22nd Alaska State Legislature
News from Representative Lesil McGuire



Portrait of Representative Lesil McGuire, 123.4 K. Session:
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Juneau, AK 99801-1182
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McGuire Bill Addresses Terrorism Threats
HB 350 Specifies Penalties for Threatening Transport Workers

For Immediate Release: January 24, 2002
Contact: Representative Lesil McGuire at (907) 465-2995

(JUNEAU) - Rep. Lesil McGuire (R-Anchorage) introduced House Bill 350 on Wednesday to extend legal protection against terroristic threats to transportation industry workers, and to tighten up current legal language that is too vague in light of heightened concerns following the Sept. 11 attacks.

"Since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on our nation, people getting ready to board an airliner are rightly more diligent in evaluating their fellow passengers," said McGuire, who chairs the Committee on Economic Development, Trade and Tourism. "A recent incident in Sitka involving a threat to airline personnel in the airport brought to my attention the fact that Alaska has little or no recourse when someone threatens to blow up an airport and the people inside."

In the incident in Sitka, an Alaska Airlines employee was doing her job in security when an individual threatened to leave the airport and return as an assassin if his baggage did not arrive soon. The employee contacted local authorities and the individual making the threat was detained, though later released because of a jurisdiction question.

While this individual was punished only by being barred from flying on Alaska Airlines, McGuire's bill would make it a Class C felony to threaten with bodily harm any transportation employees doing their job. Similar charges could also be levied for disrupting the schedule of a public transportation service or for causing the evacuation of a public area without reasonable cause, McGuire said.

House Bill 350 has been assigned to the House Transportation and Judiciary committees. It is not expected to carry a fiscal note, as the wording only adds language to existing law.

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