Senate Bill 69 started off as a Gun "Buyback” bill, but has evolved into a “Gun Safety and Education” bill, and by further amendments has morphed into a gun owner harassment/mental interrogation bill. SB 69 will be heard tomorrow, February 20, by the Senate Ways and Means Committee (WAM) at 9:45 AM. This bill, in its current state, will require fingerprinting and NICS checks in addition to the already existing registration requirement on ALL firearms brought into the state, and will allocate $200,000 to police departments to be used at their discretion for safety and training, gun "buybacks" or extensive background checks for mental health. Please contact members of the Senate WAM Committee TODAY and respectfully express your opposition to SB 69.
People who bring firearms into Hawaii from another state, even on a temporary basis, are already required to register their firearms within 72 hours. This bill now adds a fingerprinting AND a background check requirement on the owner in addition to the already burdensome registration requirement on such legally possessed firearms. These requirements are so onerous that if one acquired an antique firearm or an unusable or unserviceable firearm they would still have to undergo the entire background check, registration and fingerprinting process. Hunters and shooters beware, when traveling to Hawaii make sure to allocate at least one or two days to stand in line to register your firearm and undergo fingerprinting and a NICS check in addition to potential “extensive background checks for mental health concerns for certain individuals wishing to register guns,” whatever that means, for a firearm you already legally possess.
SB 69 leaves several things open to question or interpretation. For instance, it fails to define what constitutes an “extensive background check” or what constitutes a “mental health concern.” Without proper definitions, these requirements remain open for interpretation by the local authorities. Further, could these “extensive background checks” turn a five-day hunting or shooting trip to the islands into ten days of psychoanalysis by the local police sergeant? In summary, what can be known for sure is that this bill presents no viable solutions that would make improvements to Hawaii, but instead attacks law-abiding citizens who are choosing to exercise the right to own a firearm.
It is very important that you contact members of the Senate WAM Committee IMMEDIATELY and respectfully express your opposition to SB 69. Contact information for Committee members is provided below.
Senate Ways and Means Committee:
David Y. Ige (D-16), Chairman
Michelle Kindani (D-18), Vice Chairman
Suzanne Chun Oakland (D-13)
Donovan Dela Cruz (D-22)
J. Kalani English (D-7)
Senator Will Espero (D-19)
Gilbert Kahele (D-1)
Gilbert S.C. Keith-Agaran (D-5)
Ronald Kouchi (D-8)
Russell Ruderman (D-2)
Laura Thielen (D-25)
Jill Tokuda (D-24)
Senator Sam Slom (R-9)