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Hawaii: Anti-Gun Bills Await House Committee Action

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Please contact your state Representative today

Two major anti-gun bills currently await action in both the House Public Safety and Military Affairs Committee and the House Judiciary Committee.  House Bill 441 is a six-point omnibus bill that seeks to further restrict the rights of law-abiding gun owners.  House Bill 834 would make it difficult to purchase ammunition.  At this time a committee hearing has not been set, but both bills could be considered in the near future.

Introduced by anti-gun state Representative Blake Oshiro (D-33), House Bill 441 is a divisive six-point omnibus measure that would:

1. mandate that safety devices be sold with a firearm; 
2. require proof or registration of the firearm for which any ammunition is purchased;
3. 
mandate secure storage of firearms and ammunition by firearm dealers;
4. 
prohibit the disclosure of the source of information used to deny the firearm permit to purchase application based on the applicant’s mental disorder;
5. 
require the theft of a firearm be reported within 24 hours of the occurrence;
6. and prohibit the import, sale, and transfer of .50 BMG rifles or cartridges after July 1, 2011.

House Bill 834, sponsored by state Representative Karl Rhoads (D-28), would make it unlawful for a person or entity to sell or distribute ammunition unless the purchaser shows proof that the firearm for which the ammunition is to be used is registered. 

Please contact your state Representative and urge him or her to OPPOSE HB 441 and HB 834.  Contact information for your Representative can be found here.

On a positive note, two pro-gun bills still have a fighting chance in the Hawaii Legislature.   

House Bill 679, introduced by state Representatives Ken Ito (D-48) and Sharon Har (D-40), would exempt NRA instructors from absolute liability for injury or damages caused by discharge of their firearms during the course of providing training to obtain a permit to acquire firearms.  The Senate version of this legislation is Senate Bill 834, sponsored by state Senator Sam Slom (R-8).

House Bill 1526, also introduced by state Representatives Ken Ito and Sharon Har, is a shooting range protection bill that would prevent nuisance lawsuits against existing ranges.  Limiting the liability of those who own or use a shooting range will help save existing ranges from being forced to close and protect those involved with running ranges from frivolous lawsuits. 

HB 679 and HB 1526 have not been scheduled for hearings, but your NRA is pushing for these much-needed changes.  Although budget issues remain the primary concern in Honolulu at this time, please contact your state Representative and ask him or her to take up and support HB 679 and HB 1523.  Contact information for your state Representative can be found here.

One of the NRA's strengths in any given state is our relationship with the State Association, and Hawaii is no different.  The Hawaii Rifle Association (HRA) is one of the most active and long-standing organizations on the islands, so if you are a gun owner or firearms enthusiast who wants to get connected and plugged-in to what is happening either at the State Capitol or in the shooting sports, now is your chance.  The HRA is hosting its annual member and informational meeting on Sunday, March 27, at the Koko Head Shooting Complex.  There will be plenty of opportunities to shoot and mingle at this event.  For more information, please contact HRA President Harvey Gerwig at hghawaii@gmail.com.

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