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Hawaii: Legislative Update on Last Week's Committee Action

Monday, February 10, 2020

Hawaii: Legislative Update on Last Week's Committee Action

This past week, 18 firearm-related bills were considered in committees in both chambers. While some bills were deferred, a number of bills unfortunately passed out of committee and will continue on. Additionally, some of the deferred measures on the House side were amended into other measures that were passed. At this time, the official amended language is not available. We will continue to keep you posted as the bills progress. Below is an updated status on the measures considered on February 6th:

Senate Committee on Public Safety, Intergovernmental, and Military Affairs

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. SB 2002 failed to pass out of committee. 

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. The committee passed SB 2437 with amendments. 

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 tenfold. The sad 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 proposed in SB 2518 do not actually benefit those seeking to exercise their constitutional rights, but instead appear more like an exercise in discouraging applications with high costs and certain denial.  The committee passed SB 2518 with amendments.  

Senate Bill 2519 prohibits possession of magazines capable of holding more than ten rounds. The committee passed SB 2519 with amendments which are expected to include a grandfather clause for existing magazines, registration requirements for magazines, and the ability to pass magazines on through inheritance. 

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 committee passed SB 2635 with amendments which are expected to eliminate the caliber requirement among other changes. 

Senate Bill 2943 prohibits the purchase and manufacture of certain firearm parts by private individuals in an effort to ban home manufactured 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. SB 2943 failed to pass out of committee.  

Senate Bill 3053 contains vague language that simply bans "fifty caliber guns." SB 3053 failed to pass out of committee. 

Senate Bill 3054 requires individuals to provide notice of permanent removal of a firearm outside the state with the registering county within five days. The committee passed SB 3054 with amendments, most notably to remove the criminal penalties. 

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

House Bill 1733, like Senate Bill 2943 above, prohibits the purchase and manufacture of certain firearm parts by private individuals in an effort to ban home manufactured firearms. HB 1733 failed to pass out of committee; however, certain provisions of the bill were amended into HB 2744. 

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 will be used to advocate for predetermined policy positions and generate anti-gun propaganda. The committee passed HB 2744 with amendments expected to include provisions from HB 1733 related to home manufactured firearms and parts. 

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 and doesn’t limit the inquiry to only reviewing prohibiting factors or adjudications. HB 2631 failed to pass out of committee.  

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. HB 1615 failed to pass out of committee. 

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. HB 2736 passed out of committee with amendments. 

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

House Bill 1600 repeals the temporary loan provisions for firearms. HB 1600 failed to pass out of committee. 

House Bill 1902, like Senate Bill 2519 above, also prohibits possession of magazines capable of holding more than ten rounds. HB 1902 was passed by the committee with amendments expected to include certain provisions of HB 2232.

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. HB 2232 failed to pass out of committee, however portions of the bill were amended into HB 1902. 

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. HB 2709 was passed by the committee with amendments. 

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. HB 2710 failed to pass out of committee. 

Thank you to all those who submitted testimony through the legislative website and those who showed up to testify in committee. Continue to check your inbox and www.nraila.org for updates concerning your Second Amendment Rights and hunting heritage in Hawaii. 

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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.