House tightens concealed carry bill

Posted: Tuesday, April 16, 2002

JUNEAU (AP) -- The state House on Monday closed a potential loophole in a measure to let people from other states carry concealed weapons in Alaska.

Members decided Alaskans who don't qualify for a concealed-carry permit here shouldn't be allowed to go to another state, get a permit, then use it to carry concealed firearms in Alaska.

But members rejected attempts to further restrict permit holders from other states.

Representatives agreed Monday to take a second look at Senate Bill 242, which they passed last week. The bill would let anyone with a permit to carry a concealed weapon in another state also carry a concealed weapon in Alaska.

Rep. Con Bunde, R-Anchorage, and House Speaker Brian Porter, R-Anchorage, on Monday proposed an amendment to require that people staying in Alaska more than 90 days get an Alaska permit.

''Certainly if you're here 90 days, you're no longer what most would call a tourist,'' Bunde said.

Their amendment also made clear that someone who failed to qualify for an Alaska permit could not obtain a permit elsewhere, then use it in Alaska.

The House agreed to the second part of the amendment, but turned down the 90-day requirement.

Rep. Jeannette James, R-North Pole, said 90 days is more strict than the current 120-day requirement, and that requirement is causing some other states to balk at granting reciprocity in recognizing Alaska permits.

Getting more states to recognize Alaskans' permits when they're traveling is one of the goals of the bill, sponsored by Sen. Robin Taylor, R-Wrangell.

Representatives also rejected an attempt by Rep. Ethan Berkowitz, D-Anchorage, to recognize permits from other states only for people who do not intend to become residents of Alaska.

The new version of the bill passed the House 29-8, with Reps. Berkowitz, Sharon Cissna, Reggie Joule, Mary Kapsner, Beth Kerttula, Albert Kookesh, Lisa Murkowski and Porter voting no.

Because the bill is now different from the version that passed the Senate, it will go back to the Senate for concurrence. If the Senate does not agree to the changes, a conference committee would work out the differences.

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