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.
Dr. Maxwell Cooper,
HRA Legislative Liaison
* e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org