Legislature(1995 - 1996)

02/13/1996 03:35 PM STA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
 SSTA - 2/13/96                                                                
                                                                               
          SB 177 CONCEALED HANDGUN PERMIT AMENDMENTS                         
                                                                               
 Number 525                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR SHARP brought up SB 177 as the next order of business                 
 before the Senate State Affairs Committee and called the first                
 witness.                                                                      
                                                                               
 Number 518                                                                    
                                                                               
 BRETT HUBER, Aide to Senator Lyda Green, prime sponsor of SB 177,             
 informed the committee that after reviewing concerns and comments             
 made regarding SB 177, Senator Green has worked on the version of             
 the bill before the committee today.  Mr. Huber thinks it is                  
 important to note that testimony in previous committee meetings was           
 supportive of a reduction of permit fees, the removal of                      
 limitations on where permittees are allowed to carry, and the                 
 allowance of reciprocity agreements with other states.  He also               
 asked that it be remembered that permittees are law-abiding                   
 Alaskans.  Mr. Huber thinks it is important to differentiate                  
 between law-abiding citizens' proper use of a firearm, and the                
 concerns associated with other improper uses.                                 
                                                                               
 Number 506                                                                    
                                                                               
 MR. HUBER outlines the changes from version G.  Section 3 requires            
 that DPS provide applicants with the laws and regulations                     
 pertaining to the concealed handgun program.  Section 6 puts some             
 misdemeanor offenses that would disallow a person from obtaining a            
 permit, or be grounds for revocation of a permit back in the bill.            
 Committee members should have in their bill packets a list of the             
 retained misdemeanor offenses.  The list reflects the misdemeanants           
 in the current program which involve acts of violence against a               
 person or misuse of weapons.  Section 8 of the bill restores the              
 requirement to display physical competency and to qualify with a              
 handgun specific to action type.  Section 12 restores the                     
 prohibition of concealed carry inside school buildings, state court           
 houses, law enforcement facilities, correctional facilities, as               
 well as those places prohibited by federal law.  Section 14 removes           
 the prohibition on derringers and miniature handguns as weapons               
 allowable for concealed carry.  Those are the changes contained in            
 the committee substitute.                                                     
                                                                               
 Number 493                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR LEMAN asked Mr. Huber if any thought has been given to                
 having the department prepare a layman's version of the statutes              
 for distribution to permit applicants and permittees.  Also, he is            
 concerned that a $65 fee might not adequately cover costs.  He                
 doesn't want this program to become subsidized.                               
                                                                               
 Number 476                                                                    
                                                                               
 MR. HUBER responded to the first question.  Currently, as part of             
 the concealed handgun permit process, applicants are required to              
 take a course; four hours of that course work deals directly with             
 the laws and regulations relating to concealed carrying.  So we               
 believe applicants should be able to develop an understanding of              
 the law at that time.  As to the second question, Senator Green has           
 requested from DPS a breakdown of the costs associated with SB 177.           
 Senator Green is continuing to explore with DPS what that level               
 needs to be.  It is certainly not the intent of the sponsor to have           
 the program subsidized by other funds, but also not to have program           
 receipts from the program subsidizing other programs.                         
                                                                               
 Number 460                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR LEMAN commented that one of the best things put in the                
 first law on concealed carrying was the application fee cap.  But             
 he thinks that a $65 fee is probably too low.  He would like to see           
 what the costs actually are.  A better number would probably be               
 about $95.  But he would really like to get that information.                 
                                                                               
 Number 450                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS made a motion to adopt the committee                   
 substitute for SB 177.                                                        
                                                                               
 Number 444                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN SHARP, hearing no objection, stated the State Affairs                
 Committee substitute for SB 177 has been adopted.                             
                                                                               
 SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS stated he has several proposed amendments to           
 offer.  The first has to do with his concern over concealed weapons           
 on school grounds and school buses.  We should leave the law the              
 way it is, so one amendment puts the legislation back to the                  
 original law.  The other amendment deals with posting a sign on a             
 premises forbidding concealed weapons.  Senator Phillips thinks the           
 property rights of a person - under SB 177, would he be prohibited            
 from preventing a person from carrying a concealed weapon in his              
 home?                                                                         
                                                                               
 Number 435                                                                    
                                                                               
 MR. HUBER responded that in discussions with the Department of Law            
 and several attorneys who deal with firearms issues, homeowners               
 would not be precluded from prohibiting anyone from entering their            
 property for any reason.                                                      
                                                                               
 SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS asked if it would prohibit other                       
 establishments from prohibiting concealed carrying on their                   
 premises.                                                                     
                                                                               
 Number 430                                                                    
                                                                               
 MR. HUBER thinks it would be the same on that.  Establishments                
 controlled by an individual could, as long as it doesn't breach               
 some other rights of the individual, or show just cause, disallow             
 people from entering your establishment on a variety of criteria.             
                                                                               
 Number 425                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS read the language on page 6, Section 12,               
 paragraph (9).  He thinks that if the owner of a building, house,             
 or facility does not want concealed carrying, the property rights             
 would supersede the concealed carrying rights.  He does not see the           
 need for deleting the section restricting where permittees can                
 carry; that is why he is offering an amendment.  His three concerns           
 are: carrying on school buses and school grounds, prohibiting                 
 property owners from posting prohibitions on carrying concealed,              
 and carrying in nursing homes.                                                
                                                                               
 Number 383                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR DONLEY thinks everyone is concerned about the misuse of               
 firearms, but he thinks what Mr. Huber was trying to explain is               
 that concealed carrying on premises where the property owner is               
 opposed to it is really a private matter between the property owner           
 and the permittee.  Under existing law, that situation would be a             
 violation, so the state would intervene.  Senator Donley thinks it            
 is clear that property owners would still have the authority to ban           
 concealed weapons from their property, it just wouldn't be                    
 violation of state law if permittees violated property owner's                
 posted prohibition.  Unless the order to leave the premises is                
 based on some other illegal discriminatory criteria, that order               
 would be within the rights of the property owner.                             
                                                                               
 MR. HUBER added that what Senator Donley just stated is basically             
 the sponsor's position on the committee substitute: by removing               
 those provisions, it does not prohibit property owners from                   
 precluding who they want to either enter or not enter their                   
 premises.  Currently, it is a misdemeanor for a permittee to                  
 inadvertently enter an establishment with a posted prohibition.  He           
 feels it places an undue burden on permit holders.                            
                                                                               
 SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS asked if people could carry a concealed                
 weapon onto a vessel of the Alaska Marine Highway System.  He                 
 thinks last years' bill was adequate.  The only problem he sees is            
 with the current fees.  The only complaints he has heard is with              
 the fees.                                                                     
                                                                               
 Number 335                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN SHARP stated that at the hearing in Anchorage in October             
 there was a lot of testimony on the problem that once people were             
 permitted, they had to keep removing their concealed weapon to go             
 into many places.  If federal law precludes carrying a concealed              
 weapon, which it does in airport loading and unloading areas-                 
                                                                               
 SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS interrupted and asked why we are deleting              
 financial institutions, such as a bank.  Most banks have armed                
 guards.                                                                       
                                                                               
 Number 325                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR DONLEY replied that at the hearings this summer there was             
 a lot of testimony from business owners that when they bring their            
 deposits to the bank, they have to leave their weapons in the car.            
 This causes two problems: they have no protection in the bank                 
 parking lot, and they are afraid that the weapon in the car is a              
 target for theft.                                                             
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN SHARP noted that the most vulnerable place for being                 
 attacked is in parking lots.                                                  
                                                                               
 Number 316                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR LEMAN asked if federal law precludes carrying a weapon into           
 a bank.                                                                       
                                                                               
 SENATOR DONLEY does not think so.                                             
                                                                               
 Number 313                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR DUNCAN noted that he agreed with Senator Phillips on this             
 point, which is unusual.  He remembers the floor debate on the                
 first concealed carrying legislation.  It seems to him that the               
 best thing to do would be to post in advance.  He hasn't heard of             
 people getting rolled in bank parking lots.  Bank robberies usually           
 happen in the bank, not out in the parking lot.  He thinks we are             
 overreaching, and he will support Senator Phillips.                           
                                                                               
 Number 285                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR DONLEY replied that by removing this section, nothing                 
 prohibits posting.  Property owners can still post: no weapons                
 allowed.  It's just that the enforcement would be based on a                  
 trespassing dispute, or some private cause of action, rather than             
 a crime.                                                                      
                                                                               
 SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS stated then that the burden would be on the            
 property owner, rather than the permittee.  Why should that burden            
 be on the property owner?                                                     
                                                                               
 SENATOR LEMAN and SENATOR DONLEY stated it was currently on the               
 property owner.                                                               
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN SHARP noted that property owners can post anything they              
 want.  For example: no shirtless, no backpacks, no sandals.  So               
 people do restrict that.                                                      
                                                                               
 SENATOR DUNCAN commented that maybe we should have them shirtless,            
 then they couldn't have a concealed weapon.                                   
                                                                               
 Number 263                                                                    
                                                                               
 MR. HUBER wanted committee members to remember that SB 177  does              
 not preclude anyone from flying in the face of good weapon use:               
 someone can still enter a premises if they choose to conceal a gun            
 and are not a permittee.  We are talking about the most law abiding           
 citizens.  No permit has yet been revoked because of misuse of the            
 weapon.                                                                       
                                                                               
 SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS stated that is probably because of the way             
 the law is today.                                                             
                                                                               
 SENATOR DUNCAN commented that is a good reason to keep it that way.           
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN SHARP stated his biggest concern isn't permittees, it's              
 someone carrying who isn't a permittee.                                       
                                                                               
 SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS asked what the public policy is behind                 
 allowing for people to have concealed weapons on a school bus, or             
 even on school grounds.  Aren't we sending the wrong message to the           
 kids?  He just can't accept that.                                             
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN SHARP thinks a school district could prohibit that.  A               
 school district would have the right to post anything they want,              
 just like any other business.  At least that is his understanding.            
                                                                               
 Number 237                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR DONLEY informed the committee that he was the author of the           
 law that currently bans guns from school grounds.  He asked how the           
 concealed carrying law would interplay with that ban.                         
                                                                               
 MR. HUBER responded that is addressed in Section 1 of SB 177.  It             
 corresponds with Section 6, which provides an affirmative defense             
 to AS 11.61.210, that prohibits weapons on school grounds.  The               
 reason for school grounds, is to accommodate people dropping off or           
 picking up people on school grounds.  If a permittee drives past a          
 school, they are guilty of a misdemeanor.                                     
                                                                               
 SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS asked if anyone has been convicted of that.            
                                                                               
 MR. HUBER replied not that he knows of.                                       
                                                                               
 Number 218                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR DONLEY stated the law banning weapons on school grounds               
 specifies that guns have to be encased and put away before people             
 can come on school grounds.                                                   
                                                                               
 SENATOR DUNCAN stated that is not a requirement with SB 177.                  
                                                                               
 SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS thinks that area should be looked at.  He is           
 having a difficult time accepting that provision.                             
                                                                               
 Number 200                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN SHARP stated he would probably go along with adding school           
 grounds back into SB 177.  On page 6, line 6, take out "or" leave             
 a comma in there and put "junior high, secondary school, or school            
 bus".  He can see the logic to that.  School grounds, passing                 
 through, dropping people off, picking people up, he would hate to             
 see that specifically prohibited, except by the school district.              
                                                                               
 SENATOR DONLEY asked if the sponsor has thought about simply making           
 an exception for picking up and dropping off, rather than a blanket           
 exception for school grounds.                                                 
                                                                               
 MR. HUBER responded that was discussed.  But the problem with that            
 is there are other reasons to go to the school, perhaps to drop off           
 a pair of tennis shoes that your child forgot, perhaps it's playing           
 basketball after hours with your children                                     
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN SHARP asked Senator Phillips if he wanted to discuss his             
 amendments.                                                                   
                                                                               
 Number 165                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS stated his first amendment would delete the            
 reference to school buildings, on the grounds, school parking lot,            
 or school bus.  It also inserts, "or while participating in a                 
 school sponsored event.  Basically, it would bring the committee              
 substitute back to what the current law is, in terms of schools.              
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN SHARP stated he has a problem with that one.                         
                                                                               
 SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS made a motion to adopt amendment #1.                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN SHARP objected to adoption of amendment #1.  The chairman            
 asked if there was any further discussion.                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR DONLEY commented he wished the committee had language                 
 before it that would allow pickups and deliveries.                            
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN SHARP stated that would address most of the concerns he              
 heard at the committee meeting in October.                                    
                                                                               
 The chairman called the roll on the motion.                                   
                                                                               
 Adoption of amendment #1 failed, with a vote of 1 yea, 3 nays, 1              
 absent.  Voting for adoption was Senator Phillips.  Voting against            
 adoption were Senators Sharp, Leman, and Donley.  Senator Duncan              
 was absent.                                                                   
                                                                               
 Number 115                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR DONLEY suggested a conceptual amendment to SB 177.  It                
 would extend the exception for concealed weapons to the act of                
 delivering or picking up from a school.  If someone was dropping              
 off someone else's sneakers or something, he would want to include            
 that.  So he wouldn't limit it to just delivering or picking up               
 children.  The building, grounds, and school buses would be off               
 limits.                                                                       
                                                                               
 Number 103                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS asked what the law was concerning                      
 unconcealed weapons on school grounds.                                        
                                                                               
 SENATOR DONLEY replied they are banned.                                       
                                                                               
 SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS said, "And yet we want to allow concealed              
 weapons on school grounds."                                                   
                                                                               
 SENATOR DONLEY responded that state law allows encased weapons on             
 school grounds.                                                               
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN SHARP noted you can also have encased weapons on school              
 grounds if you're going to a shooting range in the school.                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR DONLEY stated that the only difference here is that a                 
 permittee wouldn't have to unload or encase their weapon to deliver           
 and pick up.  But if you went on to the school grounds for other              
 purposes- you couldn't go in the building with it, you couldn't go            
 on a school bus, you couldn't hang out in the school parking lot              
 with it.  You could just deliver and pick up.  That would be his              
 conceptual amendment.                                                         
                                                                               
 SENATOR LEMAN stated he doesn't object to that conceptual                     
 amendment, but he wonders if that is covered now under federal law.           
 What is the federal law concerning school grounds?                            
 Number 068                                                                    
                                                                               
 MR. HUBER responded that federal law has been struck down because             
 of interstate commerce.  So state law is the only law in place                
 prohibiting that.                                                             
                                                                               
 SENATOR LEMAN stated he doesn't have any objection to that.  His              
 concern is the person who is "hanging out".                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN SHARP asked if there was any other discussion on the                 
 conceptual amendment.  Hearing none, he asked if there was any                
 objection to the conceptual amendment.                                        
                                                                               
 SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS objected.  If the law says, right now,                 
 unconcealed weapons, exposed, is prohibited by law on school                  
 grounds, unless they're unloaded and encased - in this situation              
 we're talking about the possibility of a loaded gun, concealed, and           
 allowed to be on school grounds.                                              
                                                                               
 SENATOR DONLEY stated it would be allowed only for the purposes of            
 picking up and delivering something.                                          
                                                                               
 SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS said he doesn't know why anyone would want             
 to do that.                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN SHARP asked the secretary to call the roll.                          
                                                                               
 The conceptual amendment passed with a vote of 3 yeas, 1 nay, and             
 1 absent.  Voting for amendment are Senators Sharp, Leman, and                
 Donley.  Voting against the amendment is Senator Phillips.  Senator           
 Duncan is absent.                                                             
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN SHARP asked if there are any other amendments.                       
                                                                               
 SENATOR LEMAN stated he had an amendment.                                     
                                                                               
 TAPE 96-13, SIDE A                                                            
                                                                               
 Number 001                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR LEMAN made a motion to adopt amendment #2.  He explained              
 that amendment #2 would reinsert certain misdemeanors that have               
 been taken out of the committee substitute.  He believes that if a            
 person commits these misdemeanors, they should have to wait five              
 years before being able to obtain a permit.                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN SHARP asked if there was discussion on the amendment.                
                                                                               
 SENATOR LEMAN asked if there was any comment from the sponsor.                
                                                                               
 Number 030                                                                    
                                                                               
 MR. HUBER responded it was the sponsor's attempt to use the                   
 criteria of acts that include violence to another person or misuse            
 of weapons.  Senator Leman's list seems to leave out the most                 
 questionable of the misdemeanors that were in the original law.               
                                                                               
 Number 039                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN SHARP asked if there is objection to amendment #2.                   
 Hearing none, he stated that amendment #2 was adopted.                        
                                                                               
 Number 045                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS offered amendment #3.  This specifies that             
 a permittee may not carry a concealed weapon into- and it reinserts           
 paragraphs (4-12).  He offered the amendment for institutions such            
 as the Mary Conrad Center.  This would just bring the committee               
 substitute back to current law.                                               
                                                                               
 SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS moved amendment #3.                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN SHARP objected for the purposes of discussion.                       
                                                                               
 SENATOR LEMAN asked what amendment #3 would do.                               
                                                                               
 SENATOR DONLEY replied it just seems to restore the status quo,               
 with the exception of the addition of prohibition for a business,             
 hospital, or nursing home.                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS stated that would take care of the Mary                
 Conrad Center's concerns.                                                     
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN SHARP asked if it wouldn't also delete paragraphs (4-12).            
                                                                               
 SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS said no, it reinserts them.  The current               
 bill deletes it.  All he is doing is to reinsert it.                          
                                                                               
 SENATOR DONLEY stated the result of this amendment would be to keep           
 all the current prohibitions, but also add, nursing homes,                    
 hospitals, and businesses.                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS stated he did get a request from Providence            
 Hospital in Anchorage for this provision.                                     
                                                                               
 SENATOR DONLEY said it is kind of like a double-negative.                     
                                                                               
 CAROLINE LOMBARD, Aide to Senator Phillips, stated that basically,            
 everything that's been capitalized would still be deleted.                    
                                                                               
 Number 107                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR DONLEY stated this amendment deletes this language from SB            
 177.  It's a double negative, so you're back to the status quo.               
 SENATOR LEMAN noted that on page 2, the language specifies                    
 insertion of (4).  Why are you inserting-?  You see what I'm                  
 saying, on page 2?                                                            
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN SHARP commented you don't want that if we're going to have           
 the deletion.                                                                 
                                                                               
 SENATOR LEMAN stated it is getting confusing to him on page 2 with            
 the insert.  Insert, on lines 12-14-                                          
                                                                               
 MS. LOMBARD interjected that is still excluded, so those would not            
 be inserted.                                                                  
                                                                               
 Number 130                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR DONLEY said, "So you want to allow people to still carry              
 concealed weapons to the airline terminal, to a vessel on the                 
 marine highway, and in a financial institution."                              
                                                                               
 SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS said he did not want that.  This is                    
 misdrafted.  The intent is to bring back the marine highway system            
 and airline terminals.                                                        
                                                                               
 Number 150                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS moved amendment #3 with that understanding.            
                                                                               
 SENATOR LEMAN asked, "Which understanding."                                   
                                                                               
 SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS replied that basically he wants to go back             
 to the original law, which includes passenger loading or unloading            
 areas of an airline terminal and vessels of the Alaska Marine                 
 Highway System.  So what we really should do is get rid of that               
 bracket.  I do not want to delete paragraphs (6 & 7).                         
                                                                               
 SENATOR LEMAN clarified that Senator Phillips just wanted to add              
 new language in paragraphs (17-20).                                           
                                                                               
 SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS replied that is correct.                               
                                                                               
 SENATOR DONLEY asked about paragraph (9).                                     
                                                                               
 SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS responded he wants to leave paragraph (9)              
 in.                                                                           
                                                                               
 SENATOR LEMAN asked if Senator Phillips wanted to leave it in the             
 law, or leave it as a deletion.                                               
                                                                               
 SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS replied he wants to leave it the way it is             
 in current law.                                                               
                                                                               
 SENATOR LEMAN commented that means we take it out.                            
 CHAIRMAN SHARP stated he understands the first page.  You get down            
 to insert, and he thinks all you would want to do is have a revised           
 paragraph (9).  The rest of it wouldn't be applicable.                        
                                                                               
 SENATOR LEMAN said, except for line 30, also.  That's an insertion.           
                                                                               
 Number 175                                                                    
                                                                               
 ANN RINGSTAD, Committee Aide, Senate State Affairs Committee,                 
 interjected, "3 and 30."                                                      
                                                                               
 SENATOR LEMAN stated that 3 is in the deletion.                               
                                                                               
 SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS stated that the request he made to the                 
 attorney was to leave everything alone, and add nursing homes and             
 hospitals.  That is all he asked.                                             
                                                                               
 SENATOR DONLEY added that it might be easier to just make an oral             
 motion.                                                                       
                                                                               
 SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS offered a conceptual amendment.  The                   
 amendment is to leave the law the way it is-                                  
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN SHARP interjected, "Leave the law, not the cs."                      
                                                                               
 SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS replied, "The law."                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS continued, saying add paragraph (7), which             
 would include institutions like the Mary Conrad Center and                    
 Providence Hospital.                                                          
                                                                               
 Number 192                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR DONLEY asked Senator Phillips if the language on line 30              
 was important to him.                                                         
                                                                               
 SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS asked what it would mean.                              
                                                                               
 SENATOR DONLEY replied he does not know what it means.  He is not             
 proposing the amendment.                                                      
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN SHARP thinks federal law takes precedence anyway.                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS said to just delete that.  He thinks the               
 chairman is correct.                                                          
                                                                               
 Number 200                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN SHARP stated he could go for adding: business, hospital,             
 nursing home.                                                                 
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN SHARP asked if there was any other discussion on the                 
 motion.  Hearing none, the chairman stated he objected to the                 
 motion and asked the secretary to take the roll.                              
                                                                               
 Amendment #3 failed, 1 yea, 3 nays, and 1 absent.  Voting for the             
 amendment was Senator Phillips.  Voting against the amendment were            
 Senators Sharp, Leman, and Donley.  Senator Duncan was absent.                
                                                                               
 SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS commented that SB 177 is so bad now, that he           
 doesn't even think he wants to improve it.                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN SHARP asked if there are any other amendments to come                
 before the committee.                                                         
                                                                               
 SENATOR DONLEY asked where SB 177 goes next.                                  
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN SHARP replied SB 177 goes to Judiciary, then Finance.  The           
 chairman called witnesses to testify.                                         
                                                                               
 Number 225                                                                    
                                                                               
 GARY HAYDEN, System Director, Alaska Marine Highway System, stated            
 opposition to SB 177, because it would allow the carrying of                  
 weapons onto marine highway vessels, which is contrary to current             
 Alaska Marine Highway System policy.  The current policy is that              
 people are allowed to either keep their weapons locked in their               
 cars, or check their weapons with the purser.  People are so used             
 to doing that, that some people even check in their sheath knives             
 with the purser.  The purser gives the weapon owner a claim ticket,           
 and the owner picks the weapon up at the end of the voyage.  There            
 are a lot of security reasons why we have that policy.  It seems to           
 be working.                                                                   
                                                                               
 Number 240                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR DONLEY asked if there is anything in existing law                     
 prohibiting the marine highway system from adopting regulations or            
 policies that would conform to their current policy.                          
                                                                               
 Number 245                                                                    
                                                                               
 MR. HUBER responded that he does not know of anything, but that               
 question is better posed to counsel.                                          
                                                                               
 SENATOR DONLEY almost thinks that the marine highway system could             
 go ahead and do that on their own.                                            
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN SHARP would think so also.  If a private person can post,            
 he would think a public facility could post rules and regulations             
 in the terminal.                                                              
                                                                               
 SENATOR DONLEY and CHAIRMAN SHARP think the Judiciary Committee               
 could probably explore that.                                                  
 Number 255                                                                    
                                                                               
 BOB PROVOST, lobbyist for Inland Boatman's Union/Pacific, informed            
 the committee that the IBU/P represents most of the employees on              
 the marine highway system.  He stated he supports Mr. Hayden's                
 testimony.  As far as inconveniencing permittees, Mr. Provost does            
 not think those circumstances apply on the marine highway system.             
 People are generally on ferries for a couple hours to three or four           
 days.  In the summer time, the ferries carry a lot of passengers,             
 and many people do not stay in staterooms.  There are people                  
 sleeping all over the ferry, from the solarium, to the lounges, to            
 the hallways.  If someone legally carrying a handgun is sleeping on           
 deck, they don't have a secure place to put that handgun.  We have            
 a lot of children who travel with their families in the summer                
 time, and in the winter time we have school teams travelling.  He             
 is concerned that a child might come across a handgun, and the door           
 would be opened for a mishap.  He is not saying permittees are                
 dangerous-these people are licensed to carry handguns, there is no            
 problem there, but he just sees the potential for a mishap if these           
 firearms are not secured in a safe place.  There is a long history            
 of safe transportation on the ferries, so the concern for someone             
 getting robbed on the ferry-really that would be very rare.                   
 Therefore, Mr. Provost does not think the concern for personal                
 safety really applies on the ferry.  IBU/P would feel really                  
 uncomfortable that there might be a possibility for mishaps.                  
                                                                               
 Number 295                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN SHARP does not think there are any laws prohibiting                  
 rifles, shotguns, or any other type of weapon onto a ferry.  The              
 Alaska Marine Highway System has the regulations that shut it down,           
 and the chairman thinks the system could still do that with                   
 concealed carry permittees.  He does not think the concealed weapon           
 law gives permittees the right to carry their weapon in any areas             
 any more than it does the owner of a rifle or a shotgun, if you               
 have regulations posted that it is against the law on the ferries.            
                                                                               
 MR. PROVOST responded he does not know.                                       
                                                                               
 SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS asked if persons are allowed to have                   
 unconcealed weapons on the ferries.                                           
                                                                               
 MR. PROVOST responded, "No."  If the weapon is locked in the                  
 passengers vehicle, that is no problem.  There are surveillance               
 cameras on the car deck.  He has worked on the ferry system for 18            
 years.  As a purser, he has had policemen travelling with their               
 families on vacation check their handguns.  It is standard                    
 procedure and has worked well over the years.                                 
                                                                               
 Number 316                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR LEMAN suggested that if the marine highway system's policy            
 has been in place for so many years, then he doesn't think SB 177             
 would change that policy.  He is of the same opinion as the                   
 chairman: deleting this does not prevent the system from having               
 that regulation.                                                              
                                                                               
 Number 325                                                                    
                                                                               
 MR. PROVOST replied that, as far as the legal ramifications, he               
 does not know.  If it's state law that they're allowed to carry               
 their concealed weapons, he doesn't know how far reaching that                
 would be.                                                                     
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN SHARP asked that the Judiciary Committee determine that              
 the Alaska Marine Highway System still has the right to deny                  
 carrying of firearms.  He does not believe they belong off the car            
 deck and out of the car either.                                               
                                                                               
 Number 333                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR DONLEY suggested adding a note to the bill referral to the            
 Judiciary Committee asking that they examine that question.  The              
 law is, that the presumption is, that the citizens have the right             
 to keep and bear arms, and then we refine that.  You can carry any            
 weapon you want, as long as it's in the open.  The exception to               
 that is if you get a concealed carry permit, then you can carry               
 concealed.  But there are still some places where you won't be able           
 to carry any weapon at any time, whether it's concealed or in the             
 open.  How all these things interplay, would be a good question for           
 the Judiciary Committee.                                                      
                                                                               
 Number 346                                                                    
                                                                               
 VERNON MARSHALL, Lobbyist, NEA - Alaska, stated his concern had               
 been partially addressed.  That concern related to school grounds.            
 Schools are experiencing some increase in violent activity, and               
 NEA's position is that schools should be gun-free areas.  We were             
 going to ask that the current definition in Chapter 11 be kept,               
 which defines school grounds as building structure, athletic                  
 playing field, playground, parking area, and basically the land               
 that contains the real property of the school as areas where                  
 concealed carrying would be prohibited.  That is current law.  For            
 the safety of children and of the public, it is wise to not - and             
 we're not trying to address whether a permittee is a good citizen             
 or not.  We assume folks are good citizens, because they got the              
 permit.  We are concerned about those who don't have permits.  But            
 having guns on campus is not good public policy, and we're opposed            
 to that.  Mr. Marshall stated he was pleased to see Senator                   
 Phillips amendments.                                                          
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN SHARP asked that Judiciary look at the conceptual language           
 that the State Affairs Committee tightened up.                                
                                                                               
 Number 372                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR DONLEY stated that if it is drafted correctly, it should              
 maintain all the current bans anywhere described, the only                    
 exception would be going to and from for picking up and dropping              
 off.  In the next committee we could narrow the debate to whether             
 that should be allowed, or not.                                               
                                                                               
 MR. MARSHALL thought that basically, you would encase the gun and             
 unload the weapon.                                                            
                                                                               
 SENATOR DONLEY stated that is under existing law.  The exception              
 here would be that permittees would be allowed to pick up and drop            
 off.  Under the conceptual amendment permittees wouldn't have to              
 unload or encase.  That would be the only difference now in SB 177.           
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN SHARP noted that would exclude loitering and everything              
 else.                                                                         
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN SHARP asked if there were any other amendments.  Hearing             
 none, he asked the pleasure of the committee.                                 
                                                                               
 SENATOR LEMAN suggested reporting the bill, as amended with the               
 accompanying fiscal notes.                                                    
                                                                               
 MS. RINGSTAD noted that there is a negative fiscal note from DPS              
 and a zero fiscal note from LAW.                                              
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN SHARP noted that there has been testimony that this                  
 program would not be subsidized.                                              
                                                                               
 SENATOR LEMAN wanted a message sent to the Finance Committee to               
 look at the upper limit, the dollars.  And a note to Judiciary on             
 these others-all of those things accompanying it.                             
                                                                               
 SENATOR DONLEY asked if part of the motion to move the bill was to            
 ask the Judiciary Committee to examine the issue of the authority.            
                                                                               
 SENATOR LEMAN and CHAIRMAN SHARP replied, "Yes."                              
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN SHARP added, "And to ask Finance to make sure it isn't a             
 subsidized activity."                                                         
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN SHARP asked if there were any other comments.  Hearing               
 none, the chairman asked if there was objection to moving the bill            
 with accompanying fiscal notes from committee.  Hearing none, SB              
 177 was discharged from the Senate State Affairs Committee.                   

Document Name Date/Time Subjects