Hawaii’s 2nd Amendment Rights Protected During Emergency

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By Sam Slom

Gov. Linda Lingle today signed into law two important bills preserving 2nd Amendment rights passed by the recently adjourned 25th Hawaii State Legislature.


SB 358, SD1, HD2, which I introduced, is now known as (Act 96). This bill establishes provisions relating to prohibition against seizure of firearms or ammunition during emergency or disaster, suspension of permit or license. Prohibits any person or government entity to seize or confiscate, under any civil defense, emergency, or disaster relief powers or functions conferred, or during any civil defense emergency period, or during any time of national emergency or crisis, any firearm or ammunition and permit or license of any individual who is lawfully permitted to carry or possess the firearm or ammunition and who carries, possesses, or uses the firearm or ammunition in a lawful manner and in accordance with the criminal laws of this State. — Amends provisions relating to civil defense powers, in general. Section Affected: 134- (1 SECTION), 128-6.

As a Trustee and Secretary of the Bellevue, Washington-based Second Amendment Foundation, I introduced the legislation in part as a result of Hurricane Katrina’s aftermath in New Orleans when law enforcement officials went door-to-door and seized legal firearms from legally registered owners.

The court subsequently overturned the state’s actions. Worried constituents called this year during the Hawaii Tsunami alert. Citizens were concerned that the police would not be able to protect everyone and their property during a major emergency.

I emphasize this law applies to legally owned and registered firearms. This is a good bill and Governor Linda Lingle should be thanked for her prompt attention to this important legislation which passed the Senate unanimously. Hawaii now joins 30 other states with similar legislation.

The other bill signed today (Act 97) is SB0532 SD1 HD1 CD1 RELATING TO LIMITING CIVIL LIABILITY. Also known as the “CASTLE DOCTRINE”, and originally introduced by Slom, the version that passed was sponsored by Senate Judiciary Chairman Brian Taniguchi (D-Manoa), By Request. Current Hawaii law requires a homeowner to “retreat” from his or her own home when invaded by a criminal engaging in a felony. The new law establishes provisions relating to owner to felon; limited liability. Provides that any owner of any other interest in real property shall not be liable to any perpetrator for any injury or death that occurs upon the real property during the course or after the commission of certain felony offenses. — Section Affected: 663- (1 SECTION) OWNER TO FELON.

This bill represents common sense and confirms in Hawaii the old adage, “A man’s (or woman’s) home is his (her) castle.” It should put potential criminals on notice that they no longer can break in, commit a felony, threaten the owner and escape with no risk of personal harm. Both laws are about taking back our individual, Constitutional rights.

State Senator Sam Slom (R-8th O’ahu – Hawaii Kai to Diamondhead) can be reached at sbh@lava.net