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This Legislative Session, Hawaiʻi has an Opportunity to Lead the Nation’s Fight Against Gun Violence 

January 24, 2024

Today, lawmakers in Honolulu convene for the last day of bill filing. Last session, lawmakers heard dozens of testimonies from Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers and passed key gun safety bills including a measure strengthening the state’s concealed carry laws following the Supreme Court’s reckless decision in Bruen. This session, lawmakers have a unique opportunity to build on that progress and make Hawaiʻi a national leader in the fight against gun violence. 

A snapshot of the life-saving legislation on the docket this year: 

  • SB 3196 –Assault Weapons Ban: legislation to prohibit all assault weapons and high capacity magazines that fire over ten rounds. This new legislation improves Hawaiʻi’s current law that has long prohibited one category of assault weapons–assault pistols. Yet – the state does not prohibit assault weapons that are rifles and shotguns–including AR-15s and other semi automatic rifles that are frequently employed in mass shootings and other gun related crimes.

Since 2015, there have been more than 3,200 unintentional shootings by children, resulting in more than 1,200 deaths and more than 2,000 injuries. According to the CDC, nearly 85 percent of unintentional shooting deaths among children under the age of 18 occur in or around a home. A study on storage practices showed that households that locked both firearms and ammunition had an 85 percent lower risk of unintentional firearm injuries among children and teenagers than those that locked neither.

As we await further legislative action on gun violence prevention bills, Hawaiʻi Moms Demand Action and Student Demand Action Volunteers will continue to advocate for measures that continue to make Hawaiʻi a national leader in the fight against gun violence. 

Hawaiʻi ranks 5th in the country for gun law strength in Everytown’s 2024 Gun Law Rankings. Everytown’s interactive gun law platform – which shows the direct correlation between the strength of a state’s gun laws – is available here. More information about unintentional shootings by children is available here. More information about gun violence in Hawaiʻi is available here

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