House Bill 426


House Bill 426, repealing the limited civil immunity for NRA Instructors, died in the House Judiciary Committee (JUD) yesterday.  

The bill, introduced on behalf of the personal injury lawyers in the State by Rep. Scott Saiki ( McCully, Kaheka, Kakaako, Downtown), a personal injury lawyer himself, was given a public hearing yesterday afternoon.  Over 360 pieces of testimony were received against the bill.  Only one person testified in favor, the representative of the personal injury lawyer’s association.  360/1 is unheard of.  Dozens of gun rights supporters took off time from work, braved the traffic and parking, and met their Representatives across the conference table to testify in person in opposition during the two-hour hearing on the bill.  

JUD Chair, F-rated Karl Rhoads (Kalihi, Palama, Iwilei, Chinatown), still recommended passage of the bill with 3 separate amendments, in spite of the overwhelming testimony against the bill, the fact that the very limited immunity provided Instructors only passed last year, and the manner in which the referral went straight to the JUD Committee only.  Normal procedure was subverted by House Leadership liberal dissidents, bypassing the Public Safety Committee, and leaving only one chance to kill the bill in the House.  

When JUD Chair Rhoads announced his recommendation to pass the bill to the rest of the Committee there was strong opposition voiced from Vice Chair Sharon Har, and Members Ken Ito, Clift Tsugi, CynthiaThielen, and Bob McDermott.  Then the role call vote was taken:

Chair Rep. Karl Rhoads… aye
Vice Chair Rep. Sharon Har… no
Rep. Della Au Belatti…aye, with reservations (expresses some concerns, but still a yes)
Rep. Tom Brower…aye, with reservations
Rep. Rida Cabanilla…excused
Rep. Mele Carroll…excused
Rep. Ken Ito…no
Rep. Derek Kawakami…no
Rep. Chris Lee…aye
Rep. Clift Tsuji…no
Rep. Jessica Wooley…aye
Rep. Bob McDermott…no
Rep. Cynthia Thielen…no

5 ayes, 6 no’s

Vice Chair Har announced the bill failed, overriding the Chair’s recommendation, a very rare occurrence in the Hawaii State Legislature.

There is no similar bill in the Senate, so, barring resuscitation efforts using legislative manipulation, HB 426 is dead for the year.  

We won because of very supportive Legislators on the committee, especially Reps. Ken Ito and Sharon Har, and all of the committee members who voted no.  A big MAHALO to them all and their staffs!

And we won because hundreds of men and women, from all corners of the of the firearms community, joined together, stood up for their rights, and supported proper gun safety instruction without fear of unwarranted lawsuits. Give yourself a big Mahalo!

Adjournment of the Legislature May 3, 2013 is a long way off, with many terrible bills left to deal with this year, but this is a very good start, and a strong message to the Legislature.  


Dr. Max Cooper
HRA Legislative Liaison

Keep Your Gun Rust Free in Hawaii

2013 Shot Show in Las Vegas—Interview with Steve Ostrem of Brownells—Keeping your gun rust free in Hawaii

by Rob Kay

Talk about sensory overload. The 2013 Shot Show in Las Vegas had literally thousands of booths devoted to every aspect of the hunting and sport shooting industry. There were AKs, ARs, traditional hunting rifles, handguns, optics and accessories of every description from every corner of the world. From Turkish shotguns that sell for two bills to five thousand dollar German hunting rifles, there was something for everyone. There were probably a dozen of manufacturers of just gun cases and a hundred manufacturers of AR derivatives.

My goal was not only to look at some new products (which I’ll cover later) but to learn more about countering the No. #1 enemy of Hawaii shooters—rust and corrosion.

To do this I made a beeline to Brownell’s, which bill’s itself as the “world’s largest supplier of firearms accessories and gunsmithing tools”. I have no doubt this is true.

Brownell’s not only has a wide assortment of products, they are scrupulous about the quality of what they sell. If you’ve ever dealt with this company and needed counsel in making selections, you’ll know they are also famous for their customer support. Whether you’re adding a rail to an AR or trying to determine how to touch up some bluing on your S&W model 19, they have a staff of Gun Techs who will patiently answer your questions.

I posed a question to Steve Ostrem, a veteran Brownell’s Gun Tech and grilled him on what products Hawaii gun owners should consider when protecting their rifle or handgun from our famously salty air.

Here are some of the products that Steve recommended to keep oxidation at bay:

For everyday use, wipe down your gun with a product called “Rusty’s Rags” which is a silicone-impregnated sheepskin patch (see above photo on left). The silicone formula removes fingerprints, dirt, dust, and grime and leaves a long-lasting, protective film that will resist moisture and rust. This product is actually manufactured by another icon in the gun care industry, Birchwood Casey, which was present at the Shot Show. Larger cloths for bigger items, such as rifles, are also available (see above photo on right).

Along with wiping down the surface, Steve suggested leaving a light coat of gun oil such as Break-Free or Militek on the bore of the gun. (Both items are available at local shops).

He also suggested that handguns or rifles should be stored in a airtight Pelican style case with a silica desiccant inside. These are available from Brownell’s or you can go to a camera store. You can get40 gram silica rechargeable canisters from Kaimuki Camera for about $6. Just make sure you keep the packs recharged periodically.

For a safe, Steve suggesting using a “Golden Rod” dehumidifier to keep things toasty dry. The humidifier is an electric element to warm the air inside the safe and drive out moisture.

Another option is the Triple Tough storage bag. Tough and flexible, it comes in various sizes and has a 0% moisture transmission rating, so items sealed inside will remain rust and corrosion free indefinitely. They are resistant to petroleum based chemicals and solvents and are completely non-biodegradable.

If you’re putting you’re gun away for long period of time, cover it with “Rig Universal Gun Grease”, a viscous gunk that will keep the rust away indefinitely. (Rig is also a Birchwood Casey product). FYI, you can also use a small dab of Rig to replenish your Rusty’s Rag.

Steve’s final tip was to keep your primers and ammo dry by investing a few bucks into a surplus “M2A1” ammo box. Much like a Pelican case, they are air tight and thus designed to lock out humidity. If you throw a desiccant inside your can you’ll be able to store your gear for a long, long time. You can buy them on Brownells, at the gun show or at a military surplus store here on Oahu.

All photos except for desiccant canister and Brownells display case courtesy of Brownells.

Rob Kay is a Honolulu-based writer and author of the travel site He can be reached at


Senator Will Espero, Chair
SB 69


Appropriates $100,000 to the county police departments to initiate a gun buy-back program.
Thursday, January 31, 2013, 3:00 p.m.  Conference Room 224, State Capitol, Conference Room 224

Click for details:

Even if the State had the money, HRA would oppose this bill unless amended:  1. Persons turning in firearms must be offered a list of names, addresses, and telephone numbers of licensed Federal Firearms Dealers in the State of Hawaii and advised that recovering the actual value of the firearm(s) by transferring to a dealer is or is not lawful.  2.  The county police departments shall offer firearms of historical significance to a museum before they are consigned to be destroyed.


Dr. Max Cooper
Legislative Liaison