Regarding Honolulu Police Department proposed ban on ‘ghost guns’
From Hawaii Firearms Coalition Dec 21, 2019
According to Hawaii News Now, the Honolulu Police department is reportedly looking to ban "ghost guns" after seeing them used in an increased number of crimes. What we see when they say that is that they want to ban people manufacturing their own firearms.
Over the last few years, purchasing 80% firearms that require an owner to machine and finish the firearm to make it work has become a popular hobby. Readily available for purchase online, these kits take a skilled hand and some expensive tools to finish properly.
Now, first of all, let's look at the legality of these firearms as the law stands right now. These firearms are treated just like any other firearm in that they have to be registered, kept somewhere legal, have a serial number, and cant be sold to someone else who doesn't have a permit to acquire one.
So for a criminal to own one of these firearms, they must either be buying them illegally and failing to follow multiple gun laws or building them themselves. Now if they decided to create one, while a kit to make the lower receiver might cost as little as $100, the tools needed would set you back several hundred more and once finished you still need to purchase the rest of the parts to make it function (several hundred dollars more). Typically to build a firearm like this out, it can easily set you back $1,000, whereas a completed Glock 17 handgun from a gun store can be purchased for around $500.
Speaking to sources within HPD, we are led to believe that most firearms recovered in Hawaii come from theft. Often these firearms are completely untraceable due to serial numbers being removed (also a crime). These untraceable guns could come from within the state or from outside.
Being an island, you might ask how they get here? Simple! The same way we get fireworks, drugs, and other illegal items. They put them in the mail or send them via shipping container. With millions of packages arriving in Hawaii each year and hundreds of shipping containers arriving each week, it's impossible to search them all, nor would it be legal to do so.
So to clarify, for a criminal to possess a "ghost gun" and use it for crime, they must have:
Violated Hawaii's permit law (HRS 134-2)
Violated Hawaii's registration law (HRS 134-3)
Violated Hawaii prohibited person law (HRS134-7)
Violated Hawaii’s License to carry law (HRS134-9)
Violated HRS 134-21 Carrying or use of firearm in the commission of a separate felony
Violated 134-23 Place to keep loaded firearms other than pistols and revolvers
Violated HRS 134-26 Carrying or possessing a loaded firearm on a public highway
Violated HRS 134-27 Place to keep ammunition
This doesn't even begin to look at the crimes committed with the firearms. The fact of the matter is that criminals don't follow laws, and any law prohibiting someone from getting or manufacturing a so-called "ghost gun" would do NOTHING to stop them from obtaining one if they wanted to.
So now that we have looked at the laws and where criminals get their guns, let's take a look at whether a ban on manufacturing firearms or banning the parts for making them would be unconstitutional. The Second Amendment clearly gives the individual the right to bear arms, both for individual security and security of a free state. One of the ways that humankind has gained arms for millennia is to manufacture them themselves, whether it was sharpening a stick, building a bow, forging a sword, or building a firearm. Humans have always had the individual ability to arm themselves to protect themselves from harm.
If the government can ban the manufacture of firearms, they have a means to nullify the Second Amendment, effectively making it moot. Now while it appears some courts may accept that a state may regulate where and when arms can be sold, it is highly unlikely that they would hold up a ban on a person manufacturing a firearm for their individual use. Nor would it be likely that a state could regulate firearms parts or the tools used in manufacturing them.
That being said, should the State of Hawaii pursue such a ban or regulation on the manufacturing of firearms, Hawaii Firearms Coalition would strongly oppose such a ban. Should a ban or prohibition be passed into law, we would take the required steps in the courts to nullify said law, costing the taxpayers of Hawaii vast sums of money in legal fees.
So to sum up, criminals don't use "ghost guns." Criminals most often use stolen guns with defaced serial numbers. Criminals don't follow current gun laws. "Ghost guns" are more expensive than "non-ghost guns." A ban on manufacturing a firearm is unconstitutional. A ban on the parts to manufacture a firearm is unconstitutional. Hawaii Firearms Coalition will take action to prevent a ban and take legal action if one does pass. AND most importantly of all, Hawaii's taxpayers will end up footing the bill.
HIFICO: Facebook story
HIFICO Main Website : www.hifico.org