Hawaii Just Became the First State to do This, and Gun Owners are Outraged

Hawaii Governor David Ige

Hawaii Governor David Ige just signed a bill into law, creating a FBI database of sorts for the state’s gun owners. The new law will allow Hawaii police officials to see when any gun-owning resident is arrested anywhere in the country – via the FBI’s Rap Back system – at which point the police will evaluate whether that resident should own a gun.

Hawaii will be using the FBI criminal monitoring system call Rap Back to keep track of the state’s gun owners. Of course, gun owners who visit Hawaii will also be put in the system for monitoring purposes. Reuters reported:

Hawaii has become the first U.S. state to place firearm owners on the FBI’s Rap Back, which until now was used to monitor criminal activities by individuals under investigation or people in positions of trust such as school teachers and daycare workers

“As you can imagine, the NRA finds this one of the most extreme bills we’ve ever seen,” said Amy Hunter, a spokeswoman for the National Rifle Association’s institute for legislative action.

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The law could affect gun owners outside Hawaii, because the state requires visitors carrying guns to register, Hunter said.

As a result, they could be added to “Rap Back” with no clear protocol for being removed, she said.


The law, which takes effect immediately, allows police in Hawaii to evaluate whether a firearm owner should continue to possess a gun after being arrested.

“This bill, it doesn’t even say your gun will automatically be taken away, it just means local police will be notified,” Espero said in a phone interview.

The NRA’s Amy Hunter – who had called the piece of legislation “extremely dangerous” – said in a interview prior to the bill’s passage into law: “Exercising a constitutional right is not inherently suspicious…Hawaii will now be treating firearms as suspect and subject to constant monitoring.”

Hawaii Democrat state Senator Will Espero – a co-author of the bill and gun owner himself – called the newly signed law “common sense legislation that does not hurt anyone.”

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