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Hawaii: Gun Bills Galore

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Hawaii: Gun Bills Galore

On Thursday, February 6th, multiple committees are scheduled to hear numerous gun control bills. To give you an idea of the disrespect for your freedom, the joint committee in the House has scheduled 10 minutes to consider five anti-gun bills! Please consider submitting testimony through the Hawaii Legislative website and by clicking on the “Take Action” button below to email committee members directly. For help creating an account and submitting testimony, click here.

State Capitol
415 South Beretania Street
Honolulu, HI 96813 

Senate Committee on Public Safety, Intergovernmental, and Military Affairs

1:15PM in Conference Room 229

Senate Bill 2002 criminalizes an individual for possession of a loaded firearm on their own property after consuming any alcohol. This bill does not even include a self-defense exception.

Senate Bill 2437 removes the ban on electric stun guns in accordance to court precedent, but subjects these important tools of self-defense to excessive red tape and regulations. In Caetano v. Massachusetts (2016), the U.S. Supreme Court made clear that electric stun guns are protected under the Second Amendment.

Senate Bill 2518 makes changes to Hawaii's concealed carry permit statute, authorizing the Attorney General to issue statewide permits, in addition to changing the point of payment from when a license is granted to when an application is submitted and increasing the cost by tenfold. The reality of concealed carry in Hawaii is that the State prides itself on the most restrictive criteria in the Country, having not issued a single license in years. The changes do not actually benefit those seeking to exercise their constitutional rights, but instead appears more like an exercise in discouraging applications with high costs and certain denial.   

Senate Bill 2519 prohibits possession of magazines capable of holding more than ten rounds. These so called “high capacity” magazines are in fact standard equipment for commonly-owned firearms that many Americans legally and effectively use for an entire range of legitimate purposes, such as self-defense or competition. The bill recognizes the utility of these magazines by carving out an exemption for law enforcement, but will still violate the rights of ordinary citizens. It contains no “grandfathering” provision for magazines lawfully acquired prior to the ban, so citizens will be forced to dispose of their property, alter it, or surrender it to the government. Just last year, a 9th Circuit opinion ruled that California's ban on standard capacity magazines was unconstitutional in Duncan v. Becerra out of California. This case is currently under appeal.

Senate Bill 2635 restricts ammunition purchases and possession to those who provide a proof of firearm registration for the particular caliber of purchase. Additionally, the legislation requires licensing for ammunition sellers. The reality of this legislation is that those who have firearms that were not required to be registered with the state, those visiting the state, or people who have firearms capable of shooting multiple calibers will be denied the ability to purchase ammunition. Further, those who may be purchasing ammunition to hunt or shoot with a friend or simply try out a firearm will also be denied this basic right not because of any prohibiting factors, but based on overly restrictive policies. 

Senate Bill 2943 prohibits the purchase and manufacture of certain firearms parts by private individuals in an effort to ban home built firearms. The language is vague and overly broad as to what could subject a person to felony penalties. It fails to recognize that prohibited persons already cannot lawfully possess any firearm, whether home built or produced by a licensed manufacturer.

Senate Bill 3053 contains vague language that simply bans "fifty caliber guns." We can only guess at the author's intent on this one.... The term “gun” is not defined in the definition section of the chapter of the Hawaii statutes relating to firearms. As written, this bill could ban .50 BMG rifles, .500 Smith & Wesson revolvers, and .50-caliber pistols like the Desert Eagle. Moreover, due to the bizarre drafting, this legislation has the potential to implicate shotguns and even many muzzleloaders, especially those popular for hunting.

Senate Bill 3054 requires individuals to provide notice of permanent removal of a firearm outside the state with the registering county within five days. This legislation is not rooted in sound policy that focuses on the criminal misuse of firearms. Instead, this could expose otherwise law-abiding citizens to criminal penalties for simply moving out of state. This could have a detrimental impact on the many military members who are stationed in Hawaii, as well as having no enforcement mechanism. 

House Committee on Judiciary and House Committee on Public Safety, Veterans, & Military Affairs

2:05PM in Conference Room 325

House Bill 1733, like Senate Bill 2943 above, prohibits the purchase and manufacture of certain firearms parts by private individuals in an effort to ban home built firearms.

House Bill 2744 HD 1 uses your tax dollars to create a commission to research “gun violence.” While the NRA is not opposed to objective research involving sound science, we are concerned that this can be misused to advocate for predetermined policy positions and generate anti-gun propaganda.

House Bill 2631 requires the chief of police to attest that a review of an individual’s mental health records had been completed prior to issuance of a firearm permit. The legislation is broad in scope, not placing limits on the inquiry to prohibiting factors or adjudications. 

House Bill 1615 criminalizes an individual for possession of a loaded firearm on their own property after consuming any alcohol. This bill does not even include a self-defense exception.

House Bill 2736, like Senate Bill 2635 above, restricts ammunition purchases and possession to those who provide a proof of firearm registration for the particular caliber of purchase. 

2:15PM in Conference Room 325

House Bill 1600 repeals the temporary loan provisions for firearms.

House Bill 1902, like Senate Bill 2519 above, also prohibits possession of magazines capable of holding more than ten rounds.

House Bill 2232 expands the ability to prohibit categories for firearm ownership by requiring medical documentation that an individual is no longer adversely affected from behavioral, emotional or mental disorders as a minor. The language of this legislation is vague and could implicate those who have received treatment for common, non-dangerous mental health issues. The legislation further stigmatizes individuals who receive mental health treatment.

House Bill 2709 imposes additional red tape regarding the closure of estates that include firearms. This insensitive legislation places a further burden on loved ones during their time of loss.

House Bill 2710 removes Fourth Amendment rights from individuals of certain court orders by broadening the circumstances in which law enforcement can conduct warrantless searches. 

Again, please click the “Take Action” button above and ask the committees to OPPOSE these bills.

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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.