HRA Legislative Alert Gun Bill Hearing

House Bill 2246, HD1, has passed all but one committee and will pass this Legislature and be enacted.  It is scheduled for its final hearing for decision before the Senate Judiciary and Ways and Means CommitteeTuesday, April 1, 2014.  HRA SUPPORTS THE BILL, WITH AN IMPORTANT AMENDMENT.  PLEASE CONSIDER SENDING TESTIMONY IN SUPPORT.  The hearing is decision only, with no oral testimony, so you do not need to attend in person.

Existing statute disallows persons with serious mental illness from possession of firearms and ammunition.  Persons found by a court of law to require commitment to a mental institution because they are a danger to themselves or others lose their 2nd Amendment rights.  This bill has two parts.  The first section of the bill requires the Hawaii’s Attorney General to report such court commitments to the federal Instant Background Check System (NICS) and to the county police, while safeguarding privacy, for the purpose of background checks for firearms possession.  Compliance brings millions of federal dollars to the states to augment the background check system, but Hawaii does not currently participate.  To qualify for the funds the State must also establish a means for relief from the disability created by the court commitment.  The second part of the bill provides for a court ordered restoration of 2nd Amendment rights if the prohibited individual can show they are “no longer adversely affected.”  HRA, on advice from NRA, believes that the required level of proof required by the bill language, “clear and convincing evidence,” is impossibly strict, and should be amended to “by the preponderance of the evidence.”

Go to http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/measure_indiv.aspx?billtype=HB&billnumber=2246&year=2014  and click on “submit testimony.”  If you concure with HRA’s position all you need indicate in the “comments” box is that you “support the bill with the amendment proposed by HRA.”