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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

House Bill 426

WE WON!

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.  

Aloha,

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 Fijiguide.com. He can be reached at rkay@lava.net.

HRA LEGISLATIVE ALERT GUN BILL HEARING SB 69, THIS THURSDAY, JAN 31, 2013

NOTICE OF HEARING 
COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC SAFETY, INTERGOVERNMENTAL AND MILITARY AFFAIRS
Senator Will Espero, Chair
SB 69

RELATING TO FIREARMS.

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:  http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/measure_indiv.aspx?billtype=SB&billnumber=69&year=2013

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

HRA ALERT: GUN BILL HEARING, THIS TUESDAY, JAN 29, 2013

House Bill 426 (HB426) is scheduled for a public hearing Jan 29, 2013, at 2pm in the Committee on Judiciary (JUD), in Rm 325, at the State Capitol, 415 South Beretania Street, Honolulu.

In 2012 the Hawaii Legislature passed a law to give NRA Instructors partial immunity from incidents arising during the mandatory safety classes required for a handgun permit, against lawsuits under Hawaii’s “absolute liability” law for gun owners.  

The Hawaii plaintiff attorneys strongly opposed the bill, and now Representative Scott Saiki (Moilili, McCully, Kaimuki), himself a personal injury lawyer, has introduced this bill to repeal it.  The Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee Chair, Rep. Karl Rhoads, (F-rated) has scheduled it for a hearing, the first gun bill this year.  It’s a probe of our defenses, with terrible bills confiscating semi-auto rifles, ammunition restrictions, re-registration annually, re-training every two years, etc., looming.  

It is essential that large numbers of gun rights supporters send in testimony in opposition to this bill and attend the hearing to deliver it in person.  There are only a few truly anti-gun politicians in the Hawaii Legislature.  Fortunately we have a good number of supportive legislators there, too.  The majority are in between.  They are waiting to see how effective our grass-roots defense is. 

Sending testimony is simple:  Go to the Legislature web site at http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/submittestimony.aspx  enter the bill number, and fill out the form.  Submit it before 2pm Monday, Jan 28 (24 hours before the hearing). Or FAX testimony  to 808-586-8504(Oahu) or 1-800-535-3859 (for Neighbor Islander without a computer).  Keep it short, simple, and polite.  “Our gun safety instructors need  limited immunity when teaching.  Please kill this bill.” is quite enough.  Add whatever else you personally feel. 

Testifying is not simple, but it’s their game, their rules, and if you don’t play, we don’t win.  Your testimony given in person counts many times more.  Dress like you were applying for a job.
Get driving instructions and parking suggestions if you need them.*  Put 2 hours on the meter.  The bill is third on the agenda, so arrive on the 3rd floor of the Capitol building by 2pm, allowing time to find parking and walk to the Capitol.  When this bill is considered, your name will be called in the order in which your testimony was received.  Walk up to the microphone, sit down, give your name, state your opposition, and briefly explain your feelings on the issue.  No need to repeat points already effectively made.  Thank the Chair and Members for the opportunity to testify.  They may ask you questions.  If you sent testimony late, or your name was not called, after all others have testified on this bill you can raise your hand and will be heard.  Have a written copy of your testimony to give to the committee clerk.  

May we get through these troubled times with our rights intact.

Mahalo,

Dr. Maxwell Cooper,
HRA Legislative Liaison

* e-mail, macooper.1941@gmail.com

HRA LEGISLATIVE ALERT – GUN BILLS IN THE 2013 HAWAII STATE LEGISLATURE

These are the worst bills so far, with possibly more yet to come. Go to the Legislature web site, www.capitol.hawaii.gov for more information on the bills and who you’re Legislators are.

SB36 Re-registration, mental health background, safe storage, permits. Fast-tracked by leadership (Senate Pres. Donna Kim) with a dual referral, two committees meeting at once together, so only one chance to kill it in the Senate before it goes to finance committee. It should be interesting to see how HPD and the State Attorney General testify on this one. You must re-register of all your firearms each year. All household members must apply for a permit for all your guns. All firearms owners must have training every two years or forfeit your guns. The AG will hold at least one firearms training class annually, funded by new registration fees (amount to be determined by the Leg). Where? Aloha Stadium?

SB219 “Assault” Weapons. Simple possession is a class C felony. Provides for “relinquishment of assault weapon to law enforcement”. No grandfather clause. This is confiscation.

HB 30 Ammunition. Show registration of a gun in the caliber you seek to buy ammunition for.

SB932 Mental Health. Statewide list of persons not allowed firearms. Felony for any doctor who fails to report.

We must have hundreds of supporters sending testimony and delivering it in person at the Legislature when we get hearings. Meanwhile, contact your Senator and Representative And voice your deep concern. Go to the Legislature web site, www.capitol.hawaii.gov , home page, top right corner to find you’re Legislators.

There are no hearings scheduled as of Friday, Jan. 24. Hearings are always on weekdays, during business hours, often delayed, always hours long, and parking is hard to find. Only 48 hrs notice is required. Please start planning now. Tell your employer you’ll need time off. Alert your baby-sitter. Scout for driving directions and parking around the Leg. Start thinking about your testimony.

If you wish your e-mail added to the HRA notification list for legislative alerts and are not an HRA member, send an e-mail to: or join HRA at hawaiirifleassociation.org.

Mahalo,

Dr. Max Cooper

MEASURE INTRODUCERS
HB30
Firearms; Ammunition Sales or Distribution

RELATING TO FIREARMS AND AMMUNITION.
Makes it unlawful to sell or distribute ammunition unless the purchaser provides proof that there is a firearm registered to the person with which the ammunition may be used.
RHOADS
SB36
Firearms; Permits; Registration; Storage; Education and Training
RELATING TO FIREARMS.
Requires annual renewals of firearm registrations. Establishes a firearm registration fee for deposit into a new special fund to pay for mandatory firearm education and training to be attended by firearm owners at least once every two years. Requires any member of a household where a firearm is stored, when applying for a firearm permit to possess a firearm owned by another, to undergo the same evaluation of fitness to acquire a firearm as applicants for a firearm owner permit. Requires firearm owners who have a household member affected by substance abuse or mental disorder to provide annual proof to the police that the household member does not have access to the firearm.
NISHIHARA, KEITH-AGARAN, Wakai
SB219
Firearms; Assault Weapons; Machine Guns; Ban
RELATING TO FIREARMS.
Prohibits the distribution, transport, importation into the State, keeping for sale, or offering or exposing for sale assault weapons, or giving to another person assault weapon. Defines assault weapon. Prohibits the possession, sale, transfer, or use of a machine gun in the perpetration or attempted perpetration of certain crimes. Defines machine gun. Makes use of an assault weapon or machine gun in the course of committing murder in the first degree or second degree, manslaughter, kidnapping, sexual assault, assault in the first or second degree, robbery, burglary, or theft subject to criteria for extended term of imprisonment.
IHARA (Introduced by request of another party)
SB932
Mental Health; Firearms; Dangerous or Deadly Weapons
RELATING TO MENTAL HEALTH.
Prohibits any person who is a danger to self or danger to others from possessing, having custody or control of, receiving, purchasing, or attempting to receive or purchase firearms or other dangerous or deadly weapons. Creates a reporting system for persons who seriously threaten a readily identifiable person or persons to a mental health professional. Requires the department of public safety to create a database and list of persons prohibited from possessing, having custody or control of, receiving, purchasing, or attempting to receive or purchase firearms and other dangerous or deadly weapons, which will be accessible to law enforcement, mental health professionals, and sellers of firearms. Requires the department of public safety to make a list of persons whose license for firearms or other dangerous or deadly weapons has been revoked. Excepts any communication under the Act from applicable privileges.
GREEN, Chun Oakland, Nishihara, Ruderman, Shimabukuro