Big increase in guns being used for Oahu crimes
Armed robberies, kidnappings and a shooting all happened on Oahu over the weekend, and each crime was committed with guns.
Last year, there were 84 arrests for weapons charges on Oahu, but over the past six months, there were more arrests than all of 2018.
Along with Hawaii's year round sunshine, many people have a bright outlook on crime for the Aloha State.
"I feel very safe in Hawaii. We are lucky we don't have the violence like on the mainland, even though we are starting to see a little more of that," said Mililani resident Carol Santiago.
This past weekend, there was a violent robbery and kidnapping in Palolo, a separate kidnapping in Kalihi and two armed robberies, in Salt Lake and Hawaii Kai.
In each of these crimes suspects had guns as their weapons.
Five years ago, there were 288 violent crimes committed using firearms throughout the year, but the rate has increased to average one a day statewide.
That is why an outbreak of numerous crimes using guns in one weekend catches people's attention.
"I've seen an increase from me and my friends at the Sheriffs and Police Department. There has definitely been a rise to criminal activity from the 80s," stated Kakaako resident Daryl Tong.
Police are also paying attention, Honolulu Police issued this statement:
"HPD has seen an increase in the number of offenses involving firearms, and the department will be increasing officer visibility across the island."
While there may be more recent instances of suspects using guns to commit crimes, Hawaii still is the state with the least gun related deaths.
"We have the lowest gun violence in the nation, and we would like to keep it that way," said Senator Karl Rhoads.
Rhoads has been at the forefront of legislation aims to control gun violence and is a supporter of the red flag law that will take effect January 1. It will allow people to petition the court to take away a person's guns temporarily, if that person is a danger to themselves or others.
"We aren't trying to get rid of guns completely, but there are some people we don't think should have them," added Rhoads.
In addition to the new law that will take effect, Senator Rhoads plans to introduce additional legislation that will tighten up Hawaii's gun laws even more...by closing loop holes for certain types of weapons or ammunition.