Hawaii Takes a Step Backward with Federal Database

Hawaii Becomes First State to Track Law-Abiding Gun Owners

Hawaii has taken action to become the first state to list all licensed gun owners in a federal database. Passed on June 23 by a Democrat-controlled legislature with support from Honolulu Police Department Maj. Richard Robinson, Hawaii Senate Bill 2954 takes effect immediately.

With Democrat Governor David Ige’s signature, Hawaii is the first state to utilize the FBI’s Rap Back Next Generation Identification (NGI) system to track the activities of firearm owners. The new law allows Hawaii police departments to evaluate and monitor whether an individual should have the right to possess firearms, effectively providing an ongoing background check long after the point of sale evaluation. Any infraction, including criminal arrests, warrants, convictions and some outcomes of civil proceedings that occur across the United States triggers a ping in the database.

The bill’s co-author, Senator Will Espero, has provided a simplistic overview of the unprecedented law in media statements. The gun-owning Democrat describes it as a simple rule that notifies local police when a firearms owner has done something unlawful, calling the move “common sense legislation that does not hurt anyone.” We disagree.

Taking the First Step to a Federal Firearm Registry

Those of us who are Second Amendment Rights proponents have a very different view of the new law, citing it as the first illegal step in monitoring law-abiding citizens with no probable cause. This use, says the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action, is “clearly not the intended purpose of the new system” since it could be “used as a backdoor federal firearm registry or a mechanism to monitor law-abiding gun owners.”

The federal Rap Back database was designed to run background checks on specific individuals for employment, licensing and security clearances to work with children or in criminal justice jobs. It is also utilized to track individuals on probation and monitor criminal activities of people under investigation.

The new Hawaii bill requires a Rap Back request on every law-abiding citizen, which means they will be logged into the criminal system the moment they apply to become gun owners or register their current firearms. Whenever a new record on that person is logged into the system, Hawaiian law enforcement officials will receive a notification. The request has no expiration date, even if the individual sells their firearms or moves out of the state.

These rules not only apply to Hawaii residents but also visitors who arrive on the islands with a firearm. From hunters to competitive shooters to FFL holders, visitors must petition for removal from the national database after leaving the state.

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Brandon Maddox :