HRA Legislative Report, March 2012
by Max Cooper, Hawaii Rifle Association, Thursday, 08 March 2012
The Hawaii State Legislature has passed its half-way mark. Only one firearms bill remains alive, HB679 HD1, providing limited immunity from the state "absolute liability" statute to NRA Instructors who allow students in the NRA Basic gun safety classes to use their firearms to qualify for a handgun permit under HRS 134.
Amended favorably by the House Judiciary Committee, chaired by Rep. Gilbert Keith-Agaran, it passed the House 47/4 with Representatives Hanohano, Luke, Rhoads, and Saiki voting no.
Mahalo to Rep. Ken Ito for shepherding the bill through the House, and to you many supporters who contacted your Representatives and submitted testimony.
The process repeats in the Senate in the second half, with hearings expected in Public Safety Committee, Sen. Will Espero, Chair, and then Judiciary, Sen. Clayton Hee, Chair.
The several bills requiring written permission to hunt on private land are dead for the year. The proponent ranchers and farmers, desperate for some relief from agricultural thefts, attempted to use the place-to-keep-and-carry firearms statutes to inflict felony penalties for the thieves and vandals responsible, but, since the content of the amended bills was mostly about trespassing and hunting, the bill titles broke the legislative rules and were thus defective, with no way to fix them this session. HRA hopes to work with the Farm Bureau and the many ranches supporting these bills to write better ones next year. We were not approached during that process this year.
Nothing, of course, will help the farmers and ranchers until there are changes in Hawaii’s criminal justice system. It is longs-standing DLNR policy is that DLNR enforcement officers do not operate on private property. Currently they are virtually not in the field at all for lack of operating funds. County Police Departments need to assign and equip their officers to respond. Judges need to give maximum misdemeanor sentences (up to one year in jail and a $2,000 fine), and Hawaii needs to adopt seizure of vehicles for poaching and trespassing with a firearm as have mainland states.
Annual HRA Meeting March 25, 2012
Thursday, 08 March 2012
The annual HRA meeting will be held March 25 at the Kokohead Shooting Complex in Action Bay 1.
Elections for new Directors will be held, and self-nominations are allowed. If you want to get more involved in the HRA and supporting gun rights in Hawaii, this is an excellent opportunity!
8:00 setup tents and targets
9:30 start scheduled shoot
11:30 lunch served
12:30 start annual meeting
1:30 continue scheduled shoot
2:30 shoot pau, start cleanup
3:00 event done