Legislature(1995 - 1996)

03/26/1996 08:10 AM FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
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  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."                    
                                                                               

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