Legislature(1995 - 1996)
04/12/1996 01:20 PM JUD
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
SB 177 - CONCEALED HANDGUN PERMITS/ GUNS ON FERRY CHAIRMAN PORTER introduced the first bill for consideration which was SB 177 and noted that staff from the sponsor's office was ready to testify about the bill. This person came forward. Number 088 BRET HUBER, Staff to Senator Green noted that Senator Green was on the Senate Floor and could not be in attendance. Senator Green brought this legislation after hearing from many constituents, both permit holders and non-permit holders, firearm instructors and firearms rights advocacy groups who all felt that the current concealed handgun permit system in Alaska needed some revision. Provisions in SB 177 would revise Alaska's Concealed Handgun Permit (CHP) program in order to provide a more streamlined and less costly process for obtaining a permit, as well as greater latitude for law abiding citizens to exercise their right to carry concealed handguns. MR. HUBER thought it was important to note that public testimony in both the Senate and the House on this bill has been very supportive of the reduction in the permit costs, providing reciprocity agreements and also removing some of the limitations on where a permit holder is allowed to carry. It's also important to remember when talking about CHP holders that these are law abiding Alaskans that have met the program application criteria, submitted to finger printing and background checks, received professional training on the use of firearms, informed of the laws relating to firearms, the use of deadly force, they've displayed competency and are qualified with their firearms. MR. HUBER asked the committee that while they consider this legislation to remember and differentiate between a law abiding permit holder's rights to carry concealed and the proper use of a firearm and those who would use a firearm improperly. He then offered to outline Sections of the bill. Number 235 MR. HUBER stated that Section 1 provides for reciprocity of holders of permits with other states who honor Alaska permits as determined by the Department of Public Safety (DPS.) Section 2 provides an affirmative defense to AS 11.61.220 that would allow a permit holder to possess a firearm in an establishment with a beverage dispensary license providing no alcohol is consumed while at the establishment and the permit holder has a blood alcohol level not exceeding .04. Section 3 provides that a permit holder may request a blood or breath alcohol test at the expense of the permit holder in order to determine the blood alcohol level for use in the affirmative offense provided for in Section 2. Section 4 requires the DPS to provide CHB applicants a copy of the laws and regulations related to concealed handguns. MR. HUBER continued that Section 5 extends the department's time period to approve or reject an application to 30 days after receipt of an application. Section 6 deletes the requirement that the permit display the specific caliber qualified which corresponds to the change in Section 8. Section 7 of the bill removes AS 11.61.110 (a) (1) and (2). These are noise related disorderly conduct misdemeanors that preclude obtaining or would be grounds for revoking a permit. Section 8 is a language change corresponding with a change made in Section 3. MR. HUBER added that Section 9 removes the requirement to qualify for a specific caliber while maintaining the requirement to qualify specific to action type. Section 10 takes the fee cap from the current amount of $125 to $99 on an initial application and from $60 to $30 on the renewal of an application. Section 11 changes the reasons for revoking a concealed handgun permit by limiting misdemeanant violations to those listed in Section 6. Section 12 removes restrictions on where a permit holder is allowed to carry other than schools and school grounds, state court facilities, correctional facilities, law enforcement facilities, domestic violence and sexual abuse facilities and where disallowed by state statute and federal law. MR. HUBER stated that Section 13 contains a language change corresponding to the specific caliber deletion provided in Section 8. Section 14 deletes the prohibition on Derringers and miniature handguns as allowable firearms for concealed carry. Section 15 provides a statutory authority for the Marine Highway System to continue it's current policy of firearms possession. Section 16 provides repealers of the following, the two Class A misdemeanors other than those listed, the residency requirement and the late fee for renewal. Number 465 REPRESENTATIVE JOSEPH GREEN asked about someone no longer needing to qualify through bore, but just action type. He asked Mr. Huber to explain why this would be, that a person could qualify with a 22 caliber automatic and still be entitled to conceal a 45. MR. HUBER noted that what is currently required is to qualify with a fractional caliber. There are two schools of thought, the first is that these are weapons which people are choosing to carry for self defense. It is only reasonable that they are going to choose to carry something they are going to handle or else it won't provide them self defense protection. The second is that someone can qualify now with a 44 for example, yet a 357 magnum is a more powerful handgun with a bigger kick. The fractional calibers don't necessarily equate into what's easier or harder to handle. Number 553 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN noted that going from a light load 44 to a 357 magnum is certainly a lot closer than going from a 22 to a 44 magnum. He was concerned that if someone decided to carry something of a lighter bore after qualifying for a heavier bore makes sense, but to go the other way gave him some heartburn. MR. HUBER stated that they had heard from a lot of people who made the point that they been through the permit process and qualified with a 38 special, for example, but later determined that they'd rather carry a automatic in a 45 caliber. This precludes them from being able to do this even though they feel comfortable with this caliber. These people made the argument that they were making the choice to carry these weapons for personal protection and they didn't want to make the choice to carry a weapon which they can't handle. REPRESENTATIVE GREEN stated that he was still concerned about this issue and that these people certainly have the right to change their minds to carry a weapon with a higher bore, but they should be qualified to do so. "It's kind of like saying I'm going to learn to drive a Toyota, but then I may want to drive a diesel semi too and since I know how to drive and keep it on the right side of the road it should be O.K." REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY asked if there was any way to upgrade without taking a class all over again. She stated that she was qualified for a 45 and wondered if there was a way for her to go up to a magnum. CHAIRMAN PORTER answered that under current regulations she would qualify for a 45, but the magnum load does not matter. It's the caliber and type. Number 735 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN noted the reduction of fees slated with this legislation and asked if these reduced fees were enough to cover the cost of the permit program. MR. HUBER stated that according to the Department of Public Safety and the current fiscal note, that after costs they will still leave $40 for administrative costs and they say that (indisc. - cross talking) self-sufficient. Number 808 CHRIS SULLIVAN testified by teleconference from Anchorage on SB 177. Initially he stated that he would like the law changed to reflect that any other state that issues concealed weapons permits should be allowed to carry a permit in Alaska, straight across the board, not as determined by the Department of Public Safety. He also added that the Department of Public Safety should be required to seek out other states to enable reciprocity with Alaska. REPRESENTATIVE CON BUNDE asked if Mr. Sullivan had knowledge of other state's requirements and wondered if they were substantially similar. MR. SULLIVAN made the presumption that other states were going to be as careful with their laws as Alaska is with theirs. CHAIRMAN PORTER said he would hate to presume these types of things. He noted that there are 40 states with permits and 40 different laws, with requirements and qualifications. He thought that probably most people in Alaska would be concerned if a state for example, didn't have a background check as a requirement for this permit as Alaska does. MR. SULLIVAN thought that if reciprocity was researched these types of questions would be answered. Number 1052 JANET OATES, Providence Health Systems, testified by teleconference on SB 177 and referred to language on page 6, line 17 in the Senate version and asked to have the following language inserted "including all health care facilities." She noted that they had several reasons to request this change. They want people to know ahead of time before they go into any of their hospital facilities that they can't bring in weapons. REPRESENTATIVE CYNTHIA TOOHEY stated that she had a bad feeling about this, especially in an emergency room environment and noted that many people in the emergency rooms are undercover detectives, policeman, etc. Most times they don't have the time to remove these handguns in order to satisfy such a condition. MS. OATES responded that their emergency room staff came to her in order to support this concept since they have had incidences when administering to a patient that a loaded gun has fallen to the floor. Also, in waiting rooms they've had a lot of complaints about gang members hanging out who could possibly be armed. She also mentioned a suicide in one of their rest rooms. Not a day goes by that they don't attend to a victim of domestic violence, but they are not in the security business, but rather the healing business. She acknowledged that the participants testifying have applied for concealed weapon permits and they would probably be willing to respect this exclusion in a hospital, much like an airport disallows weapons. Number 1300 ED EARNHART testified by teleconference from Anchorage on SB 177. He stated that the original legislation regarding concealed weapons was passed just a few years ago and they should try this out for a while. He thought that the concept of reciprocity was nonsensical. He said he supported the amendment regarding health facilities. Number 1360 JOE NAVA testified by teleconference from Fairbanks regarding SB 177. Mr. Nava stated that he has been teaching handgun safety classes since the inception of the original legislation. He has graduated about 1000 people out of the program, a third of which are women. He said his students are wonderful people and they are law abiding. The holder of a permit has had background checks and shouldn't be worried about. He asked the committee to be less restrictive, if any changes are made to the bill. It seemed to him that if someone qualified with a semi-automatic center fire and a revolver center fire, they then should be able to carry (indisc. - paper shuffling) concealed, in other words a Derringer or whatever. He noted that a Derringer is a safe gun, single action, cocked before fired and able to be concealed. MR. NAVA said in relation to where these individuals can carry guns it seemed reasonable to him that if someone has been through this program and receives an Alaska concealed hand gun permit, they should be able to carry this gun concealed anywhere they can legally carry it openly. He mentioned that the existing program is working well and he applauded the Department of Safety. In response to what types of gun use is allowed through the permitting program, Mr. Nava said that part of the curriculum does cover the different types of guns and their uses. Number 1614 FRANCIS HERMAN testified by teleconference from Fairbanks regarding SB 177. He stated that many of those persons who are accepted under the concealed weapons laws and regulations are some of the most responsible persons in any community. HB 338 and SB 177 was originally written without the tacked on amendments to provide the protection for those people who are no threat to others. Elongated regulations serve nothing more than to restrict responsible citizens. He made the argument that the more restrict these are, the more law abiding citizens will be made into criminals. Number 1720 HORACE BLACK testified by teleconference from Fairbanks on SB 177. He stated that he also has been teaching hand gun classes since the inception of this original legislation. Mr. Black said he generally supports what Mr. Nava said because his students have all been law abiding, responsible citizens. He stated that he would rather not have either of these two bills pass with the amendments that have been made. CHAIRMAN PORTER noted that the changes to HB 338 and SB 177 could only be characterized as loosening the restrictions and lowering the price of permitting. MR. BLACK responded that there was some loosening of the legislation, but there was some tightening too, such as the restriction of drinking 8 hours prior to carrying a concealed hand gun. He believed that anyone intoxicated who carries a gun cannot make adequate decisions. CHAIRMAN PORTER stated that "that provision was put in so as to eliminate the prohibition about being able to take a concealed fire arm with a permit of course, into a restaurant or a cocktail lounge and have dinner and have to leave it in the car. That was the compromise to provide that expansion of where it is you may carry." Number 2020 DOUGLAS RHODES testified by teleconference from Glennallen on SB 177. He stated that he supports lowering the fees. The existing fees make it so only people with enough money can get a permit. If someone is poor they can't afford to carry a concealed hand gun. He said he'd like to see Alaska honor and other states honor their concealed hand gun permits. Those persons who carry a CHP have been checked and re-checked and they are probably the most responsible citizens in society. He also added that people who already have a permit are not going to carry a heavier caliber or a lighter caliber than they know they can handle. He also opposed the restrictions of where people can carry concealed hand guns. In terms of the alcohol restrictions, he suggested a breathalyzer limit. To say someone can't have a glass of wine with dinner is absurd. Number 2160 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE referred to reciprocity with other states and asked Mr. Rhodes if he was familiar with all the other programs which grant concealed carry. MR. RHODES said that any state that he knows of that has permits are harder to get than in Alaska. REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE mentioned the cost of the program and the required paper work. He asked if Mr. Rhodes would prefer that the state bear the cost of the concealed carry class. MR. RHODES didn't know if the state should bear this cost, but he did know that it was way too expensive for a lot of people to pay the cost of the instructor and then to pay the state for the license. REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE noted that he understood this program was expensive, but if the state's going to pay for it then he said he was going to have to ask Mr. Rhodes to pay an income tax in order for these poor people to get their permit. Number 2254 JANE WINEINGER testified by teleconference from Matsu on SB 177. She stated that she works for the National Rifle Association, is a long time resident of Alaska and is a permit holder. She stated that currently under reciprocity there are three states which accept Alaska's permit system as it stands; these are Idaho, Wyoming and Michigan. There are a number of states which have less restrictions than Alaska for example, in Washington state someone can apply for a permit as an out-of-state resident and get a permit right away. MS. WINEINGER also commented on the health care provider who testified earlier. Gang members in a hospital are probably not permit holders or they don't obey laws. She has taught a lot of NRA members who are also nurses and health care providers. MS. WINEINGER noted that the legislation before the committee reflected the reform to the current law which the constituents and the gun owners in the state want. Input to this bill came from all over the state. Permit holders want less cost for applications, reciprocity with other states and the legal right to carry an additional (indisc.) for their own safety. The current law does not directly deal with the consumption of alcohol and carrying concealed. She stated that she was perplexed why amendments have been added to both these bills which would add obtuse language concerning this issue. House Bill 338 contains an unenforceable 8 hour prohibition against consumption and carrying. She fears that the current language would only be an excuse to hold someone's permit. This 8 hour language is not reasonable. MS. WINEINGER stated that CSSB 177 addresses the subject of a blood alcohol level of .04 and to be over this limit would be a violation. She felt as though this language was more reasonable and enforceable. Consumption of alcohol and carrying a firearm either under permit or open carrying is against the law, period. Curiously, the addition of the 8 hour prohibition version or the blood alcohol test language does not apply to open carrying. Once again permit holders are asked to endure redundant, abstract language which shouldn't be in these reform bills. She asked that the committee support and pass SB 177. Number 2389 LEONARD TOOP testified by teleconference from Matsu on SB 177. He stated that he supports this legislation as well as, the reciprocity language and the lowering of fees. He supports the testing of the blood alcohol if it becomes a factor in a concealed weapons carry. He didn't think an 8 hour limit was feasible and didn't believe it could be enforced. There was some lengthy discussion between the witness and Representative Bunde comparing the restrictions of pilots to fly as to concealed carry situations. TAPE 96-50, SIDE B Number 012 DEL SMITH, Deputy Commissioner, Department of Public Safety testified against SB 177. In January of 1995, this administration inherited this law. They worked very hard to address the concerns then regarding this current law and he has not heard many complaints about it. The current rate for the permitting program is $122 and by regulation and statute this could be reduced if they thought they could operate on less. They would certainly be willing to look at this. They believe they can probably get by with this $99 figure. The intent was that this program would be self-supporting. He noted that there are $59 dollars in driven costs for FBI, computerized checks and fingerprinting. The other $40 is left to fund two positions. The department used to have 12 people in Permits and Licensing. He felt as though he couldn't go any lower than this and provide any level of service, as well as meet the time lines set in this legislation. MR. SMITH stated that the bottom line is that the department is opposed to any changes in the current law. They think it's working very well as established. Number 185 JAYNE ANDREEN, Executive Director, Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault testified on SB 177. The Council feels as though the existing law is working quite well. The Council is aware that concealed weapon permits are a needed standard for law abiding citizens in the best world. The reality is that because of the cycle of domestic violence the perpetrators are very often not charged with crimes, one, because the victim does not report offenses to law enforcement for a variety of reasons and two, quite often there is no arrest which takes place. There are other pending pieces of legislation which would help address these types of situations. MS. ANDREEN stated that it's their concern that domestic violence offenders, because many of them don't have criminal records, will be and currently are eligible for concealed weapon permits. Once they obtain a permit they represent a greater risk to the victims. "One of the things that we were pleased with in the Senate version that I noticed in today's work draft has been removed, is the exemption for concealed hand guns to be taken into a facility providing services to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. We are very concerned that the shelter programs and safe home programs need to be a place that concealed weapons cannot be brought in." Number 348 REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY asked Ms. Andreen if she honestly felt that a person abused by their spouse for an extended period of time, that law enforcement, etc. are not aware of problems in these situations. This cannot go unnoticed. MS. ANDREEN said she knew for a fact that many domestic violence offenders have not been brought to the attention of law enforcement and/or the court systems. She noted that this was part of the cycle of what happens. There are so many reasons why a victim would not want to report. Unlike other types of assault that are isolated, domestic violence is an on-going cycle. Since the governor introduced the domestic violence bill, her offices have been receiving a lot more contacts from victims around the state. A number of women have stated that they were in an abusive relationship, sometimes for twelve years, but it wasn't until the third time that a spouse pulled a gun on them did they decide to call the police. Number 348 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE stated that he was sensitive to Ms. Andreen's concerns, but noted that many of these abusive situations involve knives, physical beatings, automobiles, etc. He didn't see that eliminating guns (indisc. - trailed off.) LAUREE HUGONIN, Executive Director, Alaska Network on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault testified on SB 177. She stated that the Network's concern was the deletion of the facilities as a listed place where people are not allowed to carry concealed. One of the things they appreciated about both the bills is that they have a requirement that where people who apply for the permits would get a copy of the laws and regulations which outline their responsibilities as permit holders. The network felt as though this was good because it would clearly state, and there wouldn't be any question in anyone's mind, that facilities for domestic violence and sexual assault intervention would be places off limits. The network respectfully requests that some serious consideration be given to adding the facilities back in as a listed prohibitive place. Number 300 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE stated that he assumed her comments addressed males visiting woman in shelters and asked if they would require that the residents of the facilities also not be able to carry concealed. MS. HUGONIN answered that on their premises they don't currently allow weapons concealed or otherwise. If the residents need to bring weapons when they initially come, the shelter asks that they be turned over and in some instances these weapons are kept at the local police station until the resident is able to relocate. They don't currently allow any weapons now and aren't going to. All the facilities are united in not wanting weapons on their premises. REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE responded then that essentially they accept responsibility for the safety of the residents. "They can't protect themselves, you're going to protect them." MS. HUGONIN stated that "yes, we are a safe facility, so we do do everything that we can to protect people. We have security systems in place, we try to take the safeguards that are possible to prevent anyone from coming on the premises that would try to harm any other person." She noted that they are not responsible for people's individual behaviors, but they do have safety mechanisms in place. Number 384 CHAIRMAN PORTER closed the public testimony. He noted the new CS before the committee and he requested to speak to this version. In terms of the entire bill, Chairman Porter referred to a few individuals who asked that nothing be done to change this existing law. He stated that he fell into this same area. Along with everyone else, he put a lot of work into this law two years ago. It has only been in place a little over a year and he quite frankly didn't think enough time has been given to the existing system of doing things. With this in mind, he attended meetings during the interim and in State Affairs and now presently. If there was any consistency of testimony it was that the lowering of the fees was desirable and a loosening of the restrictions on where a permitted person may carry their hand gun. The original bills leading up to the CS before the committee were insulting to him in that they stripped everything that they did two years ago in terms of background checks, training, and qualifications. These areas in both bills has been fixed for the most part, but not totally. CHAIRMAN PORTER asked the committee to consider as their working document the CS developed in the State Affairs Committee. This CS basically takes the existing law, reduces the cost from $125 to $99, it expands as they received testimony on the desire of someone to go into a restaurant that has a beverage dispensary permit holder to have dinner. Under existing law this not allowed. There was an awful lot of discussion and not withstanding the testimony received today, .04 is a very hard thing to establish as opposed to an eight hour restriction which is pretty easy to establish. If someone has alcohol on their breath and carrying concealed, they've been drinking in the past eight hours. No question about it. If someone saw the individual drinking and carrying, this is enough for a charge. .04 on the other hand is difficult because the offense would be .04 at the time that a person was carrying. Quite often the breathalyzer is taken sometime after this. He noted that the eight hour period is standard procedure and mentioned that this is also the standard for flying. Number 581 REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY asked what the absorption of one glass of wine over a one to two hour lunch was. CHAIRMAN PORTER stated that this glass of wine would probably dissipate totally after three hours. REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY noted that a glass of wine, by medical standards, is a necessity to stay healthy. CHAIRMAN PORTER said that he has heard this not as an absolute, but as a suggestion. Number 620 CHAIRMAN PORTER asked Mr. Huber if the language regarding banks was included in both bills. Mr. Huber's response was not audible. The remaining loosening which Chairman Porter didn't particularly subscribe to in the Senate version was "the reduction, once you, when you're qualifying to just type rather, than caliber and type." Because someone has qualified with a 22 doesn't necessarily make someone able to carry a 45. He did not subscribe to the argument that if someone is permitted for one type, they would have sense enough to carry the correct gun. He asked, "what's wrong with being sure?" Number 692 REPRESENTATIVE DAVID FINKELSTEIN made a motion to adopt CSSB 177(STA), version H. REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY objected. A roll call vote was taken. Representatives Bunde, Green, Finkelstein, Davis and Porter voted yes. Representative Toohey voted no. The motion to adopt CSSB 177(STA), version H was adopted as the House Judiciary Committee's working draft. Number 698 CHAIRMAN PORTER then addressed Amendment number one for consideration. This amendment read as follows: Page 7, line 4 - 7: Delete "where notice that carrying a concealed handgun is prohibited has been given by the posting of a conspicuous notice or by oral statement by the resident to the permittee" Insert ", other than the permittee's residence, unless the permittee has first obtained the express permission to bring a concealed handgun into the residence from an adult residing there [WHERE NOTICE THAT CARRYING A CONCEALED HANDGUN IS PROHIBITED HAS BEEN GIVEN BY THE POSTING OF A CONSPICUOUS NOTICE OR BY ORAL STATEMENT BY THE RESIDENT TO THE PERMITTEE]" CHAIRMAN PORTER continued to explain the intent behind this amendment. "Within both bills was a requirement basically to the extent that those areas where we didn't specifically say you can't carry a gun in here we said, but if you own a business or another property or domestic violence shelter or a home and you don't want someone with a permit to carry that into an establishment or into your residence, that you can post it. While it is probably inconvenient for businesses to post, it is in my mind ridiculous to say that a person who owns a house must place a notice on his or her door that they don't want guns in there." CHAIRMAN PORTER explained that this amendment would reverse this. If someone is a permittee and they want to go into someone home and don't know whether or not they care, this person would be required to put on notice this home owner that they were carrying concealed. It reversed this requirement. Number 865 REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN made a motion to move this amendment number one. He noted that he wouldn't post something on his door, but he would certainly like to know if someone in his house was carrying a concealed weapon. Representative Toohey objected. A roll call vote was taken. Representatives Bunde, Green, Finkelstein, Davis and Porter voted yes. Representative Toohey voted no. Amendment number one passed. Number 979 REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN made a motion to move amendment number two which read as follows: Section 10, page 7, line 19, Amend 18.65.755(a) by adding a new subsection 9 to read as follows: "a health care facility: in this paragraph, "health care facility" means hospital, nursing home, public health center, outpatient clinic, facility for the developmentally disabled, rehabilitation facility, drug abuse and alcoholism treatment facility, mental health center, or health care unit within a sheltered are a home or within a home for senior citizens." REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN stated that he wouldn't go into great detail regarding this amendment since there was already a fair amount of discussion concerning this issue and a compelling case was presented to support it. REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY objected and requested to speak to this objection. She noted a rape incident of a co-worker while working at Providence Hospital in a parking lot. Representative Toohey said that when she goes into a parking lot she has the right to protect herself. CHAIRMAN PORTER requested a roll call vote. Representatives Green, Finkelstein, Davis and Porter voted yes. Representatives Bunde and Toohey voted no. Amendment number two passed. Number 1112 REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN referred to page 7, line 2 and 3 and he wished to offer an amendment to delete the deletion, to just restore the original law as follows: "A facility providing services to victims of domestic violence or sexual assault." CHAIRMAN PORTER offered that this amendment would be called number 3. Representative Toohey objected. A roll call vote was taken. Representatives Finkelstein, Davis, Bunde, Green and Porter voted yes. Representative Toohey voted no. Amendment number 3 passed. Number 1189 REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN referred to page 6, line 11 and 12, and suggested to delete the reduction in the dollar amounts. First of all he objected to the fixed fees. They fail to account for inflation, it creates a situation where if the fees don't cover the cost they regularly have to jack them up. The current law already allows a ceiling. Even if they can provide these programs under these amounts right now, it's guaranteed two years from now they won't. His second objection was to the amount of $99 and likened it to selling something in a grocery store. He stated that it was embarrassing and made the point that they have to start paying for the cost of government. REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE referred to previous testimony that even after the present cost of the what is being charged now for the program, $40 was still left over. Whatever this program costs, that's what ought to be charged. CHAIRMAN PORTER stated that they had discussed this issues at length in the State Affairs Committee meeting. The troopers are trying to meld the people who operate this program with people who do work in other license programs. It's hard to say how much this program costs. He believed that Deputy Commissioner Smith testified that the department felt they could do the program for $99. CHAIRMAN PORTER spoke against the amendment from the standpoint of, one, the department now says that they can do this program within this $99 figure and secondly, the overwhelming amount of testimony from the people affected had asked them to look at trying to reduce the cost. If the cost can be reduced and within the cost to the state, this is a reasonable thing to do. More importantly, the Chairman of the previous committee wanted to get the cost down under $100. She tried and tried, she finally said $99. If for no other reason, for Chairman James, he spoke against the amendment. Number 1504 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE voiced his concern that if the state doesn't like a program they try to price it out of reach. He has noticed this in the legislative process as well. If the administration doesn't like a bill they try to price it out of existence. REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN asked to revise his amendment number 4 to change the total from $99 to $100. Representative Toohey objected. A roll call vote was taken. Representatives Bunde, Green and Finkelstein voted yes. Representatives Davis, Toohey and Porter voted no. Amendment number 4 failed. REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE offered an amendment number 5 to change the figure of this clause from $99 to $90 along with the explanation that if the goal was to achieve confidence in the public, he suggested this figure. Representatives Toohey and Davis objected. A roll call vote was taken. Representatives Bunde and Green voted yes. Representatives Davis, Toohey, Finkelstein and Porter voted no. Amendment number 5 failed. REPRESENTATIVE BETTYE DAVIS made the argument that the permit program with a built-in maximum of $125 was a working system because the department was presently charging less than this and the cap acts as a cushion. It was decided that once the Department of Public Safety came up with a figure of actual costs of the program then maybe an amendment could be brought to the floor to finally decide this cost issue. Number 1836 REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY stated that she would like to discuss Section 12, on page 7, line 25 regarding a permittee not being allowed to carry a concealed handgun in public while consuming alcohol or within 8 hours after consuming. She asked if this was true for people who were not carrying concealed such as, rifles, knives, etc. CHAIRMAN PORTER noted that it was illegal for anyone to control a firearm while someone is intoxicated. It is also illegal to carry a firearm into a licensed premise. This language was the much discussed quid pro quo for eliminating guns in a bar. Number 1890 MR. HUBER came forward to speak to this section. "The quid pro quo or the trade-off as you were referring to (indisc. - paper shuffling) establishment with a licensed as a beverage dispensary is contained in the section of the bill which deals with the beverage dispensary license. This section reaches farther than just premises with a beverage dispensary license and this says anywhere and the sponsor's feelings to this amendment are, it again takes the class of people who are just concealed permits holders and holds them to a different standard than anybody else with a firearm or somebody carrying concealed legally in this state while they're out in the field hunting, fishing or trapping." CHAIRMAN PORTER noted that this wasn't the intent. He asked where the language was that would disallow eight hours or drinking within a licensed premise. MR. HUBER said he believed this was section 2 of this bill and noted that the sponsor did prepare an amendment which would delete this section. CHAIRMAN PORTER stated that the quid pro quo for this restriction was based on the premise that going into a cocktail lounge is a extra, added problem, because problems do occur in these places. This was the thinking, to make this very clear that someone should not be drinking if they are in one of these establishments and carrying a weapon. Consequently, he stated that the chair would not be opposed to deleting this Section 12. Number 2049 REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY made a motion to adopt this as amendment number 6. Amendment number 6 would delete Section 12 on page 7. REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE confirmed that if this section was deleted, it would return the standard to existing law where an individual carrying a concealed weapon would be held accountable like any other type of user, such as a hunter who is not allowed to operate a firearm while intoxicated. CHAIRMAN PORTER stated that the effect of what they were doing was to continue to say that if someone intends to go into a beverage dispensary, licensed premise this person cannot drink while they're there or for eight hours before this person enters such premises. There being no objection, amendment number 6 passed. Number 2300 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE made a motion to move CSSB 177(STA), version H as amended from the House Judiciary Committee with individual recommendations and attached fiscal note. There being no objection, it was so moved.