Hawaii County kicks off lively debate over bill that could have big impact on gun laws
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - In an hours-long session Wednesday, the Hawaii County Council heard from supporters and opponents of proposed legislation that could have a dramatic impact on state firearm laws.
Councilmembers were debating Bill 220, which would restrict the possession of firearms in “sensitive places,” including schools, daycare centers, and hospitals.
Part of the issue is navigating constitutional rights and setting a precedent over a law that would be the first of its kind in the state.
“The probability that because there’s a gun in a place, an accident happens is higher than actually the good guy getting the bad guy,” said council member Heather Kimball. “It’s less than half a percent, not even a quarter percent where that actually occurs. That’s what I don’t want on my head.”
But opponents of the measure argue it infringes on gun rights.
“We should be going for personal freedoms,” said Hawaii Island resident Brian Ley.
“We need to be able to defend ourselves and like I said, the people that are less likely to commit crimes are the people that you’re trying to restrict the most in protecting people.”
Another issue discussed is what would constitute a sensitive place and concern over gray area for those who typically carry firearms such as hunters on agricultural lands.
A second draft of the measure with amendments passed first reading and will be up for second reading at a council meeting in two weeks.
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