Legislature(1995 - 1996)
01/23/1996 03:32 PM STA
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HB 338 & SB 177 CONCEALED HANDGUN PERMIT AMENDMENTS Number 001 CHAIR JAMES called the joint meeting of the House & Senate State Affairs Committees to order at 3:32 p.m. and brought up HB 338 and SB 177 as the only order of business before the committees. The chair noted there were committee substitutes for HB 338 and SB 177. REPRESENTATIVE GREEN made a motion to adopt the committee substitute for HB 338. CHAIR JAMES, hearing no objection, stated the committee substitute for HB 338 was adopted. SENATOR LEMAN made a motion to adopt the committee substitute for SB 177. CHAIR JAMES, hearing no objection, stated the committee substitute for SB 177 was adopted. CHAIR JAMES called Senator Green to testify. Number 050 SENATOR LYDA GREEN, prime sponsor of SB 177, stated the intent of SB 177 is to simplify the permitting process and reduce costs in order to make the permits more readily available. Number 070 SENATOR GREEN read her sponsor statement for SB 177. Number 110 SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS asked if the committee substitutes would allow a permittee to carry a concealed weapon into banks, schools, state or federal offices, court houses, and passenger loading and unloading areas in airline terminals. That possibility concerns him. Number 120 SENATOR GREEN responded that federal law already prohibits carrying concealed weapons in airports and all federal facilities. SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS said it bothers him that carrying concealed weapons isn't prohibited on school grounds. REPRESENTATIVE GREEN said that bothered him also. SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS is concerned with where a concealed weapon would be allowed. He is also concerned that an applicant would not have to place a life-sized silhouette in a target: apparently it's not necessary to be a good shot to obtain a permit; that the Department of Public Safety (DPS) will no longer be conducting spot checks with the FBI; that permit holders do not have to demonstrate proficiency in the use of the weapon they carry; reciprocity between states, and that permits would not be suspended for misdemeanor offenses. SENATOR GREEN asked Senator Phillips to repeat his first concern. SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS repeated he was concerned about allowing concealed carrying on school grounds. A new subsection would allow permittees to carry into preschools, elementary, junior high, and secondary schools without permission from school officials. Of all the provisions, that one concerns him most. Number 168 SENATOR DONLEY questioned whether that provision would override other prohibitions in Alaska Statute regarding guns on school grounds. He asked Senator Green to address that question also. Number 175 SENATOR GREEN stated that the precept that should be above all others is that the right of permittees should be upheld to the limit of the constitution. There are some glaring provisions that the sponsors are willing to talk about. This legislation is the starting point. Number 200 CHAIR JAMES reminded legislators that the legislation will not be passed out until a few more changes are made. Prohibitions on where permittees can carry is one of the biggest problems of permittees. If it is a right for a person to carry a concealed handgun, once they've gone through the process of becoming permitted, then they ought to be able to carry a weapon wherever it is they want to carry it, as long as it's not prohibited by federal law. Concealed carry is the issue, and if you're going to carry a concealed weapon, you'd better keep it concealed. No one needs to know and know one ought to know that you have it, because then the whole benefit of having it concealed is gone. The process today is to find what needs to be changed. This committee substitute will not be passed out today. Number 235 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER noted that Section 2 allows permittees to carry concealed weapons into a bar. He asked if businesses could continue to ban carrying concealed weapons on their premises by posting a notice to that effect. SENATOR GREEN replied that ability is removed by HB 338 and SB 177. Number 262 CHAIR JAMES does not think individual businesses should be allowed to prohibit concealed carrying on their premises; she thinks the places one most needs a concealed weapon is in parking lots, and that would force a permittee to leave their weapon in their car. Number 275 SENATOR DONLEY asked for an affirmative defense for Section 2. REPRESENTATIVE PORTER noted that item 61.223 is the prohibition against carrying a weapon in a bar. SENATOR DONLEY noted that would be an affirmative defense for that part. He asked if anything addresses prohibitions on having guns on school grounds. Number 285 BRETT HUBER, Aide to Senator Lyda Green, stated Section 1 of the bill would offer an affirmative defense for carrying a concealed handgun onto school grounds, just as Section 2 does for liquor dispensers. Number 290 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN stated he shares Senator Phillips concerns. He is concerned that we might share reciprocity with other states that do not share as rigorous a review as Alaska. He also asked if there have been a rash of problems in parking lots. CHAIR JAMES responded she does not know if there is a rash, but there have been incidents. REPRESENTATIVE GREEN thinks if there are problems in certain areas of a town, why not just stay out of those areas. He doesn't know why a weapon has to be concealed. He is concerned that provisions in the law that convinced legislators to vote for the legislation two years ago are now being removed. Representative Green thinks HB 338 and SB 177 are a giant step towards vigilantism. Number 320 CHAIR JAMES noted that reciprocity between Alaska's law and other states would be determined by DPS, and they would only allow it for residents of states with restrictions similar to Alaska's. The chair asks people to please understand that the legislation is not a finished draft, and she is anxious to hear everyone's concerns. She asked that legislators not throw it all out just because they don't like specifics; it is changeable. Number 329 SENATOR LEMAN asked how many applicants had been rejected on the basis of an FBI background check. SENATOR GREEN replied she does not have that information, though the representative from DPS, who will be testifying, may have that information. Number 340 SENATOR LEMAN stated he was concerned about not having FBI checks. MR. HUBER answered that the elimination is only the instant name check. Fingerprint requirements will still be a part of the application process. There have been problems with the name check due to some people having the same name. Number 360 ART SNOWDEN, Administrative Director, Alaska Court System, stated the court system is only concerned with Section 12 of the legislation. That section would allow concealed weapons in state courthouses. The judiciary contends that it is not proper to have weapons, even by people who know how to handle them, in our courthouses, because people fight in courthouses. Emotions take over. We believe very strongly that no weapons should be allowed in courthouses in this state, and we would like to put that in the record. CHAIR JAMES asked if there is screening at courthouses. MR. SNOWDEN responded that there is only screening in Anchorage and Fairbanks. The state does not have the capability to fund screening in all state courthouses. Where we have screened, we have found people coming in with concealed weapons. However, coming to a courthouse isn't generally part of the daily routine for most people. Number 383 CHAIR JAMES asked if judges with concealed carry permits are allowed to bring their weapon into a courthouse. MR. SNOWDEN replied that court rules forbid judges from having guns in courthouses. Number 390 DEL SMITH, Deputy Commissioner, Department of Public Safety, thinks the department has made great progress in trying to stream line the process. The department prefers that the legislation stay the way it is, however, the legislature is the policy maker in the state. CHAIR JAMES asked Mr. Smith if he is able to provide the list of misdemeanants. MR. SMITH responded he has contacted the Anchorage Police Department and the Presidents of the Chiefs Association, but they have not gotten back to him with that information. SENATOR SHARP asked Mr. Smith if he knows how many applications have been refused as the result of an FBI check. MR. SMITH replied that as of October, 1995 the number was 19. As of last Wednesday, DPS had issued about 4,019 permits. Four permits have been rescinded due to arrest of the permittee. SENATOR SHARP asked if an officer calls in an I.D., is there a flag in the computer system that lets him know that person has a concealed weapons permit? MR. SMITH responded yes. Number 422 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER stated he was "passing around a list of misdemeanors that are now precluded... if a person has a conviction for one of these misdemeanors they're precluded to be issued a permit." Number 425 SENATOR DONLEY stated that one standard for applying misdemeanors is whether it is a crime against a person. He asked if anyone remembers why that standard was not used as a basis and then add on to that. Number 432 CHAIR JAMES thinks they were trying to include crimes with any kind of violence to them. Number 437 REPRESENTATIVE WILLIS asked if lowering the application fees would impact the department. MR. SMITH replied the current fee is $122. $24 goes to the FBI when fingerprints are submitted for checking; $35 is used for the in-state fingerprint check and criminal history review. The remaining $63 was to provide for permits and licensing. The actual cost has turned out to be somewhat less than $63, and DPS could move down somewhat from that. But he is concerned that if you cut the fee, more people will apply, and they will then need more money to process applications. Cutting the fee from a total of $122 to $65 would have a substantial impact on the department and it's ability to provide timely service. It is fee driven. CHAIR JAMES noted she will be investigating that issue further. REPRESENTATIVE PORTER asked Mr. Smith to explain procedurally the FBI name check, as opposed to the fingerprint check. MR. SMITH responded he originally believed the department could not do a national name check for purposes of a concealed weapon permit. But the FBI informed us that was not true. With a name check, the FBI could tell us if a person had a conviction that precluded them from carrying a concealed weapon. The FBI would say "no", but they would not tell us what that conviction was. They will not release specific information without a fingerprint. REPRESENTATIVE PORTER asked Mr. Smith if he reads the legislation as still requiring FBI fingerprint checks. MR. SMITH responds he does read the legislation as still requiring that. However he is concerned that the sponsor's statement says the legislation would delete FBI investigation, but he doesn't think that's what the statement meant. Number 485 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN does not want to see the state subsidizing the cost of permitting. He also thinks the state should continue to require proficiency of use. He related an incident he thinks supports the need for requiring proficiency. Number 503 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN noted the legislation deletes the requirement to qualify for specific action types and calibers. He asked if the legislation could just specify qualifying for action types, and then permittees could just choose whatever caliber they want, as long as they can hang on to it. He suggested that might be a reasonable alternative. He doesn't think the size of the caliber would make much difference, as long as they know how to handle the weapon. Number 510 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER agreed with Representative Ogan's position on the action type. The reason for requiring proficiency in action types is so someone who only had training with a revolver wouldn't carry an automatic and not even be able to get the clip in and out, which happens. It happens to police officers. CHAIR JAMES told Representative Porter not to admit that. REPRESENTATIVE PORTER stated that the caliber restriction was to keep people from carrying a 44, when they had only qualified on a 22. The difference is night and day. Number 521 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN added that during the training in which he participated, most people didn't know the difference between a double action or single action, did have difficulty with one weapon, and perhaps not the other one, and there was a significant difference in ability to handle higher caliber weapons. He agreed with Representative Porter that being qualified on one weapon shouldn't automatically qualify a person on another weapon. But he thinks if you qualify on a 45, you should be qualified for lower calibers. Number 532 SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS asked Mr. Smith how many inquiries regarding permits have been made. MR. SMITH responded he does not have that information. SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS asked if there have been complaints regarding the permitting process. MR. SMITH responded he hopes concerns have been addressed. There were a few complaints, mostly over the initial speed of processing applications. He personally has not ever received a complaint from anyone about the application fee. Number 542 SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS asked if there have been any complaints about the law. MR. SMITH replied none that he is aware of. Number 545 JOHN NEALON, Sergeant, Valdez Police Department, NRA Member, testifying from Valdez, stated he does not oppose laws allowing concealed carrying of handguns with provisions for training requirements. He thinks the training requirements in the original bill were wholly inadequate. He sees those original requirements reemerging in the legislation before the committee. He also thinks it is important that citizens know the legal parameters for using deadly force. In his contact with the public, he has found that most people, including gun owners, know very little about criminal or civil law related to the use of deadly force. Hunter safety does not prepare people to carry concealed weapons. He also believes there is very little military training related to concealed weapons in civilian self defense, with the possible exception of military police. MR. NEALON does not agree that the application fee and the training requirements have kept some people from applying. He thinks the number of people estimated to have wanted permits was overstated by supporters of the original legislation. If there are people who cannot obtain a permit because of the expense, he would rather see the application fee waived for those who can prove financial hardship. He supports requiring training so that citizens of our state can be assured that only qualified men and women will obtain permits. The concealed handgun law is a good one; it works. Repealing the training and proficiency requirements is a bad idea. Number 579 SENATOR LEMAN asked Mr. Nealon to clarify whether it was the training requirements in the original bill before it was marked up that were inadequate, and not the bill that was passed. He asked if Mr. Nealon was satisfied with the training requirements currently in statute. MR. NEALON replied that is correct: he thought the training requirements in the original legislation were inadequate, but that the version that passed the legislature was adequate. The training requirements in statute are adequate. They could be improved, but they are adequate. GARY JUDD, President, Nuvuk Gun Club, testifying from Barrow,... TAPE 96-1, SIDE B ...stated he supports HB 338 and SB 177, with the exception of Section 7, which was eloquently explored by Mr. Nealon. However, he expressed concern that there is no immunity from civil liability for citizens who, during a criminal attack, inflict damage, loss, or death on a criminal. This does not affect the criminal judicial process, which is charged with ascertaining the circumstances, justifications, and truth of an incident, but rather a mechanism to stop criminals in civil court from victimizing a law-abiding citizen for the second time. He thinks this legislation would be a good place to address this issue. Number 570 SENATOR GREEN voiced concern that people are not testifying to the current committee substitute. CHAIR JAMES stated that regardless of what people are saying, the testimony is valid. She thinks their concerns are valid anyway. SENATOR GREEN thinks their concerns have already been addressed. CHAIR JAMES stated that does not make any difference. Number 562 ELZIE ISLEY, testifying from Ketchikan, stated that local-option elections should be ruled out, because how are permittees supposed to know that some area has had an election. He also commented that the prices are about right. Mr. Isley asked why won't the law- enforcement bodies fingerprint anyone for a concealed weapon permit or a federal firearms license. He had a hard time getting his fingerprints for the concealed carry permit. He also thinks that to delete the requirements to qualify with the specific action or caliber of a handgun probably should be in there. He can't see any reason to give a permit to someone who doesn't know how to handle a handgun. Number 540 ROBERT NESVICK, JR., Retired Alaska State Trooper, Former Police Chief of Annette Islands Reserve, concealed carry permit holder, testifying from Ketchikan, stated the requirements to qualify with specific actions and calibers should remain. He does think the restrictions on where permittees can carry does need to be modified. All those restrictions aren't necessary considering all the training permittees receive. He is also concerned that there is no language addressing retired law-enforcement officers. Number 524 NEIL CAMERON, testifying from Anchorage, stated the whole reason a permitting process is in place today is because of the overwhelming participation of Alaskan residents. He asked if he can contact the legislators offices in order to be updated with the revisions and give comment. CHAIR JAMES said that would be fine; Mr. Cameron could be put on the mailing list. Number 510 GARY CARLSON, testifying from Anchorage, stated his support for HB 338 and SB 177. He thinks the concealed carry law was enacted in response to passage of the Brady bill. He thinks there is a widespread movement towards a new world order and a one-world government: gun control and disarmament is an essential part of this program. We are seeing that today in people being bought off. Mr. Carlson asserted that the politicians of this century have been able to accomplish a more effective disarmament than George III and all his minions. The american people have the right to bear arms. Number 480 ED KNOEBEL, testifying from Glennallen, asked if permittees will have to re-submit all the application paperwork for renewals of permits. He thinks military training should be sufficient to satisfy training requirements. Number 465 DOUGLAS RHODES, testifying from Glennallen, stated he agrees with most of the revisions. He is particularly concerned with where a permittee can carry concealed. He thinks permittees should be able to carry into banks and bars. Mr. Rhodes stated he cannot even carry a concealed weapon legally in his house. He also does not think that permittees should have to repeat all the training to renew a permit and that the price for permits should be lowered. In regards to the training requirements, Mr. Rhodes thinks if a person can handle a 38 auto, that person should have no problem with a 44 auto. He doesn't thinks most people would carry more than they're comfortable with. Number 442 PATRICK DALTON, testifying from Delta Junction, cited Article 1, Section 19 in the Alaska State Constitution and asserted that state legislators and law enforcement can't even read their own constitution. Mr. Dalton thinks requiring someone to have a permit takes away their right to bear arms. Number 430 BERNARD GOODNO, testifying from Delta Junction, reminded the committee that in 1994 the people of Alaska voted to amend the state constitution to add, "The individual right to keep and bear arms shall not be denied or infringed by the state or political subdivisions of the state." Mr. Goodno asserted that means he has the right to carry any way he so chooses. Number 415 LYMAN NICHOLS, testifying from Kenai, stated most of his testimony has been taken care of by the amendments in the committee substitute to the legislation. Mr. Nichols informed the committee that it is difficult to meet the training requirements in the small village from which he comes. Therefor, he would like to see provision made the smaller villages for training. Perhaps a video could be used. In addition, Mr. Nichols thinks retired peace officers should be entitled to obtain a permit directly. Mr. Nichols stated he really supports the other changes, particularly Section 12, which allows permittees to carry in more places. Number 393 CLARK BURGER, testifying from Kenai, stated that to change where a permittee is not allowed to carry a concealed weapon to only where disallowed by federal law would make a heck of a difference to a bunch of us. Just think of how many guns of people in this teleconference are out in our cars and trucks: they're gonna be awful cold when you put 'em back in! Number 380 PATRICK JOHNSON, Firearms instructor, NRA member, Permit holder, testifying from Homer, is opposed to deleting training requirements and deleting the five-year renewal requirement. Mr. Johnson supports lowering application fees and amending where permittees are allowed to carry. Number 345 LAURA JANE WINEINGER, NRA, testifying from Matsu, stated the primary concern she has heard is the application cost for permits. The NRA agrees the fee should be lowered, and that restrictions on where a permittee can carry should be removed. Ms. Wineinger believes training requirements should be at a minimum. Training should be the responsibility of the permit applicant. The NRA wants an amendment allowing derringers and miniature handguns, which were designed for concealment and self protection. Number 290 SENATOR LEMAN asked Ms. Wineinger what she thinks of the one-year residency requirement for current applicants. MS. WINEINGER responded the residency requirements should be gotten rid of. Number 275 CHARLES STIEHR, testifying from Matsu, stated it's a constitutional right to carry. There is also a responsibility to protect our family. If there has to be a permit system at all, the only thing that should encompass should be proficiency. Fees should just be in an amount to cover expenses. Number 264 DAVID WILLIAMS, testifying from Fairbanks, encouraged the committee to support the committee substitute for HB 338. He thinks permittees are irrationally treated as dangerous citizens. The possession of firearms does not make law-abiding citizens a danger to society. He asked that trust please be put in the people. Number 234 BONNIE WILLIAMS, permittee, testifying from Fairbanks, informed the committee that she appreciated receiving copies of regulations and statute pertaining to concealed carry. She suggested that DPS consider mailing changes in statute and regulation to permit- holders. She also approves deleting training requirements in specific action and caliber, reducing permit application fees, and deletion of where permittees can carry. She is concerned that reciprocity would be cumbersome. She thinks it would be ridiculous to put the mini-gun back in and not the derringer. She thinks training on renewal should be deleted. She urged support for HB 338 and SB 177. Number 200 THOMAS DEVINE, testifying from Matsu, thought the testimony from people in Delta Junction was eloquent. Mr. Devine stated it was every citizens responsibility and right to teach their children about the solid foundation in the Constitution of the United States and the Second Amendment. Number 190 LLOYD BARRUS, testifying from Matsu, stated he had a permit one time for which he paid five bucks. He said honest people get a permit, and murderers don't. Mr. Barrus thinks some people need to be careful who they marry. He trusts cops with guns, and so thinks it's a slap in the face that they don't trust us (permittees?). Only a fool would carry a gun they couldn't shoot, so he doesn't know why they would talk about that. Number 150 MARSHALL MARTIN, NRA member, weapons instructor & permit-holder, testifying from Kenai, stated he supports nearly all of the legislation. He has concern regarding where carrying is allowed. Mr. Martin commented that Officer Nealon from Valdez stated Mr. Martin's case very well. He really thinks the proficiency provision needs to be retained. However, he doesn't see any need for a residency requirement, and he would like to see reciprocal agreements with other states. Mr. Martin wants to see fingerprint requirements kept in law. He supports allowing peace officers' retirement and off-duty carrying. He would like to see immunity from civil liability from the criminal element. Number 115 PHIL NASH, NRA member, testifying from Kenai, stated that the law should address the issues of simplicity, credibility, and safety. He agrees with Officer Nealon that there should be a provision to opt in recently retired peace officers. But for the same reason he agrees that there ought to be a renewal, he thinks that peace officers who have been retired for a significant period of time probably ought to go through the program. Mr. Nash also thinks the proficiency distinction relative to action should be kept. User fees should be consistent with costs. Since it's already a crime to possess near schools, He doesn't think it would matter whether that provision was dropped from the legislation. Number 067 TIM SCHRAGET, permit-holder, testifying from Anchorage, thinks the fingerprinting is an important part of the program, because it puts the liability of proving existence of a criminal record on the government. He also thinks it's important to keep training requirements relative to the action of the weapon. He doesn't think the residency requirement is important. Mr. Schraget stated he is a small business owner in Anchorage, and he feels that the government should be run as a small business: if it costs the government $122 to process an application, then the fees should reflect that. The renewal fee should reflect the cost to the government also. In regards to where permittees can carry, Mr. Schraget thinks permittees should be allowed to carry anywhere in the state of Alaska. TAPE 96-3, SIDE A Number 001 JOAN FISHER, Mary Conrad Center, testifying from Anchorage, informed the committee that she faxed written testimony to the committee. She asked that the committee consider adding a subsection adding health-care facilities to the list of places where permittee can not carry a concealed handgun. Number 018 SENATOR LEMAN asked Ms. Fisher if it would be sufficient to her for the bill to simply be permissive in allowing individual health-care facilities to ban carrying on their premises. MS. FISHER responded that would be sufficient. She is concerned that there is no strength in the law that would back up the center in calling the police. Number 043 SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS asked Ms. Fisher if the Mary Conrad Center has had experiences with people wanting to have concealed weapons at health-care facilities. MS. FISHER replied the center does have employees that would like to carry weapons at work. We've dealt with that issue as a personnel issue. We had an incident a few years ago where a resident of an assisted-living facility shot an attendant. There have also been suicides, but she is not sure that would have anything to do with concealed weapons. Number 062 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN asked Ms. Fisher if employees could store concealed weapons in their lockers if they wanted to be able to carry to and from work. MS. FISHER responded that the Mary Conrad Center does allow employees to lock up handguns in their lockers. Number 090 LAUREE HUGONIN, Executive Director, Alaska Network on Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault, stated her organization is particularly concerned with 4th degree assault, which is on the list of misdemeanors being considered for removal from the law. Most domestic violence in Alaska gets classified as 4th degree assault. Also on the list are stalking in the 2nd degree, misconduct involving weapons in the 2nd and 3rd degree, criminal trespass in the 1st and 2nd degree, and criminal mischief in the 3rd degree. We would have serious concerns if these were deleted from current statute. The network supports the additions requiring that the laws and regulations concerning concealed weapons be given to each applicant. Number 120 MS. HUGONIN stated that the three main objections her organization has with the legislation are: 1) being able to carry in to facilities serving victims of domestic violence & sexual assault; 2) the removal of demonstration of competency in the weapons they choose to carry; 3) removal of convictions of 2 class A misdemeanors of this state or similar laws of another state. Number 155 MICHAEL CULBERT, testifying from Fairbanks, urged that concealed carry be kept in the simplest form possible and to do away with a lot of restrictions. Number 163 DOUGLAS SOMERS, testifying from Fairbanks, thinks even if all the amendments to the concealed carry law in this legislation are passed, Alaska would still have the most restrictive handgun law in the United States. Mr. Somers also thinks that the more permit applications that are processed, the lower the cost should be for processing each permit. He stated that people should be proficient in the weapon they choose to carry, but that is a matter of personal accountability and it should not be up to the government to determine that. Derringers were designed specifically for personal carry. As far as retraining, Mr. Somers thinks we need to do away with that. Number 190 DON ZIMMERMAN, testifying from Matsu, believes it is not the government's right to regulate anything, as far as handguns. It is his own decision whether or not he has a handgun; it is his right under the constitution. Number 205 ERIC BECKMAN, firearms instructor, testifying from Matsu, agreed with deleting the FBI investigation. He does not think the federal government should be involved: state's rights, state sovereignty. But he does not agree that requirements to qualify on specific actions should be deleted. He also does not think residency requirements should be deleted, with the exception of reciprocity agreements. Mr. Beckman thinks fees should be lowered and places permittees can carry should be increased. Number 245 ROD CHRISTOPHER, Peninsula Weapons Academy, testifying from Kenai, stated, as far as qualification goes, people must be familiar with their weapons. He thinks two important requirements for reciprocity would be background checks and a law class on using deadly force. Mr. Christopher thinks we should not have reciprocity with states that do not have those requirements. He thinks miniature handguns are dangerous, due to the fact they have no factory trigger guard and they are subject to accidental discharge. He would also like to see retired peace officers given the opportunity to carry concealed without going through a course. Mr. Christopher thinks they are as well trained or better trained than any concealed-carry instructor. Number 268 JESS BULKLEY, former police officer, testifying from Anchorage, is concerned about constitutional rights to bear firearms. He thinks people should be able to use their own judgement as to which firearm they would like to carry. Even though there are exceptions to the rule, why should we penalize all those who are competent by forcing them to take training? He would like to see legislation supporting the constitutional right to bear firearms. Number 290 CHRIS SULLIVAN, testifying from Anchorage, does not agree that DPS should be the entity to authorize reciprocity agreements. He would like to see that authority moved to a higher level. He doesn't want the governor or legislature to be able to change or delete any reciprocity agreements. In addition, Mr. Sullivan disagrees with the permitting process all together. He asserted that any permitting process one has to go to is an infringement on the constitutional right to keep and bear arms Number 306 LADD MCBRIDE, testifying from Fairbanks, asked that the committee not make exceptions to Section 12 of the legislation, regarding where permittees can and cannot carry. Mr. McBride asked that the renewal requirements be simplified as much as possible. Number 325 JERRY POTTS, testifying from Fairbanks, stated his business requires he and his family to work at night. This legislation would restrict him having a handgun or any type of protection, because it does not address whether the place is inhabited or not. Mr. Potts also thinks the requirements for qualification on caliber and action be deleted. The fee should only be enough to take care of the fingerprinting and the background check. Number 350 DAN HITCHCOCK, testifying from Fairbanks, stated he supports HB 338 and SB 177. He worries more about legislators who need training in the constitution then about people carrying guns who are not trained to use them. Number 367 JAYNE ANDREEN, Executive Director, Council on Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault, stated the council has two specific areas of concern with the legislation: Section 10, which eliminates offenses that would require the permit to be pulled out, and Section 12, which would allow concealed carry in facilities that provide services to victims of domestic violence & sexual assault. Ms. Andreen stated that there has to be a safe place for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. CHAIR JAMES asked Ms. Andreen if she has known any victims who wished to protect themselves by having a concealed handgun. MS. ANDREEN responded she is not aware of any. She is aware of victims obtaining weapons or handguns, but is not aware that having a concealed weapon would be an issue for them. But she has not been in the direct service field since the concealed weapons permits have been available. CHAIR JAMES expressed concern that many of the people who would most like to get permits, single women working odd hours, are simply carrying concealed without getting a permit, due to the cost of permits. MS. ANDREEN noted that only a minority of women she's worked with felt that having a weapon was a viable option for maintaining their safety. CHAIR JAMES related a personal incident in which having a gun gave her peace of mind. Number 447 SENATOR SHARP asked Ms. Andreen if she knows of any instances in which the people involved in domestic violence had a concealed carry permit. MS. ANDREEN replied she is not aware of any. Number 454 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN commented he believes Ms. Andreen could just post a sign on the premises excluding concealed carrying. CHAIR JAMES responded that would not be allowable with the committee substitute. Number 458 CHAIR JAMES adjourned the joint meeting of the House and Senate State Affairs Committees at 5:37 p.m.