Gov. Green signs firearms legislation
Governor Josh Green, M.D. today signed into law, two pieces of firearms-related legislation. The bills, SB1230 and HB1239, were signed in observance of National Gun Violence Awareness Day to preserve the safety of Hawai‘i residents, visitors and keiki.
In signing the bills, Gov. Green said gun violence represents an urgent public health and public safety issue. “These bills strike a very appropriate balance between public safety, and protecting people and children in Hawaiʻi, along with respecting the Second Amendment right of individuals,” he said.
Act 52 (SB1230) addresses sensitive places where firearms are prohibited. The purpose is to create a statewide policy to help avoid confusion from county to county throughout the state.
SB1230, Relating to Firearms: Prohibits firearms in certain locations and premises. Requires possession and disclosure of a license to carry. Prohibits leaving an unsecured firearm in a vehicle unattended. Prohibits consuming or being under the influence of alcohol, an intoxicating liquor, or a controlled substance when carrying a firearm. Prohibits carrying or possessing firearms on certain private property without express authorization. Requires annual reports from the department of the attorney general on carry licenses. Amends the requirements for, and revocation of, firearms permits and licenses. Amends the disqualification of persons from owning, possessing, or controlling a firearm. Expands the qualified immunity for health care providers who provide information on firearms applicants to include physician assistants and advanced practice registered nurses. (CD1)
SB 1230 was prepared in response to the US Supreme Court’s Bruen decision, which required that law-abiding individuals generally be allowed to carry weapons in public as a matter of constitutional Second Amendment law. Gov. Green said the new state law is intended to mitigate the harm arising from the Supreme Court decision, in accordance with the US Constitution.
Act 53 (HB1329) will provide active shooter training in public and charter schools statewide.
HB1329, Related to Education (Active Shooter Training)
Requires the Department of Education to work with certain organizations to develop and implement an active shooter training program in all public and charter schools. Allows public and charter school students to decline to participate in active shooter training. (CD1)
“I never could have imagined a world in which our keiki would need to have active shooter training in school,” said Gov. Green. “But given the very real threat, I firmly believe in providing this potentially life-saving education for our public and charter school students, to help make sure they get to go home to their families.”
“This important legislation will help reduce the risks of gun violence in our communities by establishing reasonable safeguards,” said First Deputy Solicitor General Nick McLean, of the Office of the Attorney General in a news release. “The law protects the public by putting in place common-sense training and education requirements, as well as protections for sensitive locations like schools, parks, and playgrounds.”
“On National Gun Violence Awareness Day, we honor the survivors and those we have lost to gun violence, and we trust that common-sense gun violence prevention measures like House Bill 1329 will help keep Hawaiʻi safe for our neighbors and prevent future tragedies,” said Senator Michelle Kidani, Vice President of the Senate. “With the signing of these bills into law, Hawaiʻi remains a national leader in gun violence prevention.”
“SB1230 was carefully crafted to ensure that it is consistent with the Court’s interpretation of the Second Amendment, and allows for the establishment of a fair system of regulation for concealed carry,” said House Judiciary and Hawaiian Affairs Chair David A. Tarnas. “We aimed to create a balanced approach that respects the rights of gun owners and the need to maintain safe and protected spaces in Hawaiʻi. Additionally, HB1329 takes into consideration the importance of equipping our teachers and students with the critical knowledge and skills to respond to emergencies. Together, we can continue to protect lives and create safer communities for our families,” he said.
“Hawai‘i is currently one of the safest states in the nation with the second lowest rate of gun violence,” said Chris Marvin, of the Everytown for Gun Safety Veteran Advisory Council. “This is not due to chance. We’re safer because of sound public policy, and we must do everything we can to keep it that way and to protect our ‘ohana and our people.”
Gun Violence in Hawai‘i
- Recent nationwide data shows that Hawai‘i had the greatest one-year increase in gun violence (43%) from 2020 to 2021.
- In an average year, 61 people die by guns in Hawai‘i. About 60% are suicides.
- The rate of gun deaths has increased 44% from 2012 to 2021 in Hawai‘i, compared to a 39% increase nationwide. This means that in 2021, there were 20 more gun deaths than in 2012.
*All statistics are from EveryStat.