Legislature(1993 - 1994)

03/16/1993 01:30 PM JUD

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
  TAPE JUD 92-37, SIDE A                                                       
  Number 000                                                                   
                                                                               
  Chairman Donley called the meeting to order at 1:35 p.m.,                    
  noting the members in attendance.  He announced he would                     
  take testimony from around the state by teleconference on                    
  SJR 1.                                                                       
                                                                               
  Number 026                                                                   
                                                                               
  ROBERT LAGUIRE testified from Sitka that he objected to the                  
  use of the word "unreasonably" in the State Affairs                          
  committee substitute for SJR 1.                                              
                                                                               
  Number 123                                                                   
                                                                               
  RICHARD BARLOW testified from the Mat-Su teleconference site                 
  that as a member of the National Rifle Association (NRA) he                  
  supported the concept of the resolution to protect second                    
  amendment rights.                                                            
                                                                               
  Number 157                                                                   
                                                                               
  JEAN WOODS spoke on behalf of the Matanuska Valley                           
  Sportsmen, stating the group did not support the inclusion                   
  of "unreasonably" in the CS.                                                 
                                                                               
  Number 200                                                                   
                                                                               
  Representative Ellis asked Ms. Woods whether the group                       
  generally supported the right to keep and bear arms.                         
                                                                               
  Ms. Woods replied that it was important to include the                       
  individual right in the constitution, and her organization                   
  supported the resolution except for the term "unreasonably."                 
                                                                               
  Number 225                                                                   
                                                                               
  SENATOR PAT RODEY, sponsor of SJR 1, referred to a legal                     
  opinion from the Department of Law that says the current                     
  language in the state constitution does not extend the right                 
  to bear arms to individuals, which is the reason for this                    
  legislation.                                                                 
                                                                               
  Number 265                                                                   
                                                                               
  Representative Ellis asked whether there were new legal                      
  opinions from the current administration.                                    
                                                                               
  Chairman Donley pointed out documents in members' files from                 
  the Departments of Law and Public Safety.                                    
                                                                               
  Number 294                                                                   
                                                                               
  MIKE MILLIGAN testified from Kodiak that he supported the                    
  right to keep and bear arms, and supported the inclusion of                  
  "unreasonably" in the CS.  He voiced support for local                       
  governments retaining the right to regulate use of guns as                   
  they deem appropriate.                                                       
                                                                               
  Number 365                                                                   
                                                                               
  Representative Martin raised the question of municipal                       
  authority being undermined by restriction of their ability                   
  to regulate gun possession.                                                  
                                                                               
  Discussion followed on the references in the resolution to                   
  political subdivisions and whether that language should be                   
  deleted.                                                                     
                                                                               
  Number 424                                                                   
                                                                               
  KARL BERGGREN testified from Kodiak in support of the spirit                 
  of the resolution, but opposed the use of "unreasonably."                    
                                                                               
  Chairman Donley discussed the question of which standard                     
  would be applied;  specifically, a compelling public safety                  
  interest or other standard of reasonableness.                                
                                                                               
  Number 475                                                                   
                                                                               
  ELZIE ISLEY of Ketchikan testified that he would like to see                 
  the right to bear arms extended to include possession of                     
  semi-automatic weapons.                                                      
                                                                               
  Number 495                                                                   
                                                                               
  DAVE HELMICK testified from Petersburg in support of the                     
  resolution, but objected to "unreasonably" in the CS.                        
                                                                               
  Number 509                                                                   
                                                                               
  DAVID CLAYTOR of Petersburg said he favored existing                         
  statutes, and "unreasonably" should be left in the CS.                       
                                                                               
  Number 523                                                                   
                                                                               
  WILLIAM SMITH of Valdez objected to "unreasonably" in the                    
  CS.                                                                          
                                                                               
  Number 530                                                                   
                                                                               
  NICK ZERBINOS of Glenallen strongly opposed including                        
  "unreasonably" in the CS.                                                    
                                                                               
  Number 550                                                                   
                                                                               
  ED KNOEBEL, also of Glenallen, testified that "unreasonably"                 
  should be removed from the resolution.                                       
                                                                               
  Number 564                                                                   
                                                                               
  ROCKY ANSELL testified that if "unreasonably" was to be used                 
  in the resolution, it should be clearly defined.                             
                                                                               
  Number 588                                                                   
                                                                               
  HARRIS STUERMER from Barrow objected to "unreasonably" and                   
  supported a higher standard.                                                 
                                                                               
  Number 597                                                                   
                                                                               
  DAVE LOVETT of Delta Junction supported the resolution to                    
  include individual rights to bear arms in the state's                        
  constitution, but said he believed that the "unreasonably"                   
  amendment weakens the right.                                                 
                                                                               
  Number 610                                                                   
                                                                               
  JOE VOGLER of Fairbanks spoke against including                              
  "unreasonably" in the resolution.                                            
                                                                               
  Number 625                                                                   
                                                                               
  LYNETTE CLARK said the language in the State Affairs CS                      
  would open a myriad of problems for the legislature and                      
  municipalities to resolve.                                                   
                                                                               
  Number 661                                                                   
                                                                               
  JAMIE COX testified from Fairbanks that she did not support                  
  the "unreasonably" provision, because it would give too much                 
  power to the courts and law enforcement officers.                            
  Number 692                                                                   
                                                                               
  SYBIL SKELTON said she saw no reason for this legislation.                   
                                                                               
  Number 713                                                                   
                                                                               
  BOB BRUNLOW, a firearms instructor of the University of                      
  Alaska Anchorage, suggested a permit system might help                       
  resolve gun problems.  He said he supported the individual                   
  right to bear arms and opposed the use of "unreasonably" in                  
  the resolution.                                                              
                                                                               
  Number 730                                                                   
                                                                               
  LUCILLE CLARK said she felt including "unreasonably" in the                  
  resolution would infringe on constitutional rights.                          
                                                                               
  Number 747                                                                   
                                                                               
  HAROLD STAFFORD objected to "unreasonably."  He said he                      
  believed citizens should be able to get permits to carry                     
  concealed weapons.                                                           
                                                                               
  Number 780                                                                   
                                                                               
  RUDY VETTER of Fairbanks objected to "unreasonably" and said                 
  individuals should have the right of self-protection.                        
                                                                               
  Number 790                                                                   
                                                                               
  BRUCE CAMPBELL testified from Fairbanks that existing laws                   
  should be used to limit criminal use of firearms.  He said                   
  "unreasonably" should be deleted.                                            
                                                                               
  Number 805                                                                   
                                                                               
  GARY HAMMOND testified that, as written, the current                         
  constitutional provision might be misinterpreted.  He                        
  supported specifically guaranteeing individual rights.                       
                                                                               
  Number 838                                                                   
                                                                               
  STEVEN GUILDNER strongly objected to "unreasonably" in the                   
  resolution.                                                                  
                                                                               
  Number 842                                                                   
                                                                               
  LARRY BENDALL testified that he preferred the original                       
  version of the resolution and objected to the addition of                    
  "unreasonably."                                                              
                                                                               
  TAPE 92-37, SIDE B                                                           
  Number 000                                                                   
                                                                               
  Chairman Donley announced he would take testimony from                       
  witnesses present with the committee in Juneau.                              
                                                                               
  COMMISSIONER RICHARD BURTON of the Department of Public                      
  Safety related the term "unreasonably" to fourth amendment                   
  protections from unreasonable search and seizure.  He said                   
  the probable cause standard had stood the test in courts,                    
  and there does need to be some regulation of firearms.                       
                                                                               
  Chairman Donley announced that a current Judiciary CS work                   
  draft would delete "unreasonably."  He explained the effect                  
  this would have on actions taken to protect a compelling                     
  public safety interest.                                                      
                                                                               
  Number 107                                                                   
                                                                               
  Commissioner Burton cautioned that he did not want to see                    
  legislation that would prohibit reasonable regulation                        
  relating to firearms in the future.                                          
                                                                               
  Number 130                                                                   
                                                                               
  Representative Gruenberg discussed with Commissioner Burton                  
  the issue of court interpretation and application of                         
  standards, including a compelling public interest standard.                  
                                                                               
  Number 267                                                                   
                                                                               
  DEAN GUANELI testified on behalf of the Department of Law.                   
  He said the Criminal Division supported the right to bear                    
  arms and he believed that Article 1, Section 19, of the                      
  state constitution had served the state well.  He said it                    
  was a serious matter to amend the constitution.  He                          
  explained the department's views on the courts'                              
  interpretation of firearms laws.                                             
                                                                               
  Number 344                                                                   
                                                                               
  Chairman Donley clarified that under this constitutional                     
  amendment, current firearms laws would be grandfathered into                 
  statutes.                                                                    
                                                                               
  Number 354                                                                   
                                                                               
  Mr. Guaneli and the chairman discussed self-defense laws in                  
  relation to possession of concealed weapons, and a Colorado                  
  case in particular.                                                          
                                                                               
  Number 412                                                                   
                                                                               
  Representative Gruenberg referred to the sliding scale test                  
  and discussed the appropriate standards for courts to apply                  
  in deciding cases.  He stressed the importance of stating                    
  the intent clearly in the resolution.                                        
                                                                               
  Number 467                                                                   
                                                                               
  Senator Rodey mentioned that the Alaska Supreme Court had                    
  never decided a case based on the second amendment.                          
                                                                               
  Number 479                                                                   
                                                                               
  Mr. Guaneli cited cases in Anchorage relating to concealed                   
  weapons in vehicles, as well as other municipal firearms                     
  laws.  He cautioned this resolution could allow the courts                   
  to strike down those municipal laws.                                         
                                                                               
  Number 525                                                                   
                                                                               
  Senator Rodey assured the committee that the resolution was                  
  intended to provide for reasonable exercise of police                        
  powers.                                                                      
                                                                               
  Number 600                                                                   
                                                                               
  Discussion followed among the committee members, the                         
  sponsor, and Mr. Guaneli regarding the local preemption                      
  issue.  It was agreed that passage of the resolution should                  
  not tie the hands of future legislators.                                     
                                                                               
  Number 638                                                                   
                                                                               
  Representative Gruenberg identified two specific issues for                  
  the committee to address:  first, the danger in subsection                   
  (b) of the proposed CS of "freezing" the amendment in time                   
  by prohibiting future legislators from passing firearms                      
  legislation; and second, identification of the appropriate                   
  standard of reasonableness.                                                  
                                                                               
  Number 672                                                                   
                                                                               
  Senator Rodey said he did not find current laws on the books                 
  to be inappropriate.                                                         
                                                                               
  Number 702                                                                   
                                                                               
  Chairman Donley announced the committee would continue to                    
  hear testimony from the teleconference network.                              
                                                                               
  Number 711                                                                   
                                                                               
  RANDY SMITH spoke on behalf of the Alaska Outdoor Council,                   
  supporting the original version of SJR 1.                                    
                                                                               
  Number 756                                                                   
                                                                               
  WAYNE ROSS, a member of the NRA, said he supported the                       
  original version of SJR 1, and he felt subsection (b) of the                 
  CS was workable.  He said he believed that law enforcement                   
  officials have raised issues that were not legitimate.                       
                                                                               
  TAPE 92-38, SIDE A                                                           
  Number 000                                                                   
                                                                               
  Chairman Donley announced that the scheduled teleconference                  
  network time had expired so the remainder of the testimony                   
  would be from the Juneau committee room.                                     
                                                                               
  Number 069                                                                   
                                                                               
  DUANE UDLAND, Deputy Chief of the Anchorage Police                           
  Department, testified that he did support the individual                     
  right to bear arms.  He said the opposition from the Chiefs                  
  of Police organization was based on the drafting of proposed                 
  amendments. He said it was important to preserve a                           
  legitimate state interest in making laws and reasonable                      
  regulations.  He discussed with the chairman the issue of                    
  local preemption, which Chairman Donley felt was not                         
  relevant to the proposal before the committee.  There was                    
  continued discussion on the issue among the committee                        
  members and the witness.                                                     
                                                                               
  Number 362                                                                   
                                                                               
  HARRY KELLER of Juneau offered support for SJR 1 as                          
  originally drafted.                                                          
                                                                               
  Number 380                                                                   
                                                                               
  SCOTT BURGESS, on behalf of the Alaska Municipal League                      
  (AML), agreed that the intent of the legislation was good,                   
  but the AML had problems with the potential of the law.  He                  
  expressed concern over future interpretation of the law, and                 
  felt that reasonable regulation was necessary to protect the                 
  public.                                                                      
                                                                               
  Number 431                                                                   
                                                                               
  Chairman Donley cited states that did not have state                         
  preemption of local lawmaking.                                               
                                                                               
  Number 478                                                                   
                                                                               
  DICK BISHOP of the Alaska Outdoor Council supported the                      
  resolution but spoke in opposition to the House State                        
  Affairs committee substitute, stating that it would open the                 
  opportunity for a range of interpretation.  He referred to                   
  gun laws in Washington, D.C., and New York City, and the                     
  issue of gun registration.  He urged the committee to weigh                  
  the issues of rational regulation and a compelling state                     
  interest.  He added that the burden should be on the state.                  
                                                                               
  Number 575                                                                   
                                                                               
  Chairman Donley said the day's testimony had helped narrow                   
  the focus of key issues to be resolved and announced that                    
  SJR 1 would be held over to Wednesday, March 18.   He                        
  adjourned the meeting at 3:40 p.m.                                           

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