Legislature(1999 - 2000)

02/10/1999 01:35 PM Senate JUD

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
              SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE                                                                                        
                  February 10, 1999                                                                                             
                      1:35 p.m.                                                                                                 
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                                 
Senator Robin Taylor, Chairman                                                                                                  
Senator Rick Halford, Vice-Chairman                                                                                             
Senator Dave Donley                                                                                                             
Senator John Torgerson                                                                                                          
Senator Johnny Ellis                                                                                                            
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                  
All members present                                                                                                             
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                              
SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 6                                                                                                   
Urging the President of the United States and the Congress to act                                                               
to ensure that federal agencies do not retain records relating to                                                               
lawful purchase or ownership of firearms gathered through the Brady                                                             
Handgun Bill instant check system.                                                                                              
     -HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                            
PREVIOUS SENATE COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                
SJR 6 - No previous action to report.                                                                                           
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                                
Mr. Roger McKowan                                                                                                               
Staff to Senator Lyman Hoffman                                                                                                  
State Capitol                                                                                                                   
Juneau, AK 99801-1182                                                                                                           
POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented SJR 6                                                                                            
Mr. Roy Hoyt                                                                                                                    
Box 2121                                                                                                                        
Homer, AK 99603                                                                                                                 
POSITION STATEMENT:  Supported SJR 6                                                                                            
Mr. John Zabielski                                                                                                              
Box 453                                                                                                                         
Tok, AK 99780                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT:  Supported SJR 6                                                                                            
Mr. Harvey Harris                                                                                                               
Box 661                                                                                                                         
Glenallen, AK 99588                                                                                                             
POSITION STATEMENT:  Supported SJR 6                                                                                            
Mr. Austin Mahalkey                                                                                                             
Box 455                                                                                                                         
Glenallen, AK 99588                                                                                                             
POSITION STATEMENT:  Supported SJR 6                                                                                            
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                                
TAPE 99-9, SIDE A                                                                                                               
Number 001                                                                                                                      
CHAIRMAN ROBIN TAYLOR called the Judiciary Committee meeting to                                                                 
order at 1:35 p.m. and announced SJR 6 was the first and only order                                                             
of business.                                                                                                                    
               SJR  6-DESTROY BRADY BILL RECORDS                                                                                
MR. ROGER MCKOWAN, staff to Senator Lyman Hoffman, stated that                                                                  
under the Brady Bill, the United States Code specifies that records                                                             
relating to a clean insta-check are not to be retained. However,                                                                
the Brady Bill regulations say "in cases of allowed transfer, all                                                               
information will be destroyed after not more than six months."                                                                  
Senator Hoffman feels this regulation is not in the spirit of the                                                               
Brady Bill. SJR 6 would send a message to the President and                                                                     
Congress that Brady Bill records should be destroyed. MR. MCKOWAN                                                               
said the National Rifle Association (NRA) has "adopted pretty much                                                              
the same thinking, I think."                                                                                                    
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR asked what the exact position of the NRA is on                                                                  
insta-check. He said he thought the NRA had supported insta-check;                                                              
MR. MCKOWAN was not certain of their position.                                                                                  
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR said he had opposed insta-check out of fear that                                                                
once records existed, they would not be detroyed or removed from                                                                
the federal computer.                                                                                                           
Number 099                                                                                                                      
SENATOR HALFORD believed the NRA did not support insta-check,                                                                   
except as a last-ditch compromise to avoid a waiting period.                                                                    
SENATOR HALFORD said it seems the message of SJR 6 should be to                                                                 
repeal the whole (Brady) Bill. MR. MCKOWAN replied Senator Hoffman                                                              
had been approached with a concern about records and that was what                                                              
he was attempting to address. SENATOR HALFORD responded by saying                                                               
he could not support anything that "implies, in any way,                                                                        
acquiescence to any part of the Brady Bill." In order to support                                                                
this resolution, he would have to offer an amendment to encourage                                                               
repeal of the bill. MR. MCKOWAN said he believes Senator Hoffman                                                                
wants to limit the scope of SJR 6.                                                                                              
SENATOR ELLIS observed that the media had portrayed the NRA as                                                                  
being in favor of insta-check. Accurate or not, he suggested the                                                                
committee should find out what the NRA position actually is.                                                                    
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR agreed. He would like the NRA position on insta-                                                                
check and the current regulations to be on the record.                                                                          
Number 162                                                                                                                      
MR. ROY HOYT testified from Homer in favor of the resolution. MR.                                                               
HOYT holds a federal firearms license and believes the retention of                                                             
Brady Bill records "is a one-way ticket to total gun registration                                                               
and control." He supports repeal of the Brady bill.                                                                             
MR. JOHN ZABIELSKI, who also holds a federal firearms license,                                                                  
agreed the Brady Bill should be repealed. CHAIRMAN TAYLOR asked MR.                                                             
ZABIELSKI what impact the Brady Bill has had on his businesses. MR.                                                             
ZABIELSKI replied he has to call in for any sale and "it's been a                                                               
real hassle." He suggested the State should take over the insta-                                                                
check procedure.  MR. HOYT agreed with MR. ZABIELSKI.                                                                           
Number 219                                                                                                                      
SENATOR HALFORD moved his amendment. The text of the amendment                                                                  
     Page 2, line 6, following "arms;":                                                                                         
     Insert "and                                                                                                                
          WHEREAS H.R. 1025 violates the provisions                                                                             
          guaranteeing the right to keep and bear arms                                                                          
          provided in both the Alaska and the United States                                                                     
          Constitutions, and it violates the Tenth Amendment                                                                    
          of the United States Constitution;"                                                                                   
     Page 2, line 12, following "firearms":                                                                                     
     Insert"; and be it                                                                                                         
          FURTHER RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature                                                                    
          respectfully requests that Congress repeal H.R.                                                                       
          1025; and be it                                                                                                       
          FURTHER RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature                                                                    
          respectfully requests that Governor Knowles direct                                                                    
          the Attorney General to pursue a vigorous legal                                                                       
          challenge of H.R. 1025"                                                                                               
     Page 2, line 16, following "Representatives;":                                                                             
          Insert "the Honorable Tony Knowles, Governor of the                                                                   
          State of Alaska; the Honorable Bruce Bothelo,                                                                         
          Attorney General of the State of Alaska;"                                                                             
SENATOR HALFORD explained the amendment adds to SJR 6 sections                                                                  
disputing the constitutionality of the Brady Bill, requesting                                                                   
Congress to repeal the Brady Bill and asking Governor Knowles and                                                               
the Attorney General to pursue legal challenges to the Brady Bill.                                                              
SENATOR ELLIS objected to the motion on the basis that the                                                                      
committee should first get the position of the bill sponsor.                                                                    
SENATOR HALFORD replied that the committee asked, but did not get                                                               
an answer from the sponsor's staff on this issue and passing the                                                                
resolution as it is now would be objectionable.                                                                                 
Number 250                                                                                                                      
SENATOR DONLEY agreed with SENATOR HALFORD and also objected to the                                                             
misuse of data collected under the Brady Bill. He said there have                                                               
been no prosecutions of illegal gun buyers under the bill by the                                                                
"heinously anti-gun" Clinton Administration.                                                                                    
SENATOR ELLIS asked CHAIRMAN TAYLOR if he would hold the bill and                                                               
the amendment. CHAIRMAN TAYLOR deferred to SENATOR HALFORD who                                                                  
agreed to hold the amendment and check with the NRA and the sponsor                                                             
in the meantime.                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR agreed to hold SJR 6 and the amendment and bring it                                                             
up Wednesday the 17th of February.                                                                                              
MR. HARVEY HARRIS, from Glenallen, testified in support of SJR 6                                                                
and the proposed amendment.                                                                                                     
MR. AUSTIN MAHALKEY also testified from Glenallen and informed the                                                              
committee that the NRA has filed a federal suit against Brady Bill                                                              
record keeping. He suggested the Legislature join that suit.                                                                    
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR said he was glad to hear a suit had been filed.                                                                 
However, according to a court ruling, only the Governor has                                                                     
standing to join a suit on behalf of the state. CHAIRMAN TAYLOR                                                                 
indicated that is why SJR 6 contains language urging the Governor                                                               
to "pursue a vigorous legal challenge" to the Brady Bill.  SENATOR                                                              
HALFORD commented that could include the Legislature filing an                                                                  
"amicus."  CHAIRMAN TAYLOR agreed.                                                                                              
With no further business to come before the Judiciary committee,                                                                
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR adjourned the meeting at 2:02 p.m.                                                                              

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