- Big Brother Is Watching Hawaii's Gun Owner (Image: MGN)
- Gun owners in Hawaii are now entered into an FBI database that tracks and notifies other states if arrested.
- The Governor of Hawaii, David Ige, signed the bill on Thursday.
- The bill also allows police to seize firearms if the owner has been disqualified based on mental illness.
- The NRA is in an uproar over the passing of a bill that monitors a citizen for practicing a constitutional right.
A bill was passed Thursday, in Hawaii, to be the first state to enter its gun owning population into the FBI database. This database will automatically notify police if a native islander is arrested anywhere in the country.
The Governor of Hawaii, David Ige, made a statement that this legislation's main priority is about the safety of the community and responsible gun ownership. He claims that this bill will help law enforcement officials and government agencies protect the residents of Hawaii.
Both sides of the fight are giving their two cents about the bill. Hawaii's State Senator Will Espero and the Honolulu Police Department said that the bill itself could be a model for other states. Yet, others are saying that the public should not have to be in a database to practice a constitutional right.
Supporters of the bill are saying that it will make Hawaii a leader in the terms of safe gun laws. A staff attorney at the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, Allison Anderman, said the bill was “groundbreaking.”
On the other hand, Jerry Ilo, a firearm, and hunting instructor for the state of Hawaii told the Associated Press last month, “I don't like the idea of us being entered into a database. It basically tells us that they know where the guns are, they can go grab them. We get the feeling that Big Brother is watching us.”
The National Rifle Association and the Hawaii Rifle Association had asked their members to oppose the bill.
Amy Hunter for the National Rifle Association said, “This is an extremely dangerous bill. Exercising a constitutional right is not inherently suspicious…Hawaii will now be treating firearms as suspect and subject to constant monitoring.”
A third piece of the legislation that was signed on Thursday was banning anyone who was convicted of stalking or sexual assault from owning a firearm. This part of the bill also had the NRA up in arms.
Not only did David Ige, get the gun owners of Hawaii on his bad side for the bill but the last part of the bill states that police can seize firearms and ammunition from a home if the dwellers have been disqualified from owning a weapon because of mental illness.
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