The HI State Legislature 2015 Session adjourned on time May 7, with a flurry of gun bill activity over the “Deedy” bill, HB888, providing for a petty misdemeanor for recklessly possessing a loaded firearm while intoxicated. Supportive State Representatives and gun rights supporters were alarmed over the amendments in the conference draft (CD1), published 10 days before the end of the session and long after any public testimony was taken. The final draft included possession in the home, prescription drug use, and deleted that the firearm must be discharged, making it just too easy for an improper charge to be brought against an innocent gun owner, with the potential for loss of gun rights if convicted.
Our friends in the House advised that 26 Representatives (a majority by 1 vote) indicated they would vote “no” on a floor vote, so the bill was unanimously re-referred. That means “sent back to committee,” so IT’S NOT OVER! The bill remains alive for 2016. F-rated House judiciary committee Chair Rhoads and his Senate counterpart, Keith-Agaran very likely will want to pass it next year. Their constituents need to contact and educate them in the interim.
The following 19 House Democrats submitted notice they would vote “no” on HB888: Aquino, Choy, Cullen, DeCoite, Har, Hashem, Ichiyama, Ito, Jordan, Kawakami, Kong, McKelvey, Onishi, Oshiro, Say, Tokioka, Tsuji, Yamane, and Yamashita.
All 7 House Republicans indicated “no” votes: Chang, Matsumoto, McDermott, Pouha, C. Thielen, Tupola, and Ward.
PLEASE THANK THEM ALL now and remember them in the 2016 elections. All Hawaii Representatives and half of the Senate are up for re-election next year.
Mahalo to the hundreds of pro-gun supporters who spread the word and contacted their individual Legislators, asking them to kill the bill. Many thanks especially for the alerts by state Clubs and Associations individual members, pro-2nd Amendment news sources, NRA/ILA Rep. for HI (Dan Reid), and HRA Regional VP for Maui, Mark Genovese, (who got the word out to Maui supporters to make House Speaker Joe Souki of Wailuku aware of the problems with the bill).
Dr. Maxwell Cooper
HRA Legislative Liaison