Everytown for Gun Safety and its grassroots networks, Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, released the following statement applauding Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi for asking Honolulu City Council to hear an ordinance regarding where firearms can be carried in public. This action comes in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s reckless ruling in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. Bruen, which invalidated an important part of Hawaii’s laws limiting who can carry concealed firearms in public.
“Making sure firearms are kept out of sensitive areas, like where our kids play in parks and schools, or where democracy is protected like government buildings is critical to saving lives and protecting public safety,” said Erica Yamauchi, volunteer lead for the Hawaii chapter of Moms Demand Action and Director at the Hawaii State Department of Health. “We stand with Mayor Blangiardi in calling on the legislators of Honolulu City Council to pass this ordinance to keep our community safe in a post-Bruen America.”
The Honolulu ordinance would recognize certain locations as “sensitive places” where firearms are prohibited. These sensitive places would include schools, parks, government buildings, voter service centers, and public transportation. Additionally, the ordinance would prohibit firearms in private businesses and charitable organizations by default – unless those property owners decide to allow them. The ordinance is necessary in the wake of the Bruen ruling, which resulted in the unenforceability of part of Hawaii’s law limiting the public carrying of concealed firearms unconstitutional, and will lead to more people in Hawaii receiving permits to carry loaded handguns in public.
The ordinance is a critical step for gun safety in Honolulu. Since the Bruen ruling more than 400 applications have been filed in Honolulu county for concealed carry permits, and within the month Hawaii could see hundreds of people carrying concealed guns. The Honolulu Police Department will hold a hearing on October 4 on the procedures for obtaining a license to carry a firearm in public.
Hawaii has the 2nd strongest gun laws of any state in the country and has the 2nd lowest rate of gun deaths in the US. Every year, around 55 Hawaii residents are shot and killed and nearly 135 are wounded. However, authorities are concerned with rising gun related crime in Hawaii. The state has noted a massive uptick in seized ghost guns. More information about gun violence in Hawaii is available here. If you have questions or want to request an interview with a volunteer from Hawaii Moms Demand Action and/or Students Demand Action, please don’t hesitate to reach out.