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Hawaii Legislators May Require Owners of Handguns to Register with Federal Database

Hawaii may soon require gun owners to register in a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) database.

The database is commonly known as the “Rap Back” database. This is a biometric record of all convicted criminals who certain individuals. At this time, the majority of people whose names are entered into the federal database are employed in “positions of trust,” which can include school teachers, foster parents, bus drivers and other public transit employees. These individuals are often required to provide fingerprints and other information, with this information then maintained in the FBI database and checked against criminal records.

If the bill that has been proposed in Hawaii makes its way through the state legislature and is then signed into law by the Hawaii governor, Hawaii would become the first state in the country to utilize the FBI database to such a great extent by requiring input of personal data on gun owners.

Hawaii Senator Will Espero introduced the bill for a vote because he believes that it will protect Hawaiian residents and provide other states with a roadmap on how to effectively combat gun violence.

Critics of the Proposed Hawaii Gun Law

There has been some criticism of the proposed legislation. There are more than a few gun owners who believe that this is just another instance of the government functioning as “Big Brother” and trying to curtail the Second Amendment rights of people who wish to legally purchase firearms. There is also some mistrust about precisely what the government might use the database information for.

While the Hawaii law has the backing of the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services Division and the Honolulu Police Department, among other agencies, there are still many who oppose the legislation. For instance, Kenneth Lawson, a professor at the University of Hawaii’s William S. Richardson School of Law, said that it is not right for the government to curtail a person’s constitutional right to own a firearm by requiring them to enter their name into a database. After all, noted Lawson, these people haven’t actually done anything wrong at the point when they are being asked to provide their information for the FBI database.

The National Rifle Association (NRA) is also strongly opposed to the law. Amy Hunter, a spokesperson for the NRA, said that the State of Hawaii “will now be treating firearms as suspect and subject to constant monitoring.”

For further information, check out the Yahoo.com article, “Hawaii Could Be First to Put Gun Owners in Federal Database.”


If you or a loved one has been charged with illegal handgun possession, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose or any other gun crime in New Jersey, you should talk to an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Contact the Law Firm of Stephen R. Piper today for a free consultation.


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