS.  MEADE explained  that minor  traffic offenses  would not  be                                                               
covered   because  the   bill  addresses   criminal  cases.   She                                                               
understood that hung  juries have 120 days to be  retried, and if                                                               
the case is  retried and it is  again a hung jury,  the person is                                                               
not  found guilty.  That  situation would  be  covered under  the                                                               
CHAIR COGHILL  said it is a  balance between the right  of people                                                               
to know for  public safety reasons and the right  of people to be                                                               
protected from a bad reputation.                                                                                                
1:46:55 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR MCGUIRE  asked how the  bill could be changed  to address                                                               
the  case   where  a   person  was   arrested  on   suspicion  of                                                               
SENATOR DYSON said that discussion would be held later.                                                                         
CHAIR COGHILL said SB 108 would be revisited on Wednesday.                                                                      
SENATOR MCGUIRE asked if it would be included in the new CS.                                                                    
SENATOR DYSON said he believes  that Ms. Meade addressed what was                                                               
contained in the CS so far.                                                                                                     
SENATOR  MCGUIRE  said she  understood  that  the topic  was  not                                                               
covered  in the  CS  for  SB 108,  which  allows  for arrest  and                                                               
charging documents, but  only if they have had a  dismissal or an                                                               
acquittal.  In the  case she  was  concerned with,  there was  no                                                               
charge but the arrest remains on record.                                                                                        
CHAIR COGHILL noted there was  a lengthy discussion on this topic                                                               
at the last committee meeting.                                                                                                  
MR. KOPP pointed out that  the court is addressing that situation                                                               
currently, so that  charges that are not filed  by the prosecutor                                                               
will be addressed. Therefore, it is not in the bill.                                                                            
CHAIR COGHILL held SB 108 in committee.                                                                                         
                   SB 128-ELECTRONIC BULLYING                                                                               
1:48:56 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COGHILL announced that the  next order of business would be                                                               
SB 128."An Act relating to the crime of harassment."                                                                           
SENATOR MCGUIRE  moved to adopt  the CS  for SB 128,  labeled 28-                                                               
LS1001\Y, as the working document.                                                                                              
CHAIR COGHILL objected.                                                                                                         
1:50:12 PM                                                                                                                    
EDRA  MORLEDGE,   Staff,  Senator   Kevin  Meyer,   Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature, Juneau,  Alaska, presented  changes in Version  Y of                                                               
SB 128  on behalf of  the sponsor.  She described changes  to the                                                               
bill since the last hearing on  February 19 to ensure clarity and                                                               
to   prevent   overlapping   of   statutes.   There   are   three                                                               
circumstances that would cause electronic  harassment to become a                                                               
crime: it causes  severe mental or emotional injury,  it places a                                                               
person in  fear of significant  damage to the  person's property,                                                               
or it places a person in  reasonable fear of physical injury. She                                                               
said  the sponsor  has worked  with  the Department  of Law,  the                                                               
Public  Defender's  Office, and  Legal  Services  to develop  the                                                               
latest version of the bill.  The sponsor believes it accomplishes                                                               
some of the issues raised at the first meeting.                                                                                 
CHAIR COGHILL summarized  the changes. He inquired  if there were                                                               
other changes.                                                                                                                  
MS.  MORLEDGE noted  that  the  quantifying language  "reasonable                                                               
fear"  and "significant  damage" was  added because  the original                                                               
version was quite broad.                                                                                                        
CHAIR  COGHILL  questioned  why  it  said  "fear  of  significant                                                               
MS. MORLEDGE explained  that the Department of Law  brought it to                                                               
the  sponsor's  attention  that there  are  overlapping  property                                                               
crime statutes that carry different  penalties and this provision                                                               
contains a class B misdemeanor penalty.                                                                                         
CHAIR COGHILL  asked if it  stays within the class  B misdemeanor                                                               
MS. MORLEDGE said yes.                                                                                                          
1:53:41 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR DYSON  said he is  troubled by the  inherent subjectivity                                                               
of the damage to the victim.                                                                                                    
CHAIR  COGHILL suggested  Legislative  Legal  could address  that                                                               
SENATOR DYSON asked if age  and disabilities were considered when                                                               
drafting the bill.                                                                                                              
SENATOR  MEYER  replied they  were  part  of the  discussion.  He                                                               
pointed out that  cyberbullying impacts children of  all ages and                                                               
capabilities.  The bill  focuses on  children under  18. Research                                                               
shows an increase in youth  suicide as a result of cyberbullying.                                                               
He thought  people with intellectual disabilities  had additional                                                               
MS. MORELY  added that the sponsor  felt it was a  policy call as                                                               
to  which groups  to include.  The intention  of the  bill is  to                                                               
protect  school-age children  because of  the amount  of bullying                                                               
that  already  occurs.  This  would  add  cyberbullying  to  that                                                               
category.  She noted  the  sponsor is  amenable  to adding  other                                                               
SENATOR  DYSON  agreed  the  issue  might  already  be  addressed                                                               
SENATOR MCGUIRE  questioned the  "mental intent"  on page  1. She                                                               
noted  that  the  guiding  statute  is  already  there  under  AS                                                               
11.61.120 and says  they commit the crime of  harassment with the                                                               
intent to  harass or annoy  another person.  She asked if  it was                                                               
"intentional and not reckless."                                                                                                 
MS. MORELY said it is intentional.                                                                                              
SENATOR MCGUIRE stated kids are often reckless.                                                                                 
1:57:56 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR MCGUIRE inquired  about the standard on page  2, lines 4-                                                               
6, when  looking at the  person receiving the  communication. She                                                               
wondered  if  the standard  was  "a  reasonable person  similarly                                                               
situated."  She  questioned if  the  test  is  how someone  of  a                                                               
similar  age  would  feel  if   they  were  teased,  taunted,  or                                                               
MS. MORELY said that is the intent.                                                                                             
SENATOR  MCGUIRE  asked for  a  legal  interpretation of  whether                                                               
mental  intent  is  "intentional,  not reckless,"  and  that  the                                                               
standard by which  the victim is judging is  a "reasonable person                                                               
similarly  situated."  She  also  questioned, on  line  10,  what                                                               
"significant damage" and "person's property" mean.                                                                              
MS. MORELY  relayed that in  the first  version of the  bill, the                                                               
language read  "damage to the  person's property."  After working                                                               
with the  Department of  Law, Legal Services,  and the  Office of                                                               
the Public Defender, it was  agreed that placing "significant" in                                                               
the language would raise the bar high enough.                                                                                   
SENATOR MCGUIRE thought it was  important to have a legal opinion                                                               
on the record.                                                                                                                  
2:00:27 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR MEYER suggested the Department  of Law answer. He pointed                                                               
out that a  lot of the issues are addressed  in the anti-bullying                                                               
and harassment bills. This bill now includes cyberbullying.                                                                     
SENATOR   MCGUIRE   agreed.   She  maintained   with   electronic                                                               
communication there is more room to accidentally hurt someone.                                                                  
SENATOR  WIELECHOWSKI  asked if  there  is  a difference  between                                                               
cyber,  written,  and spoken  bullying  and  requested a  comment                                                               
about the policy call.                                                                                                          
SENATOR MEYER gave  examples of social media sites  that could be                                                               
broadcast  worldwide, creating  a  much  more detrimental  result                                                               
than spoken bullying.                                                                                                           
CHAIR COGHILL noted  on page 1, the provocation  could be written                                                               
or verbal. He asked how physical contact comes into play.                                                                       
2:03:40 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  WIELECHOWSKI  thought  the bill  created  two  different                                                               
standards. He  posed an example  if someone would  insult another                                                               
person resulting in an immediate  violent response, then it would                                                               
be  covered under  AS  11.61.120(a)(1). But  if  the person  just                                                               
causes emotional  injury, it would not  be a crime. On  the other                                                               
hand, if the insult was via an email, it would be a crime.                                                                      
He  asked  if  sending  an electronic  communication  applies  to                                                               
Facebook and  Twitter, or  if the  post or  message must  be sent                                                               
directly to the person.                                                                                                         
MS. MORELY  related that Legislative  Legal Services  agreed that                                                               
the posting to Facebook or to  a blog is "sending" so the message                                                               
does not have to be sent directly to a person.                                                                                  
2:05:26 PM                                                                                                                    
KATHLEEN  STRASBAUGH,   Attorney,  Legislative   Legal  Services,                                                               
Legislative Affairs Agency, Juneau,  Alaska, stated that "send to                                                               
a person" is  sufficient to cover posting on a  social media site                                                               
where others might see it.                                                                                                      
SENATOR  WIELECHOWSKI asked  whether posting  something insulting                                                               
and intimidating  on one's own  Facebook page would  be violating                                                               
the law.                                                                                                                        
MS. STRASBAUGH said it depends on  the public nature of the site.                                                               
She gave an example of a  small group of high school students who                                                               
know that all  a person's friends will see the  post; there would                                                               
be a problem.                                                                                                                   
SENATOR  WIELECHOWSKI gave  an example  of someone  who sends  an                                                               
email to a friend  who forwards it on to someone  under 18 who is                                                               
insulted by the email.                                                                                                          
MS. STRASBAUGH said it depends on the intention of the sender.                                                                  
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI  inquired if there are  any equal protection                                                               
issues   or   other    issues   regarding   treating   electronic                                                               
communications    differently   than    letters   or    in-person                                                               
MS.  STRASBAUGH  opined that  the  communications  are all  of  a                                                               
certain  type,  insulting and  provocative  in  a manner  extreme                                                               
enough   to  be   criminalized.  The   consequence  would   be  a                                                               
misdemeanor with a  maximum penalty of 90 days and  a fine. There                                                               
are  a number  of different  offenses under  that statute  at the                                                               
same penalty level  that have similar components,  such as direct                                                               
contact and  anonymous obscene phone  calls. The  legislature can                                                               
make  a  policy  determination   that  those  communications  are                                                               
equivalent for the purposes of the statute.                                                                                     
2:08:38 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  WIELECHOWSKI recalled  that the  U.S. Supreme  Court has                                                               
allowed heinous  communications to be considered  free speech. He                                                               
inquired if  the Court might  find that the bill  oversteps First                                                               
Amendment rights.                                                                                                               
MS. STRASBAUGH  said if intent  is to  harass or annoy,  it would                                                               
depend on who  the person is and what the  circumstances are. The                                                               
court seems to make its decision on a case-by-case basis.                                                                       
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI gave  an example of an  email saying someone                                                               
was a terrible  football player and it  causing emotional injury.                                                               
He wondered how the court would look at that.                                                                                   
MS. STRASBAUGH said she didn't know.                                                                                            
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI  asked about significant damage  to property                                                               
and used a pencil as an example.                                                                                                
MS. STRASBAUGH  noted duplication  in the Y  version. On  page 7,                                                               
"causes fear  of significant damage  to a person's  property" can                                                               
be stricken  because it is  contained elsewhere in the  bill. She                                                               
deferred to the sponsor to  explain the intention with respect to                                                               
CHAIR COGHILL suggested hearing from the Department of Law.                                                                     
2:12:43 PM                                                                                                                    
ANNE CARPENETTI,  Assistant Attorney General,  Criminal Division,                                                               
Legislative Services Section, Department  of Law, Juneau, Alaska,                                                               
pointed out  that in the  Y version, under  18 years of  age only                                                               
pertains  to  conduct  that causes  severe  mental  or  emotional                                                               
injury,  not  significant  damage  to a  person's  property.  She                                                               
thanked the  sponsor for  including fear  of damage  to property.                                                               
She gave  a hypothetical example of  how electronic communication                                                               
might  cause   fear  of   damage  to   property.  She   said  the                                                               
department's concern is that it  overlaps with criminal mischief,                                                               
which defines damage  to property similar to  theft with monetary                                                               
levels. She suggested  treating fear of significant  damage in SB                                                               
128  the  same  way.  It  is   currently  listed  as  a  class  B                                                               
misdemeanor in SB 128.                                                                                                          
SENATOR  MCGUIRE  said she  likes  the  bill.  She asked  if  the                                                               
language under Section 1 subsection  (a) is good enough to charge                                                               
someone as it stands now,  or if it needs clarification regarding                                                               
electronic  communication.   She  worried  the  bill   creates  a                                                               
separate standard. She implied that  the bill makes it harder for                                                               
the  person who  is receiving  the electronic  communication. She                                                               
objected to a list that might change.                                                                                           
2:17:35 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. CARPENETTI  offered to help  clarify the intent of  the bill.                                                               
She  explained  that  the difference  in  subsection  (a)(1)  for                                                               
harassment  is that  it  is an  immediate  violent response.  The                                                               
proposal  of  electronic  communication   does  not  require  the                                                               
immediacy of a response.                                                                                                        
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI  reiterated his  questions about  sending an                                                               
electronic communication via Facebook,  the degree of significant                                                               
damage, and equal protection issues.                                                                                            
MS.  CARPENETTI  suggested  saying  "send or  post"  rather  than                                                               
"send"  an electronic  communication. On  the second  matter, she                                                               
explained that the  meaning of significant damage  to property is                                                               
broken  down  by  value  under  the  criminal  mischief  statute.                                                               
Regarding  equal protection,  she said  she would  like to  think                                                               
about  it more,  but there  is reason  to justify  this provision                                                               
because electronic  communication gets sent  to a lot  of people.                                                               
The potential to have many people  see a post is higher than with                                                               
verbal encounters  or letters. She  opined that  equal protection                                                               
could be raised.                                                                                                                
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI asked if the intent is person specific.                                                                    
2:21:07 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. CARPENETTI  said "culpable mental  state" means  intending to                                                               
harass and annoy the victim.                                                                                                    
SENATOR DYSON said he could see  how property could be damaged by                                                               
electronic means for  an adult. He inquired  what protections are                                                               
already in the law for handicapped persons.                                                                                     
CHAIR  COGHILL said  the sponsor  could research  that topic.  He                                                               
asked  Senator McGuire  to withdraw  her  motion to  adopt the  Y                                                               
version of  SB 128 because of  the mistakes and issues  with that                                                               
2:23:04 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  MCGUIRE withdrew  her motion  to adopt  version Y  of SB                                                               
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI recommended a  Vanderbilt Law Review article                                                               
on  the constitutionality  of  cyberbullying  laws. He  concluded                                                               
that, as currently  written, the bill has  severe First Amendment                                                               
CHAIR  COGHILL  said  it's  an   excellent  suggestion  and  then                                                               
directed Senator Meyer to work further on the bill.                                                                             
CHAIR COGHILL held SB 128 in committee.                                                                                         
CHAIR COGHILL postponed hearing SB 171 until another day.                                                                       
          SB 176-REG. OF FIREARMS/KNIVES BY UNIVERSITY                                                                      
2:25:04 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COGHILL  announced that the  final order of  business would                                                               
be SB  176."An Act  relating to the  regulation of  firearms and                                                               
knives by the University of Alaska."                                                                                            
HANS  RODVIK,   Intern,  Senator   John  Coghill,   Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature, Juneau,  Alaska, presented SB  176 on behalf  of the                                                               
sponsor. He described the genesis of the bill:                                                                                  
     I attend  the University of Alaska  Anchorage, majoring                                                                    
     in  political  science.  The Anchorage  campus  is  the                                                                    
     State  of Alaska's  largest  public university  campus.                                                                    
     During  the  2013  fall semester  a  diverse  array  of                                                                    
     students,   including   myself,    from   the   College                                                                    
     Republicans,   Young   Americans   for   Liberty,   and                                                                    
     Political Science Association  came together to analyze                                                                    
     what issues  these three clubs  could join  together on                                                                    
     and  help   change.  Being  mostly   political  science                                                                    
     majors,  we all  had  quite  the intimate  relationship                                                                    
     with  the Constitution.  Furthermore,  as Alaskans,  we                                                                    
     understood  the long  and storied  firearm culture  our                                                                    
     state  has,  and  the  special  protections  our  state                                                                    
     constitution  guarantees  us,  specifically  concerning                                                                    
     the right to keep and  bear arms. We concluded that the                                                                    
     current  situation surrounding  firearms on  campus was                                                                    
     unacceptable, and committed to change it.                                                                                  
     SB  176  was  generated  by  a  grass-roots  effort  by                                                                    
     concerned students  who understand  individual liberty,                                                                    
     the U.S. and Alaska  Constitutions, Alaska statute, and                                                                    
     the  rule  of  law.  After getting  accepted  into  the                                                                    
     legislative  internship and  being placed  with Senator                                                                    
     Coghill, I took  it upon myself to work  on this issue.                                                                    
     I presented the  idea of SB 176 to  Senator Coghill, to                                                                    
     which he agreed and from  there, well, as they say, the                                                                    
     rest  is  history.  With  the  rest  of  my  time  I'll                                                                    
     describe what  SB 176 does,  why this  committee should                                                                    
     support it,  and conclude by  giving you  a forewarning                                                                    
     of the coming arguments.                                                                                                   
     What does SB 176 do:  Most importantly, Senate Bill 176                                                                    
     requires the  University of Alaska Board  of Regents to                                                                    
     comply  with   the  Alaska  Constitution,   and  Alaska                                                                    
     statute. SB  176 resolves the  conflict, posed  to law-                                                                    
     abiding citizens,  by UA Board of  Regents policies and                                                                    
     regulations. Since 1995, the  Board of Regents has (via                                                                    
     policy  P02.09.020 Possession  of Weapons),  prohibited                                                                    
     the otherwise lawful (under  our constitution and state                                                                    
     law)  carrying of  concealed  handguns. The  prohibited                                                                    
     areas include: university  property; university offices                                                                    
     or  classrooms  inside   buildings  not  on  university                                                                    
     property;  and   university  sponsored   activities  or                                                                    
     meetings not  on university property. Board  of Regents                                                                    
     policy makes an unsubstantiated  claim (under our State                                                                    
     Constitution or  statute) to have governing  power over                                                                    
     the possession of firearms.                                                                                                
     University regulation further  compounds the problem by                                                                    
     (R02.09.020   Possession    of   Weapons)   prohibiting                                                                    
     firearms  from being  carried or  stored on  university                                                                    
     property   or  in   university  buildings.   University                                                                    
     regulation disarms students living  in dorms by forcing                                                                    
     them  to  hand  over  their firearms  to  a  university                                                                    
     employee,  who  then  stores   their  firearm(s)  in  a                                                                    
     central safe.  The abuses  of Constitutional  rights do                                                                    
     not end  there. Students, who have  firearms, living in                                                                    
     residential  units, must  register their  firearms with                                                                    
     the   university   and    provide   detailed   personal                                                                    
     information about  themselves to  designated university                                                                    
     At  UAF, the  police  department  requires students  to                                                                    
     fill  out  an  entire   form  describing  the  type  of                                                                    
     firearm. This  includes providing the serial  number to                                                                    
     the   UPD.   I  see   as   a   violation  of   multiple                                                                    
     Constitutional rights  (art 1. Sec.19, art.  1, sec. 22                                                                    
     (right to  privacy) and  art. 1, sec.  14 (right  to be                                                                    
     secure in their  property against unreasonable searches                                                                    
     and  seizures.  University  regulation  also  prohibits                                                                    
     firearms  in residential  rooms or  apartments, and  in                                                                    
     any   common  areas.   Lastly,  university   regulation                                                                    
     prohibits firearms on residential grounds.                                                                                 
     In  Section   2  (a)   the  legislature   reserves  the                                                                    
     authority  to  regulate  firearms  and  knives  to  the                                                                    
     state. Unless the  legislature specifically designates,                                                                    
     the  board   of  regents  may  not   enforce  a  policy                                                                    
     regulating  the possession,  ownership, use,  carrying,                                                                    
     registration,  storage, or  transportation or  firearms                                                                    
     or knives.  With this section, current  board of regent                                                                    
     policy  would not  be in  compliance with  statute, and                                                                    
     therefore it would need to be eliminated.                                                                                  
2:30:27 PM                                                                                                                    
     Section  2  (b)  does  three things:  It  requires  any                                                                    
     policy  regulating  firearms  and  knives  adopted  and                                                                    
     enforced by the board of  regents be identical to state                                                                    
     law -  most important.  Secondly, these  polices cannot                                                                    
     deny   or  infringe   the  right   of  the   individual                                                                    
     (guaranteed by  art. 1, sec  19) to keep and  bear arms                                                                    
     in  defense of  self  or others.  Lastly, this  section                                                                    
     allows  the  board  to   have  policies  that  prohibit                                                                    
     firearms  in  restricted  access  areas  of  university                                                                    
     Two key points about  the restricted access subsection.                                                                    
     I spoke with the police chiefs  at UAA and UAF and both                                                                    
     confirmed  that  currently   there  are  no  restricted                                                                    
     access  areas  on  campus where  people  are  screened,                                                                    
     patted down, etc., meaning  free travel throughout both                                                                    
     campuses. Also, we carefully  defined what a restricted                                                                    
     access  area is.  It  is a  place  where an  individual                                                                    
     would  be  screened,  which  would  require  a  police,                                                                    
     guard,  or  security  personnel and  does  not  include                                                                    
     common areas  open to the  public, which are  all areas                                                                    
     according to the police chiefs.                                                                                            
     We are  not giving the  Board of Regents  the authority                                                                    
     to declare  the entire  university system  a restricted                                                                    
     access area. In  summary, SB 176 requires  the Board of                                                                    
     Regents  to   come  into  compliance  with   our  state                                                                    
     constitution  and  law  concerning  the  regulation  of                                                                    
     firearms and knives.                                                                                                       
2:31:51 PM                                                                                                                    
     SB  176  codifies  UA   Regents'  policy  with  current                                                                    
     statute  that already  allows  law-abiding citizens  to                                                                    
     carry concealed  firearms on campus.  The intent  of SB                                                                    
     176  is  to  enable law-abiding  citizens  to  exercise                                                                    
     their fundamental  right to keep  and bear arms  on and                                                                    
     in the grounds of UA campuses.                                                                                             
     The  committee  should support  SB  176  for four  main                                                                    
     reasons:  state  constitution,   state  statute,  court                                                                    
     cases   and  historical   understanding   of  the   2nd                                                                    
     amendment,   statistics  and   facts.  Constitutionally                                                                    
     grounds to support  SB 176. Second only  to the federal                                                                    
     constitution, Alaska's constitution  is the highest law                                                                    
     of  the  land.  Our constitution  guarantees  that  the                                                                    
     individual  right to  keep and  bear arm  shall not  be                                                                    
     denied  or  infringed  by  the  State  or  a  political                                                                    
     subdivision  of  the   State.  Our  state  constitution                                                                    
     acknowledges  the  natural  right to  self-defense,  by                                                                    
     guaranteeing  the individual  right  to  keep and  bear                                                                    
     Art.  7, Sec.  3 of  the Constitution  of the  State of                                                                    
     Alaska created  the board of  regents. The  regents are                                                                    
     appointed   by   the   governor  and   subject   to   a                                                                    
     confirmation vote of the  legislature in joint session.                                                                    
     Therefore, the  University of Alaska  and the  board of                                                                    
     regents  are political  subdivisions  of  the State  of                                                                    
     Alaska. Furthermore, the board  of regents is bound (by                                                                    
     the  Constitution) to  formulate  policy in  accordance                                                                    
     with  state law.  There is  no  provision granting  the                                                                    
     board  of regent's  authority  to  dismiss, ignore,  or                                                                    
     override other  parts of the Constitution.  There is no                                                                    
     question  that  the UA  board  of  regents is  a  govt.                                                                    
     entity, it  is a creation  of govt., its  employees and                                                                    
     managers  and paid  by the  govt.,  its structures  and                                                                    
     activities  are determine  and governed  by state  law,                                                                    
     state  constitution,  the  UA  system  exists  only  as                                                                    
     authorized  by law,  perhaps an  exact definition  of a                                                                    
     government entity.                                                                                                         
     Furthermore, art 1, sec 14  (searches and seizures) and                                                                    
     art. 1, sec. 22 (right  to privacy) both are applicable                                                                    
     to this  issue. Firearms  are private property  and the                                                                    
     university as  a political subdivision of  the state is                                                                    
     conducting  unreasonable searches  on students  seeking                                                                    
     to  store  them  in  their residential  units  for  the                                                                    
     purpose  of   self-defense.  Secondly,   when  carrying                                                                    
     concealed, individuals  are making a  personal, private                                                                    
2:33:34 PM                                                                                                                    
     Statutory  basis:  There  is no  current  statute  that                                                                    
     prohibits   law-abiding  adults   21  and   over,  from                                                                    
     carrying concealed  on or  in our  public universities.                                                                    
     Furthermore, under AS 11.61.190-11.61.220,  it is not a                                                                    
     crime to  carry on  or in the  grounds of  UA campuses.                                                                    
     Also, under AS 29.35.145,  the State of Alaska reserves                                                                    
     the right  to regulate firearms and  knives, therefore,                                                                    
     the  university  has  no authority  to  continue  their                                                                    
     current practices.                                                                                                         
     Court rulings  and historical understanding of  the 2nd                                                                    
     Two  recent  court  cases  have  dealt  precisely  with                                                                    
     firearms  on  public  campuses.  The  Colorado  Supreme                                                                    
     Court ruled  in Regents  of the University  of Colorado                                                                    
     v.  Students for  Concealed Carry  on  Campus that  the                                                                    
     Colorado  legislature  (through  their  2011  concealed                                                                    
     carry  act)  divested  the  Board  of  Regents  of  its                                                                    
     authority to  regulate concealed handgun  possession on                                                                    
     campus.  The  court  ruled that  "had  the  legislature                                                                    
     intended [exclude] universities, it  knew how to do so"                                                                    
     (which it did not in their concealed carry act).                                                                           
     In Oregon,  the State Court  of Appeals ruled  that the                                                                    
     governing  body  of   the  Oregon  university  system's                                                                    
     policy  that  prohibited   individuals  with  concealed                                                                    
     weapons permits  from carrying concealed on  campus was                                                                    
     a  violation of  statute, and  went completely  against                                                                    
     the  intent  of  the  legislature.  Other  major  court                                                                    
     rulings support  the intent of  SB 176. What  the Board                                                                    
     of  Regents is  doing,  by prohibiting  the storage  of                                                                    
     firearms in  residential units, is similar  to what the                                                                    
     District  of  Columbia  used  to  do.  In  District  of                                                                    
     Columbia v.  Heller the U.S.  Supreme Court  found that                                                                    
     the District's  outright ban  on handgun  possession in                                                                    
     the home amounts  to a ban of an entire  class of arms,                                                                    
     that  Americans overwhelmingly  choose  for the  lawful                                                                    
     purpose of self-defense,  violated the Second Amendment                                                                    
     of the U.S. Constitution.                                                                                                  
     In  McDonald v.  Chicago the  U.S. Supreme  Court found                                                                    
     that  the 2nd  Amendment right  to keep  and bear  arms                                                                    
     applies to  the states because of  the 14th Amendment's                                                                    
     due process  clause. The  court also  reaffirmed Heller                                                                    
     by acknowledging  that Self-defense  is a  basic right,                                                                    
     recognized by many legal systems  from ancient times to                                                                    
     the present, and the Heller  Court held that individual                                                                    
     self-defense is  "the central component" of  the Second                                                                    
     Amendment  right.  The  Court  found  that  this  right                                                                    
     applies  to   handguns  because  they  are   "the  most                                                                    
     preferred firearm in  the nation to 'keep'  and use for                                                                    
     protection  of   one's  home   and  family."   It  thus                                                                    
     concluded  that  citizens  must be  permitted  "to  use                                                                    
     [handguns]  for  the  core   lawful  purpose  of  self-                                                                    
     The  most recent  court case  Peruta v.  County of  San                                                                    
     Diego clearly supports the intent  of SB 176. This case                                                                    
     was heard  in the  U.S. 9th  District Court  of Appeals                                                                    
     and found  that a responsible, law-abiding  citizen has                                                                    
     a right under  the Second Amendment to  carry a firearm                                                                    
     in  public  for  self-defense.  The  Second  Amendment,                                                                    
     Heller  tells  us,  secures  "the  right  to  'protect'                                                                    
     [oneself]  against both  public and  private violence,'                                                                    
     thus extending  the right  in some  form to  wherever a                                                                    
     person  could  become  exposed  to  public  or  private                                                                    
     violence." Also,  within Peruta v. County  of San Diego                                                                    
     the  court   cited  William  Rawle,   A  View   of  the                                                                    
     Constitution  of  the  United  States  of  America  126                                                                    
     (2ded.  1829)  (observing  that  the  Second  Amendment                                                                    
     would not  forbid the prohibition  of the  "carrying of                                                                    
     arms  abroad  by  a single  individual,  attended  with                                                                    
     circumstances  giving  just  reason  to  fear  that  he                                                                    
     purposes to make an unlawful use of them").                                                                                
     These  significant court  rulings  acknowledge the  2nd                                                                    
     Amendment guarantees  the individual, natural  right to                                                                    
     self-defense, through the keeping  and bearing of arms.                                                                    
     Historical  analysis  and   understanding  of  the  2nd                                                                    
     Amendment further recognizes that  bearing arms for the                                                                    
     purpose of self-defense is a  right not confined to the                                                                    
     home. As noted in Heller,  the 2nd Amendment codifies a                                                                    
     pre-existing  right-  that   is  self-preservation  and                                                                    
     self-defense of his life and property.                                                                                     
2:38:00 PM                                                                                                                    
     Given time  constraints for today I  will briefly cover                                                                    
     some  of  the  historical   understanding  of  the  2nd                                                                    
     amendment, and how these  findings should instruct this                                                                    
     committee to  support SB  176. Our  greatest President,                                                                    
     George  Washington said  in his  personal letters  that                                                                    
     'Firearms stand next in  importance to the Constitution                                                                    
     itself. They  are the  American people's  liberty teeth                                                                    
     and keystone  under independence ... From  the hour the                                                                    
     Pilgrims   landed,   to   the  present   day,   events,                                                                    
     occurrences,  and  tendencies   prove  that  to  insure                                                                    
     peace,  security and  happiness, the  rifle and  pistol                                                                    
     are equally indispensable . .  . the very atmosphere of                                                                    
     firearms everywhere restrains  evil interference - they                                                                    
     deserve a place of honor with all that is good'.                                                                           
     In  Wilson  v. State  of  Arkansas  (1878) the  federal                                                                    
     appeals court  ruled that 'To  prohibit a  citizen from                                                                    
     wearing or carrying  a war arm . . .  is an unwarranted                                                                    
     restriction upon  the constitutional right to  keep and                                                                    
     bear arms.  If cowardly  an dishonorable  men sometimes                                                                    
     shoot unarmed men  with army pistols or  guns, the evil                                                                    
     must be prevented by the  penitentiary and gallows, and                                                                    
     not   by  a   general  deprivation   of  constitutional                                                                    
     privilege'.  In Cockrum  v. State  of Texas  (1859) the                                                                    
     court ruled that 'The right  of a citizen to bear arms,                                                                    
     in  lawful   defense  of  himself  or   the  State,  is                                                                    
     absolute.  He  does  not  derive   it  from  the  State                                                                    
     government.  It is  one of  the "high  powers" delegate                                                                    
     directly to  the citizen, and  `is excepted out  of the                                                                    
     general powers  of government.' A law  cannot be passed                                                                    
     to   infringe  upon   or   impair   it,  because   [the                                                                    
     Constitution] is above the law,  and independent of the                                                                    
     lawmaking power.'                                                                                                          
     Given  these court  cases and  historical analysis  the                                                                    
     Second Amendment  recognizes the individual's  right to                                                                    
     self-defense;  a  free  person is  entitled  to  defend                                                                    
     themselves from harm or  mortal peril. Therefore, Board                                                                    
     of  Regents policy  and regulations  that prohibit  the                                                                    
     right to and bear arms are unconstitutional.                                                                               
2:39:47 PM                                                                                                                    
     Facts  and   Statistics  concerning  firearm   use  and                                                                    
     concealed carry: For clarity, the  facts and stats I am                                                                    
     referencing are  on BASIS and available  to the public.                                                                    
     There are  now 41 Right  to Carry States, 38  are shall                                                                    
     Since  1991,  when  the  nation's  violent  crime  rate                                                                    
     peaked,  24  states  have  adopted  shall  issue  laws,                                                                    
     meanwhile  gun laws  have become  more  liberal on  the                                                                    
     federal  and  state  level, and  private  ownership  of                                                                    
     firearms  has   risen  by   about  100   million  guns.                                                                    
     Subsequently, as of 2010 the  murder rate has decreased                                                                    
     52% a  47 year  low, and the  total violent  crime rate                                                                    
     has decreased 48%  to a 37 year  low. Allowing citizens                                                                    
     to  carry  concealed  weapons  deters  crime.  Studying                                                                    
     every county in  the US, economist John  Lott and David                                                                    
     Muster  concluded   that  violent  crime   is  deterred                                                                    
     because of  RTC. When concealed handgun  laws went into                                                                    
     effect in  a county, murder  rates fell by  8.5%, rapes                                                                    
     rates fell by  5% and aggravated assault  rates fell by                                                                    
     In the  1990s criminologist  Gary Kleck and  Marc Gertz                                                                    
     found that  guns were used for  self-protection between                                                                    
     21.-2.5 million  times annually. A study  conducted for                                                                    
     the  Justice Department  found that  34% of  felons had                                                                    
     been scared off, shot, wounded  or captured by an armed                                                                    
     victim,  the study  also found  that 40%  didn't commit                                                                    
     crimes   because  they   feared  victims   were  armed.                                                                    
     Evidence does  not exist showing that  gun control laws                                                                    
     reduce  crime.  Using  Kleck's numbers,  of  those  2.5                                                                    
     million  times a  gun is  by  law-abiding citizens  for                                                                    
     self-defense, less than 8% of  the time a citizen kills                                                                    
     or  wounds his/her  attacker. It  is important  to note                                                                    
     for  Alaska  because of  our  nation  leading rape  and                                                                    
     sexual abuse rates- as many  as 200,000 women use a gun                                                                    
     every year to defend themselves against sexual abuse.                                                                      
     Nationwide over  ½ million self-defense uses  away from                                                                    
     home-  these would  be attributed  to concealed  carry.                                                                    
     Handguns are  the weapon of  choice. They are  used 1.9                                                                    
     million times  a year to  protect citizens.  The courts                                                                    
     have ruled  that the police  do not have  an obligation                                                                    
     to  protect individuals;  they  protect  the public  in                                                                    
     general. In  about 75% of defensive  firearm instances,                                                                    
     a shot  is never  even fired and  the threat  is evaded                                                                    
     via  a defensive  display or  warning (from  Gary Kleck                                                                    
     study). Lott also found that  in states adopting shall-                                                                    
     issue carry  laws, the incidence of  mass murders drops                                                                    
     on the order of 80%.  Nearly every shootout between two                                                                    
     armed individuals  is over in roughly  10 seconds, mass                                                                    
     shootings can exceed 30 minutes.                                                                                           
     There  has been  a huge  success in  Florida concerning                                                                    
     RTC and crime rates. Florida  has issued the most carry                                                                    
     permits,  nearly  2  million,   but  revoked  only  168                                                                    
     (0.008%), due  to gun crimes by  permit holders. During                                                                    
     the first 15  years of Florida's right  to carry, their                                                                    
     murder  rate fell  52% during  that time  period, which                                                                    
     put their rate below the national average.                                                                                 
2:43:12 PM                                                                                                                    
     Warning of Arguments to Come:  The committee might hear                                                                    
     that 'Guns on campus will  lead to more violent crime.'                                                                    
     However, this  is not  the case.  Since 2006  state law                                                                    
     has  allowed licensed  individuals  to carry  concealed                                                                    
     handguns   on    the   campuses   of    Utah's   public                                                                    
     universities. This  has also been the  case at Colorado                                                                    
     State Univ. and at Blue  Ridge Community College in VA,                                                                    
     over  100  semesters  have  passed  and  not  a  single                                                                    
     instance  of   gun  violence  (including   threats  and                                                                    
     suicides)  an  incident  of  a  person  brandishing  or                                                                    
     eluding a  firearm in  a threat-  no firearm  issues on                                                                    
     these campuses.                                                                                                            
     The  committee might  hear that  'guns  on campus  will                                                                    
     distract  from the  learning environment.'  Again, this                                                                    
     is not the  case. The essence of  carrying concealed is                                                                    
     to  be  discrete   and  avoid  attention.  Furthermore,                                                                    
     concealed carry  does not  distract people  or increase                                                                    
     crime throughout  the rest of  Alaska. Campuses  are no                                                                    
     more  crowded  than  move theaters,  office  buildings,                                                                    
     shopping  malls  and  numerous  other  locations  where                                                                    
     concealed carry is already occurring.                                                                                      
     The   committee   might   hear  that   'because   dorms                                                                    
     experience fair amounts of theft  the university has an                                                                    
     obligation to  ban firearms.' This  is a  weak argument                                                                    
     and  does  not necessitate  a  prior  restraint on  our                                                                    
     rights.  Furthermore, the  majority of  students living                                                                    
     on dorms  or in residential  units are not even  of the                                                                    
     legal age  to possess  a concealed firearm.  Also, bolt                                                                    
     down  safes  can be  purchased.  A  study done  at  the                                                                    
     University of  Texas (with over 50,000  students) found                                                                    
     that  there would  likely  be  no more  than  10 to  20                                                                    
     concealed handgun license holders living on campus.                                                                        
     The  emotionally  charged  argument that  we  must  ban                                                                    
     firearms  from campuses  to  ensure  healthy debate  so                                                                    
     that  arguments  don't  turn into  gun  fights  is  not                                                                    
     backed up by data on  crime rates after concealed carry                                                                    
     laws were  passed. Law abiding adults  exercising their                                                                    
     rights throughout the rest  of Alaska are statistically                                                                    
     unlikely to  suddenly become  emotional and  lose their                                                                    
     cool simply because they enter  the grounds of a public                                                                    
     university. We have seen no  increases in violent crime                                                                    
     from    individuals    carrying   concealed    firearms                                                                    
     throughout the rest of Alaska.                                                                                             
     For concerns  about drug abuse  and alcohol  on campus-                                                                    
     state  law  already  makes  it a  crime  to  possess  a                                                                    
     concealed firearm  while consuming liquor  or consuming                                                                    
     a controlled  substance. Furthermore, drinking  is more                                                                    
     likely  to  occur  off  campus.  Allowing  firearms  on                                                                    
     campus  would have  no impact  on  the laws  regulating                                                                    
     concealed carry at bars and off-campus parties.                                                                            
     Two last arguments  to be wary of. The idea  that in an                                                                    
     active shooter  scenario the UPD  would not be  able to                                                                    
     determine who  is good  guy vs. the  bad guy;  how does                                                                    
     this  necessitate a  campus wide  ban? What  is morally                                                                    
     worse, allowing  a mass execution shooting  to continue                                                                    
     or give  law-abiding adults the  means to stop  or slow                                                                    
     the killer?  Furthermore, there is no  evidence to show                                                                    
     that  cops  have  had  this   problem  outside  of  the                                                                    
     university- most shootings/armed  encounters occur one-                                                                    
     on-one   and  not   with  police   standing  by.   Most                                                                    
     encounters last  10 seconds and  the situation  is over                                                                    
     according to a  1997 FBI study; also the  rate of carry                                                                    
     of individuals  in their 20s  is about one half  of one                                                                    
     Finally, the idea that concealed  carry cannot occur on                                                                    
     campus   because  the   university  has   visitors  and                                                                    
     students under  the age  of 18 is  a moot  point. These                                                                    
     young members of society  are always around individuals                                                                    
     who  are  carrying  concealed throughout  the  rest  of                                                                    
     Alaska.  Law  abiding  adults  carrying  concealed  are                                                                    
     responsible and  not dangerous  throughout the  rest of                                                                    
     Alaska.  The  university's  point  that  somehow  these                                                                    
     adults   become   threatening    when   stepping   onto                                                                    
       university property or in university buildings is                                                                        
     completely baseless in fact and reason.                                                                                    
2:45:25 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COGHILL thanked Mr. Rodvik.                                                                                               
MR.  RODVIK concluded  that  SB  176 is  requiring  the Board  of                                                               
Regents to comply  with the state constitution and  state law. SB                                                               
176 recognizes  the individual  right to keep  and bear  arms for                                                               
self-defense and  the defense  of others shall  not be  denied or                                                               
infringed  by a  political subdivision  of the  state. SB  176 is                                                               
supported  by the  state constitution,  state  law, court  cases,                                                               
historical  analysis  of  the  Second   Amendment,  and  data  on                                                               
firearms and crime.  He asked the committee to  consider that the                                                               
United States is  ruled by law and not emotions.  SB 176 restores                                                               
the rule of law to Alaska.                                                                                                      
2:46:58 PM                                                                                                                    
PAT GAMBLE,  President, University  of Alaska  System, Anchorage,                                                               
Alaska, testified in opposition to SB  176. He began by saying he                                                               
is  not a  lawyer  and did  not  want to  talk  about the  Second                                                               
Amendment. He  provided his extensive  history of  gun experience                                                               
and ownership and as an  installation commander in the Air Force,                                                               
where he was  responsible for the protection  of an installation,                                                               
which comes into play in this discussion.                                                                                       
2:49:08 PM                                                                                                                    
PRESIDENT  GAMBLE maintained  that the  issue is  not the  Second                                                               
Amendment and  the two categories  of people surrounding  it, the                                                               
collective rights  folks and  the standard model  of folks  - two                                                               
opposing  groups.  He  recalled  some   of  the  history  of  gun                                                               
PRESIDENT  GAMBLE  related  that  today  he  would  look  at  the                                                               
language  in  the  legislation,  state  law,  how  the  two  come                                                               
together,  and  what  effect  it  has on  the  university  as  an                                                               
educational  institution. He  pointed out  that states  differ in                                                               
opinion about  gun laws; their  reasons and laws differ.  He said                                                               
it  is his  intention to  focus on  what is  the right  thing for                                                               
Alaska.  He noted  that Alaska's  gun laws  are a  combination of                                                               
federal and state  laws. The bottom line, in both  cases, is that                                                               
a  person  can  possess  a  hand  gun  at  age  18.  With  parent                                                               
permission a person  can possess a rifle or shotgun  at age 16. A                                                               
person can conceal carry at age 21.                                                                                             
PRESIDENT GAMBLE  said the bill, as  it is written, is  not about                                                               
concealed  carry;  the issue  is  the  carrying of  weapons.  The                                                               
university is  an educational institution  and is  concerned with                                                               
two things, to take care of  students and to educate them. In the                                                               
history of the  Supreme Court there are limits to  where a weapon                                                               
can be carried for the good  of the public. One exception is K-12                                                               
2:53:50 PM                                                                                                                    
PRESIDENT  GAMBLE  questioned  whether   the  bill  protects  the                                                               
university property  or the  students. He  concluded that  it was                                                               
the  students.  He  brought  up   the  difficulty  of  protecting                                                               
schools.  He used  the example  of  proposed legislation  banning                                                               
cell phones  around schools  in order to  protect kids.  He noted                                                               
the numbers of  K-12 students on campus every day,  all year long                                                               
-  15,000 to  20,000 total.  Students of  all ages  attend summer                                                               
programs  and  visit college  libraries  and  those colleges  are                                                               
responsible  for  protecting  those  kids. He  assumed  that  the                                                               
university is going to be  responsible for ensuring the safety of                                                               
those kids if the bill passes.                                                                                                  
PRESIDENT GAMBLE  read from the  bill: "The Second  Amendment may                                                               
not be  abridged by the  Board of  Regents except as  provided by                                                               
statute" He  said he didn't  have an argument with  not abridging                                                               
Second Amendment rights,  but that there may  be a constitutional                                                               
issue with the exception.                                                                                                       
With regard to the Board of  Regents ability to adopt and enforce                                                               
policies, he said guns currently  are allowed on campus, but they                                                               
must be  locked in a  car. If someone has  a gun on  campus, they                                                               
are  instructed to  lock  it up.  When this  law  is passed,  the                                                               
university will no longer be able to  tell a student to lock up a                                                               
gun, even  if they are distraught  or drunk. Until they  commit a                                                               
crime, the university cannot act. That is a problem, he said.                                                                   
2:58:19 PM                                                                                                                    
PRESIDENT  GAMBLE said  the Alaska  Constitution,  in Article  I,                                                               
Section 19, guarantees  the right of the individual  to bear arms                                                               
in defense of self and others. He  said he can find no mention of                                                               
"others" in  the U.S. Constitution.  That suggests that  a person                                                               
has the option  to decide when it  is ok to use a  weapon to help                                                               
someone else. The Stand Your  Ground Law, when coupled with self-                                                               
defense, is one  type of scenario. The Stand Your  Ground Law and                                                               
deciding  to  go   help  others  is  another   matter  and  needs                                                               
2:59:41 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. GAMBLE  said the last point  in the bill refers  to firearms,                                                               
not  concealed carry,  which  allows for  all  types of  firearms                                                               
everywhere  on  campus.  He noted  the  bill  defines  restricted                                                               
access as  not including common  areas of ingress or  egress open                                                               
to the public.  He pointed out that K-12  students are everywhere                                                               
on  campus in  the summer.  He  questioned how  to protect  those                                                               
students in the 16 campuses. He  called it a huge undertaking. He                                                               
said he would  hire a company to provide protection  and he would                                                               
provide a  fiscal note to that  effect - a large  fiscal note. He                                                               
stressed that  it is a problem  to claim that he  can protect the                                                               
campus. He  said the solution  is to  kick the K-12  students off                                                               
the campus  and only have to  worry about the professors  and the                                                               
college students.                                                                                                               
3:02:34 PM                                                                                                                    
PRESIDENT GAMBEL concluded that  state law protects K-12 students                                                               
in their schools.  He questioned whether K-12  students should be                                                               
protected  when they  are on  a  university campus.  He said  the                                                               
answer is yes.                                                                                                                  
3:03:02 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COGHILL summarized  that there is a  practical problem, and                                                               
a need  for legal questions to  be resolved, as well  as the K-12                                                               
student  issue  to   address.  He  said  any  time   there  is  a                                                               
constitutional  question, it  warrants a  discussion. He  thanked                                                               
President Gamble for his testimony.                                                                                             
CHAIR COGHILL held SB 176 in committee.                                                                                         
3:04:47 PM                                                                                                                    
There being  no further  business to  come before  the committee,                                                               
Chair Coghill  adjourned the Senate Judiciary  Standing Committee                                                               
at 3:04 p.m.                                                                                                                    

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
Legislative Legal Opinion.pdf SJUD 3/3/2014 1:30:00 PM
SB 176
Sectional Analysis.pdf SJUD 3/3/2014 1:30:00 PM
SB 176
Written Testimony .zip SJUD 3/3/2014 1:30:00 PM
SB 176
Supporting Documents.zip SJUD 3/3/2014 1:30:00 PM
SB 176
Sponsor Statement.pdf SJUD 3/3/2014 1:30:00 PM
SB 176
SB 128 CS Version O Summary of Changes.pdf SJUD 3/3/2014 1:30:00 PM
SB 128