"Dog" Chapman Testifies Against Bounty Hunter Bill

Beth Smith and Duane "Dog" Chapman
Beth Smith and Duane "Dog" Chapman
Charles Fisher
Charles Fisher

(KHNL)  Hawaii's world famous bounty hunter Duane "Dog" Chapman  went on the hunt at the State Capitol Thursday. He voiced his opposition to a bill that he says threatens his livelihood.

The hearing started with Chapman introducing himself, "My name is Duane "Dog" Chapman, and I've been a bail enforcement or bounty hunter for 27 years."

Fans and friends held signs saying, "We need the Dog" and "In Dog we Trust".

Chapman told lawmakers, "Bounty hunters provide a great service to the state of Hawaii."

With a celebrity in the hot seat, members of the House Judiciary Committee are considering a bill that would regulate Chapman's and seven other local bail agencies.

More than a dozen states regulate bounty hunters. Chapman agrees, "I absolutely believe Hawaii needs to do that, but this is not the way."

The bill requires bounty hunters have permission to enter the fugitive's hideout.

"If guy has address of his auntie you just can't kick auntie's door in," said Chapman.

The new bill would prohibit someone from becoming a bounty hunter if they were ever convicted of a felony or weapons violation.  Chapman was convicted of murder in 1977, but was released two years later.

When Chapman started his business in 1989 there were just three bail bonds agencies. Now there are eight.

Charles Fisher is another bounty hunter, but he supports the bill.

"There are parts of bill that deserve attention people should be trained and licensed in this. I have a gardner who works in my yard and he has to have a license to plant a flower," said Fisher.

Chapman says he won't let competition stand in his way.

"We can work on something togoether to make this a good bill for all the people of Hawaii. But the way it stands now, the bill is biased to the fugitve and competitors who'd like to see Dog out of business."