Category Archives: Uncategorized

HRA LEGISLATIVE REPORT, 2/28/2013

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

HRA LEGISLATIVE REPORT, March, 2013

Hawaii State Legislature and Firearms Bills:   In football terms we’re in the second quarter with points on the scoreboard, thanks mostly to good defense.  Some of the worst bills are out of the game, for now anyway.  Now it’s time to put our best offense into play:

NOW IS THE TIME TO GO PROACTIVE, (WHILE STILL MAINTAINING A GOOD DEFENSE OF OUR RIGHTS):  

The Legislature goes into a mandatory 5-day recess Feb 21 through Feb 26.  Neither the House or Senate convenes, although hearings may be scheduled.  The offices and staffs stay open to catch up, but many of the Neighbor Island Legislators take time to fly home for a few days.  If you are a registered voter on any Island, (they know), please make a phone call this week to your own Senator and Representative and ask for an appointment to meet with them during the recess, or whenever, to discuss gun control, your views and theirs.  This is grass roots lobbying, and it’s what we do best.

Be politely insistent that this is very important to you as a constituent.  Your Legislator’s staff will place your message before your Representative and Senator.  If you do not hear back in 2-3 days (you probably won’t), call back and say you haven’t had a response yet.  It is understood that every Legislator is expected to represent his or her constituency, and to do so they must open their offices and their schedules to hear you.  Some Neighbor Island first-year Legislators may not have a district office yet, but your Legislators should be willing to meet you in their offices or a public place like a restaurant or coffee shop for a chat. Take a friend or relative along.  

Not registered to vote?  There is still time.  Go to http://hawaii.gov/elections/forms/voter_pab_application_english.pdf  or call 808 453-VOTE or for Neighbor Islands 800 442-VOTE (8683) and ask that a voter registration form be mailed to you.  

Don’t know who your Legislators are or how to call them?  Go to the Legislature home page, http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/ and click on the “Find Your Legislator” box in the upper right corner.  Then go back to the home page, click on “Senate” or “House,” and  then “Senators” or “Representatives” to find their web pages with all their contact information.  Or call the Senate Clerk at 808 586-6720 or House Clerk, 808 586-6400 and get a phone or fax number for your Legislator.    

Don’t know quite what to say?  Politely expressing your personal feelings is best.  HRA will have talking points on the issues on the web site,  http://www.hawaiirifleassociation.org/ or by request at 808 225-6944.

Mahalo, 

Dr. Maxwell Cooper,
HRA Legislative Liaison

HRA LEGISLATIVE REPORT, SB932, Mental Health

SB932, Mental Health, was heard 2/8/13 at 1:35pm in a combined hearing of the Senate Health and Public Safety Committees.  The bill would require mental health caregivers to report patients involuntarily hospitalized for “serious” mental illness or any patient who indicated plans to use a dangerous implement against a named person.  Failure to report would be a felony.  Protection of confidential patient-doctor communication and records would be abolished.  Firearms would be immediately seized.  A list would be kept by government, and everyone on it would be denied a firearm permit . Those on the list would have to prove they have no mental illness to get off it.

The bill was introduced by Health Chair Sen. Josh Green, a Family Practice physician himself, so Committee support for the bill was expected.  Questions and comments by Public Safety (PSM) Committee Chair, Sen. Will Espero during the hearing indicated he also wanted to pass something.

There was no testimony in support and over 125 in opposition.  Even the Attorney General’s representative, the Health Department, and The Department of Public Safety couldn’t say much nice about the bill.  Like HRA, Mental Health of America, and much of the other testimony in opposition, they agreed the intent was good, reduce violence with dangerous implements, but the bill was unsupportable.  To view the on-time testimony, go to: http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2013/Testimony/SB932_TESTIMONY_HTH-PSM_02-08-13.pdf

Faced with no support, the Health Chair, Senator Green, indicated he and his colleagues intend to amend the bill to establish a working group of representatives from gun rights supporters, law enforcement, attorneys, the Department of Health, physicians, and possibly firearms dealers to make recommendations.  Normally these groups meet between Legislature sessions and report back next year.

The Committee will formally announce a decision and take a vote at their hearing Tuesday, 02/11/13, 2:30PM in conference room 229.  No testimony is taken.  You can view the actual result when a Committee Report and a new draft of the bill with the amendments is posted online.  Check the bill history page, maybe by Friday, 2/15, for a Committee Report and a SB932-SD1 (Senate Draft 1):   http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/measure_indiv.aspx?billtype=SB&billnumber=932&year=2013

Once again, good things happened for gun right supporters because many supporters from all corners of the community sent good testimony, and an impressive number showed up to sit across the conference table from their Senators to explain why this bill was so terrible.

NOW IS THE TIME TO GO PROACTIVE, (WHILE STILL MAINTAINING A GOOD DEFENSE OF OUR RIGHTS):

 

The Legislature goes into a mandatory 5-day recess Feb 21 through Feb 26.  Neither the House or Senate convenes although hearings may be scheduled.  The offices and staffs stay open to catch up, but many of the Neighbor Island Legislators take time to fly home for a few days.  If you are a registered voter on any Island, (they know), please make a phone call this week to your own Senator and Representative and ask for an appointment to meet with them during the recess, or whenever, to discuss gun control, your views and theirs.  Be politely insistent that this is very important to you as a constituent.  Their staffs will place your message before your Representative and Senator.  If you do not hear back in 2-3 days (you may well not), call back.  It is understood that every Legislator is expected to represent his or her constituency, and to do so they must open their offices and their schedules to hear you.  Some Neighbor Island first-year Legislators may not have a district office yet, but your Legislators should be willing to meet you in their offices or a public place like a restaurant or coffee shop for a chat. Take a friend or relative along.  

Not registered to vote?  There is still time.  Go to http://hawaii.gov/elections/forms/voter_pab_application_english.pdf  or call 808 453-VOTE or for Neighbor Islands 800 442-VOTE (8683) and ask that a copy be mailed to you.  
or call 
Don’t know who your Legislators are or how to call them?  Go to the Legislature home page, http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/ and click on the “Find Your Legislator” box in the upper right corner.  Then go back to the home page, click on “Senate” or “House,” and  then “Senators” or “Representatives” to find their web pages with all their contact information.  Or call the Senate Clerk at 808 586-6720 or House Clerk, 808 586-6400.

Don’t know quite what to say?  Politely expressing your personal feelings is best.  HRA will have talking points on the issues on the web site http://www.hawaiirifleassociation.org/ or by request at 808 225-6944.


Mahalo,
Dr. Maxwell Cooper,
HRA Legislative Liaison