Legislature(1995 - 1996)
03/26/1996 08:10 AM FIN
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
SENATE BILL NO. 177 An Act relating to permits to carry concealed handguns. Co-chairman Halford directed that SB 177 be brought on for discussion, referenced a draft Senate Finance Committee Substitute, and noted proposed amendments. Senator Green, sponsor of the legislation, explained that work draft 9- LS1139\D, Luckhaupt, 3/25/96, incorporates amendments offered at an earlier hearing. In addition, concern raised by members regarding the drafting style used in provisions relating to state ferries was addressed by new language at page 6, line 32, and a new Sec. 14 on page 8. Senator Sharp MOVED for adoption of CSSB 177 (Fin), "D" version as the mark-up vehicle. No objection having been raised, CSSB 177 (Fin) was ADOPTED. Senator Randy Phillips MOVED for adoption of Amendment No. 3. Co-chairman Frank requested an explanation. Senator Phillips raised a question regarding whether the ability of one to carry a concealed weapon supercedes the right of a homeowner to prevent those carrying concealed weapons from coming into one's home. Under current law a homeowner must post a sign or verbally advise that he or she does not want those carrying concealed weapons on the premises. Senator Phillips voiced his belief that the right of a homeowner to prevent entry of those carrying concealed weapons supercedes the rights of those carrying weapons. The person carrying a weapon should have to seek permission to enter the property. Co-chairman Halford agreed that the rights of the homeowner should prevail, but he raise a question concerning notice requirements. Discussion followed among members regarding amendment language requiring that express permission to bring a concealed handgun into a residence be obtained from an "adult" residing in the residence. Senator Zharoff questioned whether the language might be too broad, but alternative language was not developed. Senator Green stated her opposition to the amendment. She suggested that if a homeowner desires that someone not carry a concealed handgun onto the premises, the homeowner should make his or her wishes known. A homeowner has the right to deny anyone access to the owner's home. She suggested that the amendment makes false, prejudicial assumptions about those who carry concealed weapons. Senator Rieger noted that, at times, homeowners allow individuals they do not know well to enter their homes. Alaskans are hospitable people. The point made by the amendment addresses governing priorities within the walls of an individual's residence. Co-chairman Halford called for a show of hands on adoption of the amendment. Amendment No. 3 was ADOPTED on a vote for 4 to 3. Senator Randy Phillips next referenced an amendment for the Mary Conrad Center. He voiced his understanding that the bill allows the department to implement regulations prohibiting the carrying of concealed weapons in certain places such as on the marine highway system. He then asked whether provisions should be placed in statute or dealt with via regulation. Senator Sharp noted that entities have the right to post notice "against anything coming into their building, whether it's handguns or backpacks." Senator Phillips stressed that the concern is larger than the issue of concealed weapons. Is the Legislature going to allow the bureaucracy to implement regulations based on what the law says or otherwise? Co-chairman Frank concurred that no parameters had been established. Senator Phillips voiced a preference for statutory listing of establishments within which the carrying of concealed weapons is prohibited. Senator Green directed attention to language at the bottom of page 6 and noted that it speaks to state and federal prohibitions against possession of a deadly weapon or firearm. BRENT HUBER, aide to Senator Green, briefly came before committee. He explained that language at page 6 referencing state and federal law was included to allow existing regulations for the ferry system to "take care of their concern." It was later determined that ferry system prohibitions are policy rather than regulation. The ferry system was thus specifically cited in the bill. Senator Phillips again referenced an amendment for the Mary Conrad Center and asked if the facility could prohibit possession of concealed weapons. Mr. Huber responded affirmatively, advising that the facility would merely have to post a sign advising of the prohibition. Senator Green noted that the same ability would be available to facilities providing services to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault set forth in Senator Rieger's amendment. Senator Rieger explained that his amendment responds to testimony from the director of the council on domestic violence who did not want shelters excluded from current law. Amendment language reinstates those facilities. Senator Rieger further cautioned that the criminal trespass statute referred to as a means of "keeping people out" is being removed elsewhere in the bill as one of the violations providing grounds for revoking a permit to carry a concealed weapon. Senator Sharp noted that the trespass law remains strong in terms of prohibiting entry. Removal of trespass as grounds for revoking a permit has no relation to posting of notices prohibiting concealed weapons in facilities. Further discussion focused on provisions at page 4, line 10, of the work draft. Senator Donley noted that brackets enclosing citation of AS 11.46.320 and 11.46.330 should have been removed from the bill as part of an earlier motion. Co-chairman Halford directed that the brackets be removed. Senator Rieger MOVED for adoption of the domestic violence amendment. Discussion followed regarding the process for prohibiting concealed weapons on public versus private property. Senator Donley advised that private property owners need merely post notice while prohibition on public property must be set in statutes. Additional discussion followed regarding ferry system policy regarding weapons. Referencing the proposed amendment, Senator Green noted that victims of domestic violence are sometimes permit holders. She then suggested that the amendment would prohibit them from entering shelters. She noted that, under the propose bill, shelters could formulate policy that regulates the issue and post the premises, if management chooses to do so. Senator Rieger stressed that those living at shelters are living in great fear and want nothing around them that could cause additional fear. They seek assurance that the shelter is a safe place. Senator Green reiterated that the facility has the right to post notice of prohibition. Senator Rieger suggested that the ability to post is not clear under existing language. Co-chairman Halford called for a show of hands on adoption of the amendment. The domestic violence facility amendment was ADOPTED on a vote of 4 to 3. Directing attention to page 6, Senator Zharoff again raised a question concerning areas cited in subsections (4) through (12) and posed for removal. Senator Sharp MOVED that CSSB 177 (Fin) pass from committee with individual recommendations and accompanying fiscal notes. No objection having been raised, CSSB 177 (Fin) was REPORTED OUT of committee with zero notes from the Dept. of Law and Dept. of Corrections and a note from the Dept. of Public Safety showing a revenue reduction of ($117.6). Co-chairmen Halford and Frank and Senators Donley and Sharp signed the committee report with a "do pass" recommendation. Senators Phillips, Rieger, and Zharoff signed "no recommendation."