SB301 is an Alarming Encroachment on Hawaii Citizens Gun Ownership Rights

Picture of a woman shooting a rifle

By: J.S.

The Hawaii State Legislature introduced Senate Bill No. 301 on January 22, 2021. Among other restrictions, this bill proposes the ban of purchasing or selling any firearm with a detachable magazine with over ten round capacity, threatening to further expand the Hawaii government’s already far-reaching control of firearms. There are several other concerning proposals in the bill; read the full bill here. There will be an opportunity for citizens to attend a public hearing with the Hawaii State Legislature via video-conferencing on February 12 at 9:15 a.m. Interested parties can find Public Hearing information here. Below is the description of the bill as given on the Hawaii State Legislature’s website.

Measure Title: RELATING TO FIREARMS.

Report Title: Firearms; Assault Weapons Ban; Assault Pistols; Detachable Magazines

Description: Defines “assault rifle” and “assault shotgun”. Expands the ban on pistols with a detachable magazine with over ten round capacity to any firearm with a detachable magazine with over ten round capacity. Prohibits anyone from bringing or causing to be brought into the State an assault rifle or assault shotgun. Prohibits the sale or transfer of any assault rifle or assault shotgun in the State, unless sold or transferred to an authorized person.

Source: https://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/measure_indiv.aspx?billtype=SB&billnumber=301&year=2021

Upon introduction on January 22, 2021, SB301 passed its first reading in the State Senate. On January 25 it was referred to the Senate Committee on Public Safety, Intergovernmental, and Military Affairs and the Senate Committee on Judiciary. On February 1, the bill was re-referred to the JDC, followed that same day with the scheduling of a public hearing to take place on February 12. Traditionally, such public hearings would take place in-person and allow the public an opportunity to communicate and weigh-in on government decisions. Since the Hawaii government is continuing the closure of the state capitol to the public, the hearing for SB301 will be conducted through video-conferencing. The hearing is scheduled at 9:15 a.m. (HST).

If you wish to participate in this public hearing, there are several ways available to you. If you wish to submit written testimony of any kind, you can do so through this link. The public is able to submit testimony up to 24 hours before the hearing begins. You can also attend the video call to witness the hearing. To do so go to www.capitol.hawaii.gov and search for SB301, or go directly to this link. For individuals who wish to testify through video conference during the live hearing, you can create or sign into your account on the Legislature’s website, www.capitol.hawaii.gov, and choose the “Testimony” icon on the home page where you will also find detailed instructions on the process. Legislature has also scheduled hearings for six other Senate Bills, so be prepared to wait for SB301 to be discussed.