House gun bill slated for hearing
With the Parkland, Fla., shooting that took 17 lives still fresh on people’s minds, state lawmakers will hold their first gun bill hearing Wednesday.
Under House Rep. Geran Tarr’s House Bill 75, family members or law enforcement will be permitted to remove guns from someone they believe could harm themselves or others.
The bill works like this: a petition for a protective order would first be filed in court. A judge who will have the power to take away the guns for up to six months would hear both sides.
Tarr, an Anchorage Democrat, introduced the bill last year over concern for Alaska's high rate of suicide but says the Florida school shooting gives the bill more urgency.
“We saw students walking out of classrooms in multiple cities across Alaska last week,” she said. “They are calling for action. One of our jobs as representatives is to respond to that public outcry. I have made a renewed push to have a hearing on it,” Tarr said.
Tarr said she is following guidance from U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R) who told lawmakers changes are needed. Last week, Murkowski said Congress needs to take action though she never used the word gun.
“We cannot become numb to the violence that is around us,” she told lawmakers. “If the senseless death of children cannot bring us together to find solutions, I don’t know what can.”
On Monday, U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan (R) said many gun law changes should come from state lawmakers. He said each state has unique circumstances that could preclude some changes nationally.
“We lead the nation in gun deaths, largely because of the high rates of suicide. I think this is a really important discussion for Alaska for those reasons,” Tarr said. “There is certainly renewed interested because of what’s happened in Florida.”
The bill's fine for not giving up a gun-- if a judge rules that way-- is up to a year in jail and a fine up to $10,000.
The bill will get its first hearing Wednesday afternoon in the House Judiciary Committee.
Copyright 2018 KTVA. All rights reserved.
YOU MAY ALSO BE INTERESTED IN: