CALENDAR OF EVENTS
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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.
Dr. Maxwell Cooper,
HRA Legislative Liaison
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.
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.
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
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.
NOTICE OF HEARING
COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC SAFETY, INTERGOVERNMENTAL AND MILITARY AFFAIRS
Senator Will Espero, Chair
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
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
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