As early as tomorrow, House Bill 888 could be voted on by the Hawaii House of Representatives and Senate. HB 888, which is aimed at those who recklessly possess a firearm while intoxicated, has morphed throughout the session. Most recently there was a disagreement between versions of the bill in the respective chambers and the bill was sent to conference committee. The result of this committee is a bill that has dangerous implications for law-abiding gun owners that is likely well beyond the prescribed intent. The problem lies in the broad definition of “possession” which could possibly extend to a firearm that isn’t actually in one’s possession but nearby or accessible in one’s home. For example, an individual who has come home from having a few drinks with friends and goes to bed next to a nightstand containing a loaded self-defense gun, could be charged with a crime. This could also include those using narcotics while recovering from surgery. Further, acting under personal bias, an anti-gun prosecutor or judge could consider the charge a “violent” misdemeanor thereby removing someone’s Second Amendment rights unfairly.
It is important that you contact your legislators and strongly urge them to oppose House Bill 888 when it comes up for a vote or re-commit the bill to committee for further study and consideration. Contact information for your legislators can be found here.