Legislature(2001 - 2002)

02/27/2001 03:40 PM STA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  THERRIAULT  called  the  Senate  State  Affairs  Committee                                                            
meeting to order  at 3:40 p.m. Present were Senators  Davis, Pearce,                                                            
Phillips and Chairman Therriault.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
The first order of business was SJR 14 with a proposed CS.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
JOE  BALASH, Senate  State  Affairs  staff,  introduced  SJR 14  for                                                            
sponsor, Senator Taylor, who was in another meeting.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
The joint resolution  is in response  to the new fees Alaskans  will                                                            
be charged for  transporting firearms through Canada.  "The Canadian                                                            
government  recently  adopted  new  regulations  requiring  visitors                                                            
without a valid Canadian  firearms license to declare their firearms                                                            
at a Canadian customs station  before entering the country. Visitors                                                            
would also have to fill  out a Non-Resident Firearm Declaration form                                                            
and pay a confirmation fee of $50.00 (Canadian).                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SJR  14  calls  upon  President  George  W.  Bush,  the  U.S.  State                                                            
Department, and  Congress to negotiate with the Canadian  government                                                            
to revoke the regulations.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN THERRIAULT said  there was a prepared CS for the resolution                                                            
but, prior to  adoption, he wanted to remove the word  Canadian from                                                            
page 1 line 12  because it is redundant. He then asked  for a motion                                                            
to adopt the F version as a working document.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR PEARCE  made a motion  to adopt F  version of CS SJR  14 for                                                            
discussion purposes.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
There were no objections.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR PEARCE  asked whether the  new fees imposed by the  Canadian                                                            
government  were in  response to fees  imposed on  Canadians  by the                                                            
U.S. government.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  THERRIAULT  said he  didn't believe  so  but that  Senator                                                            
Taylor was now present and he could address the question.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  TAYLOR said he  wasn't aware  of any  U.S. fees or  charges                                                            
recently  imposed  on  Canadians.  He  believes  that  the  new  fee                                                            
regulation stems from Canadian  concerns about firearms and handguns                                                            
in particular.  He  assured members  that this  resolution does  not                                                            
suggest that the Canadian regulation is retaliatory.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Number 348                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR PHILLIPS  said that  Canadian firearms  laws were phased  in                                                            
over a 3-4 year period and this is part of the final phase.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
He went  on to say that  Alaska state law  requires anyone  flying a                                                            
plane  to  carry  a  firearm  for  survival  purposes  so  this  new                                                            
regulation causes difficulties  for Alaskans flying through Canadian                                                            
airspace when transiting from one part of the state to another.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  TAYLOR   agreed  saying  that  for  Alaskans   flying  from                                                            
Southeast  into Canada  for  a fishing  trip, customs  clearance  is                                                            
received telephonically  from Prince Rupert and then U.S. customs is                                                            
cleared upon return.  Now, when that plane enters  Canadian airspace                                                            
it's illegal because of the emergency firearm carried.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
He thanked the committee for hearing the resolution.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN THERRIAULT  asked for questions  and apologized  to Senator                                                            
Taylor  for starting the  meeting prior  to his  arrival.  Next,  he                                                            
called Rod Arno.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
ROD ARNO, lobbyist  for the Alaska Outdoor Council  (AOC), testified                                                            
that he  and AOC support  SJR 14. AOC is  a state affiliate  for the                                                            
National Rifle Association.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR PHILLIPS  said that Yukon legislators would  be visiting the                                                            
"15th  and  16th"   and  this  would  provide  an  opportunity   for                                                        
discussion.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN THERRIAULT  asked whether there were any  changes to the CS                                                            
before  the committee  and noted  that Senator  Phillips had  worked                                                            
with Senator  Taylor  on changing  the tone of  the wording  without                                                            
changing the intent.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR PHILLIPS  offered an amendment  to the bill on page  2, line                                                            
14.  After  "Minister of  Foreign  Affairs,  Canada;"  he  suggested                                                            
inserting "MPs Yukon and B.C.".                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN THERRIAULT said  that amendment #1 would add to the section                                                            
of the bill  telling to whom  copies of the  bill would be  sent. He                                                            
asked  for  objections  and  there  were  none.  The  amendment  was                                                            
adopted.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 743                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
He noted that there was a zero fiscal note.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR PHILLIPS made a  motion to move CS SJR 14 (STA) and the zero                                                            
fiscal  note to  the  next committee  of  referral  with  individual                                                            
recommendations.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
There were no objections.                                                                                                       

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