Today, Hawai‘i lawmakers held hearings, and advanced gun safety legislation in the House Judiciary and Hawaiian Affairs Committee where Moms Demand Action volunteers testified in favor of HB 984, a measure sponsored by House Speaker Scott Saiki and is part of Governor Josh Green’s legislative package. The bill seeks to strengthen current concealed carry laws and define sensitive locations where guns should be prohibited following SCOTUS’ dangerous ruling in Bruen which undermined one of Hawai‘i’s critical gun safety laws.
Among the testimonies, lawmakers heard from Chris Marvin, a Honolulu resident, U.S. Army veteran, and gun safety expert who leads veteran engagement for Everytown for Gun Safety, who said, “Hawaii has some of the lowest rates of gun injury and death in the nation and we must keep it that way.” Other testimonies came from Rachel Logan and Erica Yamauchi, volunteers with Hawai’i Moms Demand Action, who stressed the importance of passing this life-saving measure. Highlighting that “When I am taking my young children to the grocery store, the playground, or the beach, I do not want to have to worry about the presence of guns,” and “Hawaii has become a national leader when it comes to common-sense policy, and I urge you to keep it that way.”
This critical legislation would require that people carrying guns in public receive sufficient training, and ensure law enforcement can deny public carry permits to people who pose a heightened public safety risk based on objective and uniform criteria. The bill also addresses the potential dangers posed by an increased number of people carrying concealed firearms in the state, including by defining sensitive locations where guns aren’t allowed, such as schools, playgrounds, public transit, and establishments that serve alcohol.
Every year, around 55 Hawaiʻi residents are shot and killed and nearly 135 are wounded. Hawaiʻi has the third-strongest gun laws of any state in the country and the second-lowest rate of gun deaths in the U.S. More information about gun violence in Hawaiʻi is available here.
As we await further legislative action on gun violence prevention bills, Hawai‘i Moms Demand Action and Student Demand Action Volunteers will continue to advocate for measures that continue to make Hawai‘i a national leader in the fight against gun violence. If you have questions, or to request an interview with a volunteer from Hawaiʻi Moms Demand Action about advocacy and gun violence prevention in the state, please reach out to [email protected]