After string of shootings, Hawaii lawmakers look to add even more gun laws

(AP Photo/Caleb Jones, File)

Hawaii already has some of the most restrictive gun laws in the nation, but the Democrats in control of the state legislature are digging deep into their bag of tricks to find some new and creative ways to target gun ownership after a string of shootings on the island of Oahu.

State Senator Chris Lee is among those calling for new gun regulations, calling the shootings “incredibly alarming,” adding “so many young people have access to firearms and using them in ways we’re not used to here in Hawaii.”

The fact that juveniles have been involved in many of these recent incidents is evidence that cracking down on legal gun owners isn’t going to make an impact on criminals, but that’s not stopping Lee and his colleagues from moving ahead with their anti-gun agenda.

Even with the state’s current gun laws, new measures were introduced this legislative session. Some lawmakers call for more frequent licensing renewals, as well as keeping guns out of the hands of those with concerning mental health issues. Lee also wants to lessen the danger once illegal guns end up in the wrong hands.

“For those who should not have access to firearms, we have to be able to track black market weapons and see how they got into the wrong hands. We want to ensure that even if you are able to acquire a firearm illegally, you are not legally able to buy ammunition for it,” added Lee.

And how exactly is Lee hoping to do that? By requiring background checks on ammunition sales?

That’s currently the law in California, but somehow criminals continue to get ahold of ammunition, as the state’s rising homicide rate clearly demonstrates.

“There was a 94% increase in homicides from 2019 to 2021 in areas patrolled by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department,” CBS Los Angeles reported. “In 2019, there were 145 homicides in Los Angeles County, a number that went up to 199 in 2020. Sheriff Alex Villanueva did not specify last year’s homicides, but he said he believes that number is about 280.”

Fresno, California’s fifth-largest city hasn’t experienced these sorts of homicide totals since the crack epidemic peaked in the mid ‘90s, the Fresno Bee reported. Among the state’s 10 largest cities, Fresno’s 74 homicides (and counting) in a city of 540,000 people is a murder rate surpassed only by Oakland.

According to Sacramento Police Chief Daniel Hahn, there have been 57 homicides so far in the city, which he said is the highest number since 2006 (59) and second-highest since (65), CBS Sacramento reported Dec. 29, 2021.

California’s ammunition background check law took effect on July 1st, 2019, and in the years since violent crime has only gotten worse across the state. It’s beyond ridiculous to think that a similar requirement in Hawaii would do anything to stop criminal activity, since the individuals who are stealing guns or acquiring them on the black market can just as easily do the same when it comes to ammunition.

Hawaii already requires lost or stolen firearms to be reported to police within 24 hours, and requires gun owners to keep their firearms locked up or carried on their person or else risk a charge of criminally negligent storage of a firearm if a minor gets ahold of a gun. And let’s not forget the fact that legally carrying a gun in Hawaii is a practical impossibility, given that the state’s “may issue” permitting system blocks virtually all legal gun owners from obtaining one.

Heck, even getting the state’s permission to carry a stun gun is a challenge, and now Hawaii’s lawmakers are gonna double down on their anti-Second Amendment approach to public safety. I doubt that the state’s crime rate will improve as a result, but sadly, I don’t think that really matters to the politicians. After all, if the current gun control laws aren’t stopping crime, that’s just a built-in excuse to put more laws on the books, and it looks like that’s the prevailing “wisdom” among the Democrats in charge of the state.