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Hawaii: One Anti-Gun Bill Deferred, Four Anti-Gun Bills Still on the Move

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Hawaii: One Anti-Gun Bill Deferred, Four Anti-Gun Bills Still on the Move

Yesterday, House Bill 626 was deferred by the Senate Judiciary and Labor Committee; however, House Bill 625, House Bill 2629, and House Bill 2632 were all amended and passed out of the committee.  All three of these bills will now go to the Senate floor for consideration by the full Senate.  Additionally, Senate Bill 2647, a bill which would ban the sale, purchase and possession with the intent to sell legally acquired ivory and ivory products, passed the House Committee on Judiciary with amendments and will now go to the House floor for consideration by the full House of Representatives.  Please contact your state Senator in opposition to HB 625, HB 2629 and HB 2632, and your state Representative in opposition to SB 2647.  Please click the “Take Action” button below to contact your state legislators!

HB 625 would expand prohibited possessors to include certain misdemeanor crimes.  Under this bill, sending unwanted text messages and emails could qualify someone for misdemeanor stalking and possibly result in an individual being denied a constitutional right.  Constitutional rights are generally restricted only upon conviction of a felony.  The reasons for this are two-fold.  It limits restrictions on constitutional rights to only the most serious offenses, and, perhaps more importantly, felony convictions provide greater procedural protections to the accused, which results in more reliable convictions.  The right to keep and bear arms should not be treated as a second-class right and should be restricted only upon conviction of a felony.

Further, by including a new category of prohibited possessors for certain misdemeanor crimes some citizens who may have taken a plea deal years ago will also become prohibited overnight and not have been apprised of this additional penalty when taking their deal or fighting their case.  Gun owners may not even know they are prohibited under this new statute until they renew their permit and discover that they are now in violation of the law due to a misdemeanor crime that occurred many years ago.

HB 2629 would expand the existing registration requirement and input law-abiding Hawaii gun owners into a federal biometric database, managed by the FBI, for continuous monitoring, and could be in violation of your Fourth Amendment rights.  Positive hits in this system have not necessarily been adjudicated and could cause issues with an individual’s ability to exercise their constitutional rights.  Additionally, this could result in a potential fee increase and cost gun owners more than what is already required in Hawaii due to the cost associated with adding individuals into this biometric database.

HB 2632 would expand the list of possible prohibited possessors to include anyone who has undergone or is undergoing emergency hospitalization.  This expansion for emergency hospitalization is vague and could entrap a person who has suffered something as common as diabetic shock to suddenly lose their Second Amendment rights, without due process of the law, simply for receiving care.  Additionally under this bill, individuals are required to surrender firearms immediately, or else law enforcement will seize firearms, all without due process.

SB 2647 would ban the sale, purchase, barter, and possession with intent to sell any ivory (defined to include mammoth ivory), ivory product, rhinoceros horn, rhinoceros horn product and products from various other animal species. 

While the NRA stands in opposition to the illegal ivory trade and poaching, banning the trade and sale of legally owned, pre-ban ivory will not save one elephant (much less mammoths, ivory from which is covered in the bill, even though mammoths have long been extinct).  SB 2647 will however negatively impact those who have no part in these illegal activities.  American collectors, sportsmen, hunters, and recreational shooters have legally purchased firearms that incorporate ivory features for decades.  These include some of America’s most historically significant and collectible guns.  Ivory is also commonly integrated in accessories used by hunters and fishermen, such as knife handles, and handles for gun cleaning equipment and tools.  Additionally, this bill would not allow antique dealers and collectors to buy or sell other legal, antique ivory and ivory products such as musical instruments, jewelry and furniture pieces. 

There are several narrow and limited exceptions for knives, firearms and musical instruments; however, the exceptions are confusing and burdensome for individuals. 

Once again, please click the “Take Action” button above to contact your state legislators in opposition to these bills!

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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.