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Trouble In Paradise

Trouble In Paradise

Photo credit: Gasgi | Telnyawka

A handful of NRA-opposed bills are making their way through the state legislature in Hawaii, threatening to make the state’s already-restrictive gun laws even more onerous for law-abiding gun owners.

Five measures have been approved by both the state House and the Senate, and will be returned to conference committee for further consideration. All should be opposed by Hawaii’s law-abiding gun owners.

Per NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action, here are the measures currently under consideration:

HB 625 would expand prohibited possessors to include certain misdemeanor crimes. In fact, according to NRA-ILA, under this bill, sending unwanted text messages and emails could qualify someone for misdemeanor stalking and possibly result in an individual being denied the right to keep and bear arms. Constitutional rights are typically restricted only upon conviction of a felony for good reason. 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.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.

Additionally, should the state include 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. 

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, whose ivory is covered in the bill even though mammoths have long been extinct). SB 2647 would, 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. 

Another measure, 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 his or her Second Amendment rights, without due process of the law, simply for receiving care. 

Moreover, under this bill affected individuals are required to surrender firearms immediately, or law enforcement will seize firearms, all without due process. 

Lastly, both HB 2629 and SB 2954 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.

We’ll keep you posted on these measures as they are further considered in the Aloha State legislature.

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