Tomorrow, at 10:00 a.m., the Hawaii House Water and Land Committee is scheduled to hear testimony on House Bill 50, House Bill 1041 and House Bill 837, legislation that will affect your hunting and gun rights in the Aloha State.
SUPPORT: House Bill 50, sponsored by state Representative Ken Ito (D-49), would protect established public and private shooting ranges from being the victim of errant nuisance lawsuits brought against them by neighbors or government agencies.
SUPPORT: House Bill 1041, sponsored by state Representative Richard Onishi (D-3), would create a hunting commission to advise the Governor and the Board of Land and Natural Resources (BLNR) on hunting-related issues. Hawaiian hunters need an effective hunting commission that will protect the rich heritage and traditions they enjoy.
OPPOSE: House Bill 837 was introduced with the supposed intent of curbing poaching of elephants in Africa and helping to end the illegal ivory trade. Unfortunately, House Bill 837, sponsored by state Representative Karl Rhoads (D-29), would accomplish neither of its purported objectives. The bill would impact parties who have not participated in the illegal ivory trade; firearm owners, sportsmen, hunters, recreational shooters and gun collectors who have legally purchased firearms (knives, jewelry, musical instruments and other items) that have legally incorporated ivory features for decades.
Historically, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service maintained the position that most ivory in the U.S. has been legally imported and that its sale in the U.S. did not materially contribute to the illegal ivory trade. Nevertheless, under HB 837, the import with intent to sell, cause to be imported with intent to sell, sale, offer for sale, purchase, cause to be purchased, barter, or possession with intent to sell any ivory or rhinoceros horn would be prohibited. Virtually any lawful item containing any amount of ivory, with very limited and narrow exceptions, would be rendered valueless as it would be a misdemeanor to sell/buy for a first offense and a felony for a subsequent offense.
It is imperative that members attend this committee hearing and testify on the above described bills. In order to testify, please sign in/register to submit online testimony and attend to deliver it in person. If you are unable to attend, please contact members of the committee and politely urge them to SUPPORT House Bill 50 and House Bill 1041 and to OPPOSE House Bill 837. Contact information for committee members is provided below.
House Committee on Water and Land:
Representative Ryan Yamane (D-37), Chair
Representative Ty Cullen (D-39), Vice-Chair
Representative Cindy Evans (D-7)
Representative Kaniela Ing (D-11)
Representative Chris Lee (D-51)
Representative Nicole Lowen (D-6)
Representative Scott Nishimoto (D-21)
Representative Calvin Say (D-20)
Representative Feki Pouha (R-47)
Representative Cynthia Thielen (R-50)