Misconduct Involving Weapons Appeal In Alaska

Alaska Statute 11.61.195(a)(1) provides that "a person commits the crime of misconduct involving weapons in the second degree if the person knowingly . . . possesses a firearm during the commission of an offense under AS 11.71.010 -- 11.71.040." In Collins v. State 32 977 P.2d 741 (Alaska App. 1999) the evidence suggested that the defendant dealt drugs in a residence where firearms were found. We held that " AS 11.61.195(a)(1) requires proof of a nexus between a defendant's possession of the firearm and the defendant's commission of the felony drug offense." Even though we assumed that the State presented enough evidence at Collins's trial to prove that nexus, we concluded that Collins's conviction was flawed because the trial jury was not instructed on the nexus requirement, and, therefore, did not find that the State proved this element.