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Three Hawai´i Gun Safety Bills Become Law

July 1, 2021, 5:44 PM HST
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Two House bills to promote gun safety and prohibit the possession of “ghost guns” were signed into law Thursday, July 1, by Governor David Ige. Hawai´i

HB 1366 HD1, now Act 149, goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2022. It amends the Class C felony offense of manufacturing, purchasing or obtaining firearm parts to assemble a firearm having no serial number, as well as to prohibit possession of those firearm parts. 

Firearms, Guns, PC: Pixabay

“By closing a serious loophole in current laws prohibiting ghost guns, HB 1366 will help protect our communities by keeping these unmarked, unregistered guns off our streets,” said Rep. Patrick Pihana Branco (D-50, Kailua, Kāneʻohe Bay), the primary introducer of the bill. “Mahalo to the Attorney General’s office and county police departments for their support in getting this important legislation passed.”

In addition, HB 31, now Act 148, was also signed. This bill raises the maximum age of minors from whom safe storage of firearms is required from 16 to 18 years old.

Rep. Gregg Takayama (D-34, Pearl City, Waimalu, Pacific Palisades), the primary introducer of the bill said, “This is a common-sense measure aimed at protecting 16- and 17-year-olds, who are statistically the most prone to attempting suicide.”

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“This is not an added burden for responsible gun owners,” Takayama asserted, “who already recognize the importance of safely securing their firearms from other family members, visitors and intruders.”

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A third bill to increase penalties for crimes against senior citizens was also into law by the governor. The measure was developed through a collaborative effort between the legislature’s Kūpuna Caucus and the various county prosecutors.

HB 490 will enhance safeguards for kūpuna by proposing an increase in penalties for intentional crimes against seniors 60 years of age and above, including intentional bodily injury, unauthorized entry into a dwelling, theft, or forgery.   

“We have seen way too many crimes against our kūpuna who are vulnerable to assault, theft and financial abuse,” said Senator Sharon Moriwaki (Senate District 12 – Waikīkī, Ala Moana, Kaka‘ako, McCully, Mō‘ili‘ili), co-convener of the Senate Kūpuna Caucus. “This bill will protect them by enhancing penalties for these crimes against our elders.” 

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