Today, Moms Demand Action volunteers testified in favor of SB 1230, during a hearing in the Senate on Public Safety and Intergovernmental and Military Affairs Committee. The bill is the first statewide measure to be heard this session to strengthen Hawaii’s Concealed carry law following SCOTUS’ dangerous ruling in Bruen which undermined one of Hawaiʻi’s critical gun safety laws.
Among the testimonies in today’s hearing, 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, “In the military, we treat our bases and posts as the ultimate “sensitive locations,” where the only place you’ll find loaded weapons are on shooting ranges and carried by military police and sentries on duty.” In addition, lawmakers heard from Ilima DeCosta, a volunteer with Hawaiʻi Moms Demand Action, who said, “As a mother who doesn’t want to see other parents and families suffer due to preventable gun violence, I urge the Legislature to take seriously their solemn oath to ensure the public’s safety.”
This critical legislation would update and strengthen the portions of Hawaiʻi’s concealed carry permit law that were weakened by the Bruen decision. It 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. Finally, it would address 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. However, recently released nationwide data shows that Hawai’i is the state with the greatest one-year increase in gun violence (43%) from 2020 to 2021, and authorities and community members are concerned with rising gun-related crime in Hawaiʻi. More information about gun violence in Hawaiʻi is available here.
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].