Hawaii lawmakers take a stand against federal Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act
The Hawaii House and Senate will discuss two resolutions Thursday that take aim at a controversial gun bill moving forward at the federal level.
"There are proposals in congress to override state laws that may protect us against concealed carry," said Rep. Gregg Takayama, D- Pearl City.
It's called the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act and it's moving forward at the federal level.
"Congress is currently considering bills that would force every state to recognize every other state's concealed carry permits," said Sen. Stanley Chang, D- Hawaii Kai.
Sen. Chang and Rep. Takayama are sponsors of SCR 9 and HCR 37, two state resolutions that take a stand against the federal bill.
"States that have strict gun laws like Hawaii, have the fewest number of gun deaths," said Rep. Takayama.
Rep. Takayama said states with looser gun laws have more gun deaths,
"You can't correlate that to say if we had concealed carry that our crime rate would go up that is a ridiculous statement," said Harvey Gerwig, President of the Hawaii Rifle Association (HRA).
Gerwig believes the federal bill guarantees all Americans the right to bear arms.
"This would level the playing field and everybody with a permit would be able to carry that firearm for self-defense in other states, I think it makes a great deal of sense," said Gerwig.
Sen. Chang worries reciprocity could put guns into the hands of potentially dangerous people. Right now, Hawaii has some of the strictest gun laws in the country, Sen. Chang said this includes safeguards that keep guns away from stalkers, people with a history of domestic violence, and the mentally ill.
"There are 12 states that have no restrictions whatsoever, no permit process whatsoever," said Sen. Chang.
"We know that our concealed carry gun laws in Hawaii work, they protect public safety and we want to preserve them," said Rep. Takayama.
The House and Senate will hold hearings on each resolution on Thursday.