On March 5, Senate Bill 69 passed out of the state Senate by a 21-3 vote. Introduced by state senators Will Espero (D-19), Rosalyn Baker (D-6), Brickwood Galuteria (D-12) and Josh Green (D-3), SB 69 was originally a gun buy-back bill, but has since evolved into a firearm registration and background check bill. In its current state, SB 69 will require fingerprinting and processing through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (“NICS”) in addition to the already existing registration requirement on ALL firearms brought into the state. It will also allocate an unspecified amount of money to each county to process these mandated background checks during a time when budgets and Hawaii’s economy are already strained.
Individuals 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, photographing, 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 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.
The bill has been referred to the House Public Safety, Judiciary, and Finance committees. Please contact your state Representative TODAY and urge him or her to oppose SB 69. You can find you state Representative and their contact information below.