Category Archives: Legislative Reports

Hawaii Rifle Association Legislative Report – May 2015

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


Legislative Report – January 2015

The Hawaii State Legislature opened January 21, 2015.  Your NRA/ILA Liaison from Sacramento, Dan Reid, and your HRA Legislative Liaison, Dr. Max Cooper, met with 17 key individual Hawaii State Legislators the week before session, advising them on our issues and soliciting their support.

Thanks to several favorable court decisions, it’s a good year to pursue pro-gun legislation.  State Legislators who support your rights have introduced several proactive bills.  Opponents of our gun rights are busy, too.  F-rated Karl Rhoads, House Judiciary Chair, has pared conservatives from his committee and is poised to hear and pass his anti-gun bills.  Tell your boss you’re going to need some days off from now through April so you can testify in person at hearings.  You’ll get notice of bills and hearings from HRA and NRA by e-mail, sometimes only 48 hours in advance.  Follow the process for yourself by signing up for notices on bills at  HRA will post a list of bills when they are available later in January.


1. Register to vote if you haven’t already.  (Military or non-residents, skip this step and go to 2)

Your Legislators can easily check to verify you live in their district and are a registered voter.  Their unwritten rules say they don’t have to talk to you if you are not voting constituents, and they are obligated to meet with you and listen if you are.  Go to to register.

      2. Find out who are the Senator and the Representative for your area.  Go to the Hawaii State Legislature Home Page and click on the upper right hand corner on “find your legislator” for their names and contact information.  Send both your Senator and your Representative an e-mail, fax or letter like this: 

Dear __________,

Second Amendment issues are very important to me.  I strongly urge you to put protection of gun rights high on your list of legislative priorities.  I believe gun control is going to be a significant issue this session, and I want to meet with you, discuss my concerns and enlist your support.  I will call your office to schedule an appointment.

Mahalo, ____________.

3. You will probably be ignored!  They get thousands of e-mails.  So, after a day or two, phone,         mention your earlier message, ask to speak to your Legislator or, if he or she is not available, talk to a staffer, and respectfully insist on an appointment.

4. Take a supportive pro-gun spouse, friend or relative from your district and a 1-page summary of your issues and concerns to meet your Legislator.  Allow time to find parking.  See the Talking Points article below.  Be nice!  Neighbor island supporters, no need to fly to Oahu!  Your Legislators come home almost every weekend and during scheduled recesses.  Some maintain offices in their districts.  Make an appointment for when they are on-island.  Invite them for coffee at a quiet cafe.

5.  Need help?  Contact Dr. Max Cooper, 808 225-6944 or

…can you imagine fifty people a day, I said fifty people a day walking in singin’ a bar of Alice’s Restaurant and walking out? And friend, they may think it’s a movement.  Arlo Guthrie, Alice’s Restaurant, 1967.



The 2014 Hawaii Primary Election results are overall positive for gun rights supporters. Go to http://gov/elections/results/2014/ for the Elections Commission complete result.

The US SENATE race to fill Daniel Inouye’s seat, currently held by Abercrombie appointee Brian Schatz (F-rated), is over. Schatz finished 1,769 votes ahead of challenger Colleen Hanabusa (D-rated). He had a 1,635-vote lead following Saturday’s primary election. Challenger Colleen Hanabusa (D-rated) hoped to score a win via Puna where the vote was delayed due to extensive damage from Hurricane Iselle. The Elections Commission, the candidates, the Democratic Party leadership, and the voters were divided on which voters got a chance to vote, and when and how.

Incumbent State Representative, Faye Hanohano (C-rated), representing Puna, has been in trouble for abusing non-Hawaiians from her Committee Chair, and hoped to overturn what is now an upset by her opponent, attorney Joy Sanbuenaventura (not rated) by 860 votes.

Cam Cavasso (A-rated) won the Republican ticket for US Senator but is well behind the total votes for the two Democrat front-runners. Independent Joy Allison (A-rated) did not capture enough votes to make the General Election, and her campaign manager informs us they have filed a lawsuit over HI election practices.

US REPRESENTATIVE DISTRICT I State Rep. Mark Takai (D-rated) edges HI Senate Pres., Donna Kim (F-rated) on the Democratic slate and will face off in the general election against former US Rep., Charles Djou (A-minus), who took the Republican vote.

US REPRESENTATIVE DISTRICT II Republican Kawika Crowley (A-rated) is way behind Tulsi Gabbard (F-rated), who ran unopposed.

GOVERNOR In a predicted upset, State Senator David Ige (A-rated), trounced our F-rated incumbent Gov., Neil Abercrombie, the only Hawaii Governor to ever lose a primary. See Denby Faucett’s amusing analysis of why:

Former Lt. Gov, Duke Aiona (C-rated), wins the Republican ticket with vote numbers well short of the combined Democrat votes. Some deficit can usually be overcome, as many conservatives vote a Democrat slate in the Primary, and then cross back for the General. Many did so to vote for Ige.

LT. GOVERNOR Shan Tsutsui (B-rated) won over State Senator Clayton Hee (B-rated) who gave up his Senate seat and Judiciary Chair to run. Ige/Tsutsui will face Republican former Lt. Governor Duke Aiona (C-rated) and Elwin Ahu (unrated) and Independent candidate Mufi Hannemann (B-rated) and Les Chang (unrated).

HAWAII STATE LEGISLATURE Hurrah that our best supporters at the Legislature won their primaries! Rep. Ken Ito ran unopposed and is elected. Rep. Sharon Har won her contested primary which was organized by House liberals to punish her for her support of the 2nd Amendment. Reps. Ty Cullen and Henry Aquino ran unopposed and are elected.

Senator Sam Slom (A+) and half of the Senate were not up for re-election this year.

Supportive Senators Keith-Agaran, Kalani English, Clarence Nishihara, Michelle Kidani, Maile Shimabukuro, and Jill Tokuda have comfortable leads. Double A-rated Colleen Meyer lost the Republican primary vote to A-rated Richard Fale. Fale opposes B-rated Democrat Gil Riviere in the general for Clayton Hee’s empty District 23 seat, Kaneohe to Wahiawa.

Supportive Representatives Mark Nakashima, Angus McKelvey, Richard Onishi, Cindy Evans, Speaker Joe Souki, Ryan Yamane, Greg Takayama, Karen Awana, Jo Jordan, and Michael Magaoay have comfortable leads going into the general election.

Reps. Clift Tsuji (A), Romy Cachola (B), and Marcus Oshiro (A) ran unopposed and are elected.

Two Republican incumbents (a rare species in our Leg), double A-rated, always outspokenly supportive, are in tight races and need your support, Reps. Bob McDermott and Gene Ward. Likewise, Minority Leader Aaron Ling Johanson, Moanalua, (B).

Newcomer Jarrett Keohokalole, B-rated, for State Rep., Kaneohe, won his Democratic primary against Sierra Club Pres., Robert Harris, F-rated.

Auwe that the worst opponents of our gun rights won their primary races!

Senate F-rated Senators Josh Green and Brickwood Galuteria, authors of the horrible anti-gun bills in the 2012 session, both have strong leads going into the general. F-rated Lorraine Inouye has unseated C-rated Malama Solomon on the Big Island. F-rated Roz Baker leads in District 6, Maui.

House Our nemesis in the House, Judiciary Chair Karl Rhoads (F), ran unopposed, an undeserved luxury, and is re-elected. His henchman, Majority Leader Scott Saiki (F), has a wide lead. However Rep. Rida Cabanilla, F-rated, is unseated by her Democratic primary opponent, Matthew Lopresti (unrated).

Errors and omissions are mine, alone. Please send corrections to me at

Mahalo, Dr. Max Cooper, HRA Legislative Liaison

* * * * * * * * * *

Mahalo to all supporters of our 2nd Amendment and hunting heritage who ran, and to those who voted for them.

HRA LEGISLATIVE REPORT, July 2014, by Dr. Max Cooper


Absentee ballots have been mailed.  From July 28 to Aug 7 the absentee polling places are open.   Primary Election is Aug 9. 2014.
HRA publishes grades for candidates based solely on their support for firearms rights and hunting heritage.  Grades A-F are assigned based on any public record on those issues, and surveys on those issues mailed to all candidates.  An asterisk (*) grade is assigned where the candidate has no voting record on our issues and where our survey was not returned.

US Senate:   Candidates Schatz and Hanabusa, although both claiming support for our 2nd Amendment rights, have a poor record.  Hanabusa justly criticizes Schatz for following Obama on all issues, but when she was Hawaii Senate President she twice killed a magazine capacity reform bill.

In the US House 1st District Democrats Ikaika Anderson, Joey Manahan, and Republican Charles Djou have supportive records.  Stanley Chang and Donna Kim both support restrictive gun control.

In US House 2, the best survey was returned by Kawika Crowley, a homeless candidate who campaigns out of his van.  Tulsi Gabbard, despite her claims otherwise, espouses Obama’s gun control policy.

For Governor, long time Hawaii Senate Ways and Means Chair, David Ige, has the best record of support on firearms issues.

For Lt. Governor, the incumbent, Shan Tsutsui, and Clayton Hee, who gave up his HI Senate seat and Judiciary Chairmanship to run, both have supportive histories.

In the Senate, Colleen Meyer, a long-time 2nd Amendment supporter while serving many years in the House, is taking another run at Senate District 23 (Kaneohe-Wahiawa).

In the House, contested primary races include District 2 (Keaukaha – Waiakea) where longtime supportive Clifton Tsuji is the incumbent, and District 15 (Wailua – Puhi) where the incumbent, James Tokioka has been supportive.  In District 36 (Mililani), Marilyn Lee, always an opponent of pro-gun legislation, is attempting a comeback after losing in 2012.

In District 38 (Waipahu), A-rated Henry Aquino is challenged by Alex Sonson who has a very vocal record against guns while serving on the House Judiciary Committee.

In District 50 (Kailua), Cynthia Theilen, supportive on our issues,  has a challenger in the primary.

State Representative SHARON HAR, representing District 42, Kapolei and Makakilo, is being targeted in this election because of her staunch support of gun rights issues.  As Vice Chair of the House Judiciary Committee, she has, along with Rep. Ken Ito, led support in the House for our issues and protected us from strong anti-gun politicians.

In Honolulu City Council District 6, Sam Aiona, supportive on our issues, challenges incumbent Carol Fukunaga, who opposed pro-gun legislation during her years as State Representative.

Incumbent Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa has a record of support on our issues.

Lei Ahu Isa, always  supportive, is running for OHA Trustee at large.

LEGISLATIVE REPORT, MAY, 2014, by Max Cooper

The Hawaii State Legislature has adjourned for the year. Once again, no restrictive firearms bills passed.

HB849 amending the Governor’s emergency powers, passed, leaving the protection against seizure of firearms in HRS 134-7.2 intact.

HB2246 providing for reporting court commitments to the NICS system and the Hawaii AG for use in determining disability for possession of firearms passed. The process for court directed relief of such disability likewise passed with the AG’s language over HRA’s and NRA’s preferred language, but still a good bill.

HB1902, originally providing for no net loss of hunting areas, amended to require a hunting advisory committee, regrettably died in conference committee.

Mahalo to the Legislators who worked in favor of your gun rights and hunting heritage. Be ready to support them in the fall elections. A big mahalo to all who lobbied on our issues.

HRA Legislative Report, Gun Show Reminder


Reminder, this weekend:

Great Guns Gun Show 2014
Presented by
Hawaii Historic Arms Association
74th Semi-Annual Show
Neal Blaisdell Center Exhibition Hall

 March 22nd,10am – 6pm; March 23rd,10am – 5pm
A 250 Table Gun Show
Buy Sell Trade Browse


KOKO HEAD RANGE  Honolulu City Council Budget Committee heard City and County 2014-2015 budget proposals March 13, 2014.  Outgoing Parks and Recreation Director Toni Robinson reported a Capitol Improvements budget item for $250,000 for planning and design for additional safety improvements to Koko Head Regional Park and an NRA Range Consultant visit accomplished in February, 2014.  Chair Ann Kobayashi and Councilmembers Joey Manahan, Ron Menor, and Stanley Chang made favorable comments.  The appropriation should move to Honolulu Mayor Caldwell for his approval.

SB2938  requiring online registration of firearms by the Attorney General passed the first two House committees, amended to create a working group to study the feasibility and report back to the legislature next year.  The bill will move on to hearings in House Judiciary and Ways and Means.  HRA support.

HB1902  Was no net loss of hunting areas, now a working group to study the loss of hunting area because of planned fencing and mammal irradication of pigs in prime watershed and hunting areas of the Big Island.  Heard in WAL Committee, expected to move on to Ways and Means.  HRA support. 

HB2246  Requires the Attorney General to report court ordered commitments for mental health to the federal NICS system and provides a mechanism for court-ordered relief from disability to possess firearms after a commitment.  Passing Senate HTH and Public Safety Committees, moves on to Judiciary and Ways and Means.  HRA support with an amendment.



HRA Legislative Report March, 2014 by Max Cooper, HRA Legislative Liaison

The Hawaii State Legislature is at half-time. Bills not passed by the originating body are dead. The rest “cross” to the opposite body and are again referred to committees for hearings.

Your HRA has tracked over 34 bills of interest and submitted testimony to 23 committee hearings.

Bills for apprentice hunting, prohibition of digitally manufactured firearms, law enforcement officers carrying firearms while drinking, firearms registration amnesty, shall issue, and accepting military training for handgun permits are all dead and not likely to be resurrected.

Your HRA supports a number of good bills that remain alive. Please send testimony when you receive alerts on hearings. Attend in person when you can.

These firearms bills are alive:

Bill number Description and HRA position
SB2021 SD1 Snatching a policeman’s gun becomes a Class C felony. SUPPORT
HB2246 HD1 Provides a mechanism for court relief from mental health disability resulting from involuntary commitment and requires AG to keep records of involuntary commitments and report to NICS and county PD’s for permitting purposes. Privacy safeguards. SUPPORT with amendments.
SB2270 SD2 Allows neighbors to sue directly over zoning issues. Originally opposed because nuisance suits over firing ranges would be enabled, but Sen Hee’s JDL committee amended it to apply to vacation rentals only, so HRA has no opinion. WATCH
SB2420 SD1 Allows criminal background checks on state & co. employees in sensitive areas, including handling guns. SUPPORT
SB2938 SD2 Online firearms registration system to be established. Sen Espero’s Public Safety Committee amended this bill to require a system set up and managed by HI Attorney General. Passed Ways And Means Committee unanimously over PD’s objections. No AG testimony yet. STRONG SUPPORT
HB849 HD2 Re-do of the Governor’s emergency powers. Carryover bill from 2013. WATCH to make sure seizure of private firearms remains unlawful.
HB1975 HD1 Background checks on govt. employees handling firearms. SUPPORT. Same as SB2420.
HB1499 HD1 House JUD Chair Rhoads proposes a constitutional amendment that expending money to elect a public official is not protected by the 1st Amendment. Amended to eliminate “lobbying” as not protected. WATCH for language limiting grass roots lobbying.

These hunting bills are alive:

Bill number Description and HRA position
HB1902 HD2 Prohibits loss of public hunting area. Evans. FIN Chair Sylvia Luke recommended passage with amendments. Creates a hunters’ Advisory Commission to DLNR. DLNR shall make “reasonable efforts to prevent the loss….” Governor appoints 3 members. STRONG SUPPORT
HB1907 HD1 Disabled Veterans can get lifetime free hunting license, Evans, SUPPORT
SB3065 SD1 Exchange 9000 acres for recreational activity including hunting in Oahu central valley. Introduced by Sens. Dela Cruz, Chun Oakland, and 16 others. SUPPORT
SB3090 SD1 $3million for Hunter Ed and range development. Introduced by Sen. Kahele, and Solomon. SUPPORT