BY MAX COOPER – Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell held a press conference Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013 at Koko Head Rifle Range. He and Rangemaster Mike Muramoto spoke to two television crews. Parks Director Toni Robinson was present and was interviewed as were Hawaii Kai Neighborhood Board Chairperson, Greg Knudsen, and a number of shooters. HRA was represented by Dr. Max Cooper.
Because of two new bullet strikes reported in east Hawaii Kai on Friday Dec. 6, 2013, temporary indefinite closure of Koko Head Rifle Range was announced Friday evening, Dec. 6, 2013 by the Mayor’s Office. See the official press release below. There was a bullet strike reported on a car at a time when the Rifle and Pistol ranges only were open and live fire was in progress. No bullet was yet recovered from that vehicle as of Saturday, Dec.7, 2013. A second bullet strike to a home was reported Friday by a homeowner who discovered it Friday after returning from a week away. That bullet was recovered and no details are available yet. All other ranges at the Koko Head Shooting Complex remain open.
This followed limitation of the rifle range to 100 yard targets effective Nov. 1, 2013 after bullet strikes were reported to two homes in late Oct., 2013, one in the Queen’s Gate housing area and the other on Koko Kai Place. Both areas are downrange of the rifle range on the opposite side of Koko Head.
Mayor Caldwell has announced that permits are in place and funding is available for plans to refurbish the 100yd berm and range floor and erect a visual overhang, starting early in December, 2013, with anticipated re-opening in early Jan. He advised the press that HPD has opened an investigation of reckless endangerment.
The Parks Department will review other safety options as well.
A preliminary report by Parks Director Toni Robinson is planned for the Mayor’s Hawaii Kai “Town Hall” meeting on December 10, 2013 at Kaiser High School Cafeteria,511 Lunalilo Home Rd, Honolulu, HI 96825, 6:00PM to 8:00PM.
Also, the Range will be a subject of the Honolulu City and County report to the Hawaii Kai Neighborhood Board when it reconvenes in January, 26, 2014, at Hahaione Elementary School Cafeteria.
Rangemaster Mike Muramoto advised television reporters that it is not certain that bullet strikes originated from the rifle range, but that it is a possibility, so safety precautions are necessary.
The issue presents a good opportunity for range supporters to work with our supportive Mayor Caldwell, Director of Parks Robinson, and Honolulu City Council, and the Hawaii Kai community, to see that necessary range improvements are identified, funded, and implemented.
Dr. Maxwell Cooper is the Hawaii Rifle Association Legislative Liaison