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2011 Hawaii Legislative Session in Review

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The 2011 Hawaii legislative session adjourned on May 5.  Firearm-related issues were not a top priority as legislators spent the bulk of their time working on the state budget. 

The following measures were held-up in their respective committees and will return as carryover bills in the 2012 session.  The two most onerous bills that may see a return are House Bill 441, sponsored by anti-gun state Representative Blake Oshiro (D-33), and House Bill 834, introduced by state Representative Karl Rhoads (D-28).

House Bill 441 is a divisive six-point omnibus gun control 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. prohibit the import, sale, and transfer of .50 BMG rifles or cartridges after July 1, 2011.

House Bill 834 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. 

A number of pro-gun bills also will be carried over and will be back in 2012. 

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 operating ranges from frivolous lawsuits. 

House Bill 114, sponsored by state Representative Angus McKelvey (D-10), would exempt retired law enforcement officers from certain firearm and ammunition regulations if they are qualified under federal law.

House Bill 417, introduced by state Representative Calvin Say (D-20), would require county chiefs of police to issue Concealed Carry Weapons permits.  Senate Bill 835 is the companion measure introduced by state Senator Sam Slom (R-8), who also introduced Senate Bill 836, which would authorize chiefs of police to issue licenses to openly carry firearms.

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NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.