Governor signs bill to increase penalties for crimes against kupuna

Governor signs House bills into law.
Governor signs House bills into law.(Office of the Governor)
Published: Jul. 1, 2021 at 3:27 PM HST|Updated: Jul. 1, 2021 at 4:24 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Gov. David Ige signed a bill Thursday to increase penalties for crimes committed against kupuna.

Under the measure, penalties will be increased for intentional crimes against seniors who are 60 years old and up. Previously, enhanced penalties only applied for those age 62 and older.

Criminals will receive higher penalties for crimes against seniors, including intentional bodily injury, unauthorized entry into a dwelling, theft or forgery.

“We see everything, stories of criminals targeting our kupuna, it’s tragic and totally unacceptable,” Ige said. “House Bill 490 will add further protection to our most vulnerable.”

The measure was developed in collaboration between the legislature’s Kupuna Caucus and various county prosecutors.

“We have seen way too many crimes against our kupuna who are vulnerable to assault, theft and financial abuse,” said state Sen. Sharon Moriwaki and. “This bill will protect them by enhancing penalties for these crimes against our elders.”

Along with this measure, the governor also signed two bills to promote gun safety and prohibit the possession of “ghost guns,” which are firearms that do not have a serial number and are assembled through purchasing parts.

One of the bills signed into law requires gun owners to make sure no one in their home under the age of 18 can access weapons, raising the age from 16 years old.

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