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Urgent! Alert: Hearing on LEOSA, Friday, 3/20

The LEOSA (Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act bill), SB473, is to be heard in the House Friday, 3/20 in the Committee on Labor and Public Employment.

Senate JDL Chair Gilbert Keith-Agaran gutted the original Senate bill that establishing HRS “shall issue” language for qualified retired law enforcement officers to carry concealed and turned administration of the program back again entirely to the AG’s office, where it has languished for 7 years.  Only about 40 officers statewide have permits because the requirements established by the AG are designed to discourage applicants (sound familiar?).  A yearly complete physical is required, and an annual perfect qualifying score must be shot, all at the expense of the applicant. Qualifications are held only annually on the Big Island, bi-annually on Maui, and not at all on Kauai. 

If you think it makes the public safer to have more trained people in our state carrying concealed firearms, please click on the hearing notice below and send testimony in opposition to this current draft.  Ask that the bill be amended by re-inserting language compatible with the intent of this 12 year old federal mandate and incorporating it in Hawaii Statute instead of leaving it to the whims of the AG’s Deputies.

More Guns, Less Crime.  Prof. John Lott. 

SB 473, SD2




Dr. Maxwell Cooper

HRA Legislative Liaison


URGENT! HRA Alert: Range Protection Bill Dying

SB955 RELATING TO SHOOTING RANGE PROTECTION, is dead for the year unless Senate Judiciary Chair, Senator Gilbert Keith-Agaran, schedules it by 9:15am Monday, March 2nd, for a hearing 9:15am on March 4th.

Please e-mail or fax Chair Keith-Agaran and follow up with a phone call early Monday morning to very politely ask him to please hear this bill to protect the only public shooting range on Oahu and other ranges throughout the State from nuisance lawsuits.  Government and private security companies need ranges as well as civilians.

 Chair, Senate JDL, Gilbert S.C. Keith-Agaran

 Senate District 5

 Hawaii State Capitol, Room 221

 phone: 808-586-7344

 fax: 808-586-7348


Dr. Maxwell Cooper,

HRA Legislative Liaison




SB 473, SD1, proposing carry permit issue rules under the Federal retired Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA), has a hearing, Tuesday, 02-24 at 9:15AM.  The Senate Public Safety Committee gutted the original version and replaced it with the language proposed by the Hawaii Attorney General’s office, renewing the AG’s complete authority over the administration of the permit process.  The onerous qualification requirements currently established by the AG, like a perfect score on the shooting practical examination and a complete physical examination at the expense of the applicant, are why only about 40 retired officers in the whole of Hawaii have carry licenses at present.  PLEASE GO TO THE HEARING NOTICE BELOW, SUBMIT TESTIMONY IN OPPOSITION to the current bill, and ask the Senate Judiciary Committee to instead write into Hawaii Statute a reasonable qualification process that fulfills the intent of this 12 year old Federal Act.

More Guns, Less Crime  Dr. John Lott


SB1071  authorizing the counties to issue firearms permits to permanent resident aliens passed the Senate Committee on Tourism and International Affairs, Chaired by Sen. Gil Kahele and Senate Public Safety, chaired by Sen. Will Espero, and moves on the Senate Judiciary Committee.  MAHALO, SENATORS!  If passed it will bring Hawaii’s statutes into compliance with the US District Court Decision, and in line with US Code and most other state statutes. 

SB 674, criminalizing ivory transfers, was deferred indefinitely (dead) yesterday in a Senate joint hearing. Testimony in strong opposition to the bill was received earlier from antique dealers and Hawaiian Heritage supporters. The Chair of Energy and Environment Committee, Sen. Mike Gabbard, said the Senators could not agree, but pointed out that the House version, HB837_HD1 is alive.  That version moves on to F-rated Karl Rhoads’ Judiciary Committee.  Rep. Rhoads introduced it.

So don’t relax!  There are many important bills not yet heard, especially coming up in F-rated Chair, Karl Rhoad’s House Judiciary Committee.  Please help get the goods bills through the rest of the session and stop the bad ones.  The Legislature has finished its first quarter.  All bills referred to 2 or more committees in the originating body that have not passed to the last committee, like HB402, are dead (but can be resurrected). 


Dr. Maxwell Cooper,

HRA Legislative Liaison


URGENT! HRA Alert: Hearing SB1071 Thursday, 2/19

SB1071 allows police to issue permits to acquire firearms to legal permanent resident aliens.  Judge J. Michael Seabright of the US District Court for Hawaii in Fotoudas vs Kealoha et al, Sept. 2014, held them protected under the 2nd and 14th Amendments and has ordered that the counties accept their applications for permits pursuant to HRS 134-2(d).  HPD is already issuing permits to them.  The bill is part of the Governor’s package.  

HRA SUPPORTS.  Australian Steve Fotoudis and many others like him are permanent residents of Hawaii, possess a “green card” and desire to become naturalized US Citizens.  They have passed stringent background checks to enter the U.S. and are subject to the same HRS 134 requirements for permits as Citizens. 

The language in the bill about non-resident aliens is just “housekeeping” to clarify terminology in a statute passed years ago.  Legal non-resident aliens with visas may apply for and receive permits for bona fide hunting, target shooting events and law enforcement employment, for a limited time period.

Please submit testimony.  Click on the bill number above for the bill history and text, and follow the prompts to enter your testimony.  For it to count, please send it by 1:15 pm Wednesday, 2/19.

“More Guns, Less Crime”  Prof. John Lott


Dr. Maxwell Cooper

HRA Legislative Liaison


URGENT! HRA Alert: 2 Hearings, 2 Bills for Thursday, 2/12

OOPS, a computer program glitch routed you to an incorrect older hearing notice for the second bill.  The information on the first bill was and is correct.  The hearing notice link on the second bill works correctly now.  Sorry, Max.

The Senate hears two bills Thursday afternoon, 2/12/15.

The worst bill of the decade, SB 783, is heard in a Joint Hearing of the Senate Committees on Transportation and Public Safety starting at 2:45pm.

Senator Maile Shimabukuro (Southwest Oahu) has introduced this terribly restrictive anti-Second Amendment bill.  Please submit testimony and come to the hearing and deliver it if you can. See the hearing notice for bill language, history, and to send testimony at:

SB 783 requires that when you apply for a firearms permit you must swear in writing that neither you or any of your family or household has now or in the past “certain mental disorders.”

If you don’t swear so, you must lock up and secure or turn in all firearms and ammunition within 48 hours or pay a fine of $50 per day.

SB 783 requires that failure to pay child or spousal support is cause for revocation of a firearm permit (which means also turning in all firearms and ammunition that you already have).

If you are ever arrested and refuse a breath, blood, or urine test, you must turn in or dispose of all your firearms within 48hrs.

Law enforcement officers are exempted from all provisions.

HRA STRONGLY OPPOSES.  There are already sufficient laws in Hawaii on safe storage of firearms, mental health background checks, and ways to go after “dead-beat dads,” and drunk drivers without such severe infringements on individual civil rights.

SB674.   Ban on Ivory sales in Hawaii

The Senate Energy and Environment and Commerce and Consumer Protection Committees have scheduled a joint hearing on SB 674,  a ban on Ivory sales in Hawaii (Same as HB837 heard in the House today and passed with amendments).  Please submit testimony.  If you sent in on HB837, you may update it and send it again to this hearing.  Come to the hearing and deliver it if you can, please.  Take your pick, both hearings start at 2:45pm.  See the hearing notice at:

HRA OPPOSES.  Elephant populations in sub-equatorial Africa in areas with good habitat development and game management policies are healthy and increasing in numbers according to the World Wildlife Fund web site, 2015.

In impoverished African areas with no political stability, elephant populations are threatened with extinction. This bill will not alter poaching in those areas.  Bans are price supports for illegal activity there.  Confiscated ivory and ivory harvested to protect subsistence farming and habitat degradation should be, and is marketed, to fund habitat improvement and anti-poaching enforcement.

This bill makes criminals of anyone with antique gun grips or sight beads, musical instruments, scrimshaw, hatpins, or jewelry bearing small amounts of ivory from any source harvested long ago and offered for sale or transfer, other than by inheritance.  Appraisal as an antique, produced before 1989, or lawfully harvested, should be exemptions or represent an affirmative defense.


Dr. Maxwell Cooper

HRA Legislative Liaison


URGENT! HRA Alert: 3 Bills for Hearing Monday, February 9, 2015

Three important bills are up for a hearing in the Hawaii House Water & Land Committee, Monday Feb 9, 2015.  Please send testimony, and come and deliver it in person if you can for this first hearing in the House, on firearms and hunting issues.

 Go to the Hawaii State Legislature web site Hearing Notice:

See HB 1041, HB 837, and HB 50 on the notice.  Click on Status & Testimony for each bill number for the bill history, description, and full text.  Click on Sign In /Register.  Go back and click Submit Testimony, and follow the prompts.  You can attach your testimony as a file, or type it in the “comments” box.  Please submit separate testimony for each of the 3 bills.  FOR YOUR TESTIMONY TO COUNT, PLEASE SEND BY 10 AM, SUNDAY, FEB. 8.  HB50 is the House Version of the Range Protection Bill you may have testified on last Tuesday in the Senate.  You can send your same testimony, updated for this hearing.

HB 1041  Creates a Hunting Commission

HRA SUPPORTS.   Hunting, a human heritage as old as our species has no official voice in our state. The Governor appoints and nominates members to more than 170 other boards and commissions. An effective Hunting Commission is needed.

HB 837    Ivory ban

HRA OPPOSES.  Elephant populations in sub-equatorial Africa in areas with good habitat development and game management policies are healthy and increasing in numbers according to the World Wildlife Fund web site, 2015.  Sales of confiscated poached ivory and ivory harvested for damage control funds anti-poaching enforcement and habitat preservation in impoverished African areas where elephant populations are threatened with extinction.  Banning anything is just price support, increasing demand. This bill proposes to make criminals of anyone with antique gun grips or sight beads, musical instruments, scrimshaw, hatpins, or jewelry bearing small amounts of ivory from any source harvested long ago and offered for sale or transfer other than by inheritance.   Appraisal as an antique, produced before 1989, or lawfully harvested should be exemptions. Museums should be exempted.

HB 50   Shooting Range Protection

HRA SUPPORTS.  Nuisance lawsuits brought against lawful previously established shooting ranges, public and private, are often threatened by disgruntled neighbors and government agencies.  This bill helps protects vital places to shoot. Mahalo to Representative Ito for introducing it.

Legislation is like the lottery.  You can’t ever win if you don’t buy a ticket!


Dr. Maxwell Cooper,

HRA Legislative Liaison

808 225-694