The Senate Ways And Means money committee (WAM) gave decision and took a vote to pass SB69, SD1, which started out as a gun buyback bill, but ended up stuffed with other issues by Sen.Will Espero’s Public Safety Committee. We haven’t seen the actual Senate Draft 2 (SD2) yet, but Chair David Ige announced his recommendations, removing reference to gun buybacks, mental health background checks, and police gun safety programs from the bill. The $200,000 earmarked appropriation for these is deleted, but a blank line for an appropriation to the county police was left in the bill for further discussion. The bill will authorize the county police to do NICS (National Instant Checks System) checks (supported by HRA) on firearms owners who are already required to register firearms they bring in from out of state, and collect the FBI fee for fingerprints if the registrant has none on file. The 3-day window to register guns brought in is increased to 5 days, compatible with the registration requirement for guns acquired in state, and allowing for 3-day weekends. Sen. Sam Slom voted “no” as did WAM Vice-Chair, Senator Michelle Kidani, who said the counties should fund their own county police programs. Sen. Suzanne Chun Oakland expressed her concern about the Chair’s recommendation to extend the registration window. Go to: http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/measure_indiv.aspx?billtype=SB&billnumber=69&year=2013 in a few days, when the clerks catch up, for the actual SD2 language crossing over to the House where the whole process repeats.
HB603, amending the Hawaii self-defense statutes, was heard yesterday in House Judiciary Committee. Although this complicated section of Hawaii statute could be improved, HRA believes the current statute, only recently passed in 2010, is sufficient, and the legislative climate this year is too volatile, so recommended in testimony that the bill bedeferred indefinitely (dead for the year). Chair Rhoads announced that as his intention. There will be no HB1 draft generated.
The Legislature is at its half-way point March 7, 2013. The worst gun bills are already dead for the year. A big mahalo to all you activists who support our gun rights during this difficult legislative session. Don’t let up before it’s over, May 2!
Dr Maxwell Cooper
HRA Legislative Liaison