Firearm ownership hits record levels in Hawaii - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Firearm ownership hits record levels in Hawaii

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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

The Department of the Attorney General released its annual report on firearm ownership in Hawaii, and the numbers are startling.

In 2013, the number of permits issued and registered firearms both hit record highs, at 21,544 and 60,757 respectively.  The number of firearms represents a 20.6% jump over the previous record set in 2012.

Crime related to firearms has not increased accordingly.   It states that "since 2000 the number of firearm-related violent crimes and the proportion of violent crimes involving firearms relative to other weapon types remained low and stable through 2007, and subsequently decreased."

Kaneohe Gun Shop owner Daniel Oshima liked the news.  "That's good news, and of course it proves that responsible and safe firearm owners are helping to promote the public safety" he said.

"When the numbers are constantly low or even decreasing for violent crime [you] cannot associate with mere firearms ownership" he continued.

Oshima has owned the shop for almost 20 years, and is an instructor for safe and responsible gun use.  He's always had a positive experience with firearms.

Nadine Onodera has not.

"It's an unsolved murder and always will be.  He was shot right in the forehead, while he was sleeping on our living room sofa".  Nadine recounts the night in December 1983, when her son Michael was shot and killed in their Hawaii Kai home.

Since then, she has founded the Hawaii Firearms Control Coalition.

"We just want to bring attention to gun ownership and responsible gun ownership".  She admits the numbers on firearm related violent crime are positive.

"I'm actually always encouraged when our violent crime goes down.  I think that's always good no matter what side of the fence you're on, on this issue".

However, she feels more firearms means more risk

"Over time the likelihood when you have that many guns out there that something's going to go wrong, Murphy's Law...at some point it likely will".

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