Hawaiian gun owners sound off on gun-free zones

It’s been fascinating and frustrating to see how blue states have responded to the Supreme Court’s decision in Bruen striking down New York’s “may issue” carry laws and placing the right to bear arms on equal footing to the right to keep them in our homes. While some Democrat-led states have held off on creating new laws restricting the right to carry as much as possible, most have at least begun the process of crafting new barriers between citizens and their right to bear arms. That includes Hawaii, where state legislators will take up the issue early next year but city and county governments have been debating requirements for carry permits and what places should be made off-limits to lawful concealed carry.


In a state that’s been as hostile to the Second Amendment as Hawaii has been, I expected that most of the public comments received by the Honolulu City Council in response to their proposed list of “sensitive places” would be all in favor of as many gun-free zones as possible. I was way off, as it turns out.

As of 5 p.m. Monday 60 people had given testimony supporting the bill, 196 in opposition, with 44 submitting comments.


“So now you want to tie the hands of law abiding, trained, certified, licensed gun owners to defend themselves and/or the public should the time come, when you know darn well criminals don’t and never have followed the law!” Mililani resident Rita Kama-Kimura wrote in opposition to the bill. “I prefer the idea that if I am out and about and something should happen, that there is a chance someone who is carrying is there to help. I strongly urge you to oppose the passing of this bill.”


Guinevere de la Mare of Kailua submitted testimony in support of the bill.

“I fully support the 170-year ban on firearms in Hawaii. People should not be allowed to bring firearms to schools, parks, public transit, or any other gathering spots. Our keiki should be safe at school, our ‘ohana should be able to gather without fear,” de la Mare wrote.

On today’s Bearing Arms’ Cam & Co we’re taking a look at the comments both in support and opposition to the laundry list of “gun-free” zones; in particular the common arguments used by supporters, many of whom appear to be horrified by the thought of standing next to someone lawfully carrying a firearm, yet they’ve seemingly never considered the possibility of someone illegally carrying a firearm around them. Here’s one example:


One thing that does not seem to be covered is apartment buildings. While they are residences, most have elevators. I would be terrified is someone riding in an elevator, with me, a very enclosed space, is carrying a loaded firearm, unless said person is a law enforcement officer. There is no escape from a shut elevator. This needs to be addressed. There are maybe 1,000 residents where I live and there is no protection for us in the common areas. This must be rectified.

She’ll likely never know if any of the folks she shares an elevator with are carrying, because their gun will be concealed. If this concerns her so much, I don’t know how she’s ever going to leave the house for fear she might run across someone exercising their right to bear arms in self-defense.

Other backers of the sweeping “sensitive places” language don’t seem to get (or care) what the Supreme Court said in Bruen.

I support Bill 57 to create “sensitive spaces” outside of the home where guns will not be allowed. Guns should not be carried outside of the home unless for game hunting, but ESPECIALLY in high traffic public areas. Please help protect our community and keep our parks, schools, public transport safe from potential harm.

SCOTUS has made it clear that the Second Amendment protects a general right to carry a firearms for self-defense in public, and that the “sensitive places” where the lawful carrying of firearms can be forbidden are the exception, not the rule. Honolulu’s Bill 57 violates those tenets in multiple ways, but it still doesn’t go far enough for some anti-rights residents.


I do not think guns have any place in public places where people should feel safe from firearms. Actually, I do not think the public should be allowed to carry guns, concealed or not ANY PLACE. Guns kill and hurt people and that is not what anyone in the public should do. When YOU have a gun, chances are very good that you will get hurt with that same gun!! Guns are not for protection; they are for police and service members only. I support the bill, but think it should go MUCH further.

As I mentioned, the support for the gun control restrictions were dwarfed by those opposed who offered their online testimony. A common theme for those objecting was that the bill was a waste of time and aimed in the wrong direction.

We have a crisis with drug & alcohol-addicted mentally ill people commandeering the streets of our city’s and state’s most important economic district – Waikiki. Our precious visitors spend thousands of dollars and travel thousands of miles to have the vacation experience Waikiki offers. We simply CAN NOT afford the damage to our brand that is levied by these few people who are so offensive to our visitors and everyone in Waikiki.

This is a crisis that is causing incredible damage to our economy and threatens the safety and security of everyone in Waikiki. Why do we let these few people continue to terrorize the most important part of our community? When is this going to stop? It is the government’s responsibility to not allow this to continue. If you want to define “sensitive” places – let’s start with that and give our law enforcement and social services the power they need to end this once and for all.



You can read all of the online testimony for yourself here, and I found it to be interesting reading. We should get to hear more debate as well, with Bill 57 coming up for a first hearing today and further testimony and votes to come. I’d like to think that the number of those objecting to the gun control measure will have some sway with council members, but I’m not that delusional or hopelessly optimistic. Still, it’s incredible to see the grassroots activism of Second Amendment supporters on display in Honolulu and across Hawaii, and I fully expect that their rights will be vindicated when whatever the council eventually passes is challenged in court.

Join the conversation as a VIP Member