REPORT FROM THE NRA – Senate Bill 69, a gun “buyback” measure, was amended and passed in the Senate Public Safety, Intergovernmental and Military Affairs Committee (PSM) on February 7, by a 3-1 vote. This bill will be heard next by the Senate Ways and Means Committee (WAM). We will inform you as soon as a committee hearing is scheduled for SB 69.
As introduced by state Senators Will Espero (D-19), Rosalyn Baker (D-6), Brickwood Galuteria (D-12) and Josh Green (D-3), SB 69 would appropriate $100,000 to county police departments statewide to establish gun “buyback” programs. Such gun buyback schemes across the country have proven to be complete failures and a waste of taxpayer dollars. The average person who voluntarily surrenders a firearm to police is not a criminal and the firearms surrendered are not those misused by criminals.
Senate Bill 932, terribly flawed mental health legislation, was amended and passed in its first set of committees. On Monday, this bill passed in the Senate Heath Committee by a 5-0 vote and on Tuesday, it passed in the PSM Committee by a 3-0 vote, with two excused absences. Due to overwhelming opposition to the original bill, it has been amended to create a task force that will provide input on how to improve the mental health system. Both the NRA and Hawaii Rifle Association (HRA) are expected to be participants.
As originally introduced by state Senators Josh Green (D-3), Suzanne Chun Oakland (D-13), Clarence Nishihara (D-17), Russell Ruderman (D-2), and Maile Shimabukuro (D-21), SB 932 would have subjected Hawaiians to warrantless entry into their homes, warrantless seizure of their firearms and other weapons based solely on a mere “report” by a so-called “mental health professional.” For more information, please see our previous report.
Your NRA-ILA will notify you as soon as the amendments are made available for the above bills.
Legislative Recess – A Perfect Time to Meet with Your Legislators at Home
The state legislature goes into a mandatory five-day recess from February 21-26. During this recess, neither the House nor Senate will convene, however hearings may still be scheduled. Many of the Neighbor Island legislators take this time to fly home for a few days.
Politicians are usually interested in their reelection and always more interested in talking to residents who are registered voters. If you are a registered voter on any Island, please make a phone call this week to your state Senator and state Representative and ask for an appointment to meet with them during the recess to discuss firearms legislation. You can use this link to determine their contact information.
If you are not registered to vote, you can download the registration packethere. You may also request a voter application by mail by calling (808) 453-VOTE (8683); Neighbor Isle Toll-free: (800) 442-VOTE (8683).
If do not receive an appointment right away, do not hesitate to call back and politely request one again. Your state legislators are sent to Honolulu to represent you – they have a mandate to meet with and hear from their constituency. If your legislator does not have a district office that is available for meetings, a public venue of some sort (coffee shop/restaurant) should be acceptable. If you are unsure what to say, just politely express your views and concerns regarding firearms legislation.
Please contact members of the Senate WAM Committee TODAY and respectfully express your opposition to SB 69.
Senate Ways and Means Committee:
David Y. Ige (D-16), Chairman
Michelle Kindani (D-18), Vice Chairman
Suzanne Chun Oakland (D-13)
Donovan Dela Cruz (D-22)
J. Kalani English (D-7)
Senator Will Espero (D-19)
Gilbert Kahele (D-1)
Gilbert S.C. Keith-Agaran (D-5)
Ronald Kouchi (D-8)
Russell Ruderman (D-2)
Laura Thielen (D-25)
Senator Sam Slom (R-9)