Legislature(2013 - 2014)BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)

04/01/2013 01:30 PM Senate JUDICIARY

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Heard & Held
Moved SCS HB 33(JUD) Out of Committee
Heard & Held
Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled
Moved HB 81 Out of Committee
Heard & Held
         HB  33-KNIVES, GRAVITY KNIVES, & SWITCHBLADES                                                                      
1:39:41 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COGHILL  announced the  consideration of  HB 33,  and asked                                                               
for a  motion to adopt  the proposed Senate  committee substitute                                                               
SENATOR DYSON  moved to adopt  Senate CS  for HB 33,  labeled 28-                                                               
LS0194\C as the working document.                                                                                               
1:40:36 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COGHILL objected for purposes of an explanation.                                                                          
1:40:59 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE MARK NEUMAN, sponsor of  HB 33, stated support for                                                               
the Senate CS for HB 33, version C.                                                                                             
CHAIR COGHILL asked Mr. Kopp  to explain the changes that version                                                               
C made.                                                                                                                         
1:41:37 PM                                                                                                                    
CHUCK KOPP,  Staff to Senator  Fred Dyson, stated that  version C                                                               
was  a cooperative  effort with  the bill  sponsor. He  explained                                                               
that Senator Dyson  believes that criminal law  should only apply                                                               
to conduct that is blame  worthy or that threatens public safety.                                                               
Version C  [incorporates SB 11] and  makes it legal for  a person                                                               
18 years or older to possess a gravity knife or switchblade.                                                                    
He provided the following sectional analysis:                                                                                   
Section 1 decriminalizes the manufacture  or sale of switchblades                                                               
or gravity knives and provides that  a person may not transfer or                                                               
sell  those knives  to  a  person under  age  18 without  written                                                               
parental consent.                                                                                                               
Section  2 provides  that a  person under  age 16  may possess  a                                                               
gravity knife or switchblade if he/she has parental consent.                                                                    
Section  3 adopts  definitions for  the terms  gravity knife  and                                                               
[Section 4 adds "and knives" to AS 29.10.200.]                                                                                  
Sections 5 and  6 give authority to the state  to regulate knives                                                               
so that  a municipality can  regulate conduct relating  to knives                                                               
to the extent that the ordinance  is the same or less restrictive                                                               
than state  law. This is similar  to the ability of  the state to                                                               
regulate firearms.                                                                                                              
Section 7 repeals AS 11.61.220(a)(5).                                                                                           
MR.  KOPP relayed  that his  research  shows that  less than  two                                                               
percent  of assaults  on  public safety  officers  are done  with                                                               
knives, and  in the  past two years  public safety  officers have                                                               
sustained  no injuries  or assaults  from  knives. Research  also                                                               
indicates  that   knives  are  less  dangerous   to  the  general                                                               
population  than  other weapons,  including  hands  and feet.  He                                                               
argued that  in a  state where  a non-felon  can legally  carry a                                                               
concealed  handgun, it  is incongruous  that the  person couldn't                                                               
carry a  gravity knife  or switchblade, as  they would  any other                                                               
knife. He directed attention to a display of legal knives.                                                                      
1:46:32 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE   NEUMAN  said   he   discussed   this  with   law                                                               
enforcement and the  commissioner of public safety  and they were                                                               
not concerned with version C.                                                                                                   
CHAIR COGHILL asked the sponsor or  Mr. Kopp to speak to the fact                                                               
that  this law,  if enacted,  would impose  a different  standard                                                               
than is found in National Parks in the state.                                                                                   
MR.  KOPP  explained  that  Jeffrey  Olson,  the  National  Parks                                                               
spokesperson,  said  that  the   current  federal  parks'  policy                                                               
regarding weapons  enforcement is  to comply  with state  law. He                                                               
said  that knife  regulations in  the parks  were less  important                                                               
than guns, but he would follow up.                                                                                              
1:48:47 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI  said he supports  the bill, but  would like                                                               
to hear  from an attorney  about the differences  between federal                                                               
and state law  regarding knives. He suggested that it  would be a                                                               
good idea  to educate Alaskans about  what they can and  can't do                                                               
legally on federal land in this state.                                                                                          
MR. KOPP  explained that Mr.  Olson encouraged the state  to work                                                               
with local  park service  offices to clearly  post the  rules and                                                               
regulations. It's a duty of  the state to communicate that public                                                               
information, he said.                                                                                                           
CHAIR COGHILL  encouraged the sponsors,  before the  bill reaches                                                               
the floor, to speak with either  the Region 10 director or a park                                                               
supervisor in Alaska about how the bill may impact them.                                                                        
MR. KOPP acknowledged the suggestion.                                                                                           
SENATOR  WIELECHOWSKI said  he'd  be  more comfortable  receiving                                                               
written comments from the parks.                                                                                                
1:51:13 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  DYSON   commented  that  thousands  of   Alaskans  carry                                                               
assisted opening  knives and they  would be stunned to  know that                                                               
they're illegal.                                                                                                                
SENATOR  DYSON  moved to  report  [Senate  CS  for CSHB  33  from                                                               
committee  with individual  recommendations  and attached  fiscal                                                               
CHAIR COGHILL removed his objection  and version C was before the                                                               
committee.  He said  he  would  take up  the  motion when  public                                                               
testimony was finished.                                                                                                         
RAY  THIVAULT, representing  himself,  Anchorage, Alaska,  stated                                                               
that he owns  a large knife store in Anchorage  and would like to                                                               
chime  in that  HB  33  would have  a  positive  impact on  trade                                                               
industries and professionals. He said  he had nothing negative to                                                               
say about the bill.                                                                                                             
1:53:50 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  COGHILL   announced  that  without  objection   [SCS  CSHB
33(JUD)] moved from the Senate Judiciary Standing Committee.                                                                    

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
Senate CS for HB 69 Version I.pdf SJUD 4/1/2013 1:30:00 PM
HB 69
Written testimony_HB69_Vasquez.docx SJUD 4/1/2013 1:30:00 PM
HB 69