Firearms; Storage

Requires storage of firearms in commercially manufactured firearm
safe, or locked in commercially manufactured gun rack, that
cannot readily be removed from the premises.

THE SENATE                              S.B. NO.           182
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 1999                                
STATE OF HAWAII                                            

                   A  BILL  FOR  AN  ACT



 1      SECTION 1.  The legislature finds that improper storage of
 2 guns greatly contributes to the problem of legal guns finding
 3 their way into the illegal market.  Many of the guns used in
 4 crimes in the United States are stolen from legal owners.  An
 5 estimated five hundred thousand handguns reach criminal hands
 6 across the nation each year in this manner.  On Oahu, an average
 7 of twenty-two handguns are reported stolen each month.  About one
 8 hundred seventy-eight handgun permits are issued each month.
 9 Therefore, one handgun is stolen for every eight permits issued.
10 Clearly, far too high a proportion of Oahu's "gun pool" is moving
11 from legal to illegal status each month.
12      The legislature also finds that unsecured firearms
13 dramatically increase the risk of unintentional or intentional
14 violent injury by a household member or guest to another
15 household member or guest.  Studies have shown that up to half of
16 all gun owners do not keep their guns locked up.  Nearly ninety
17 per cent of the children who are injured or killed in
18 unintentional shootings are shot in their own homes, or in the
19 homes of relatives or friends.

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 1      The legislature further finds that the present law requiring
 2 firearm owners to safely store or secure their firearms from
 3 minors is too narrow.  To prevent unintentional or intentional
 4 harm, all firearms must be secured against access by any third
 5 person, whether a minor or an adult.  The legislature also
 6 recognizes that, to prevent theft, firearms must be locked in a
 7 secure container that is not hand portable, a provision not in
 8 the present law.
 9      The purpose of this Act is to further improve Hawaii's safe
10 gun storage law by:
11      (1)  Expanding safe storage requirements to include both
12           minors and adults;
13      (2)  Requiring that all firearms be securely locked in a gun
14           safe or gun rack that cannot be readily removed from
15           the premises;
16      (3)  Certifying that an applicant for a permit have such
17           storage facilities; and
18      (4)  Imposing penalties for violating safe storage
19           requirements, in order to help prevent gun deaths, both
20           unintentional and intentional, and to reduce the number
21           of firearms stolen from legal gun owners.
22      SECTION 2.  Section 134-2, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is
23 amended by amending subsection (b) to read as follows:

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 1      "(b)  The permit application form: shall include the
 2 applicant's name, address, sex, height, weight, date of birth,
 3 place of birth, Social Security number, and information regarding
 4 the applicant's mental health history [and]; shall require the
 5 fingerprinting and photographing of the applicant by the police
 6 department of the county of registration[;], and shall require
 7 the applicant to sign an affidavit stating that the applicant
 8 possesses a secure storage facility that meets the requirements
 9 of section 134-10.5; provided that where fingerprints and
10 photograph are already on file with the department, these may be
11 waived."
12      SECTION 3.  Section 134-10.5, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is
13 amended to read as follows:
14      "[[]134-10.5[]]  Storage of firearm; responsibility with
15 respect to minors.  No [person] firearm owner shall store or keep
16 any firearm on any premises under the person's control [if the
17 person knows or reasonably should know that a minor is likely to
18 gain access to the firearm without the permission of the parent
19 or guardian of the minor], unless the [person:] owner:
20      (1)  Keeps the firearm [in a securely] locked [box or other
21           container] in a commercially manufactured firearm safe
22           or equivalent that cannot readily be removed from the
23           premises or [in a location that a reasonable person

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 1           would believe to be secure;] locked in a commercially
 2           manufactured gun rack or equivalent that will maintain
 3           security of the firearm and that cannot readily be
 4           removed from the premises; or
 5      (2)  Carries the firearm on the person or within such close
 6           proximity thereto that the person readily can retrieve
 7           and use it as if it were carried on the person.
 8 [For purposes of this section, "minor" means any person under the
 9 age of sixteen years.]"
10      SECTION 4.  Section 134-17, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is
11 amended by amending subsection (c) to read as follows:
12      "(c)  Any person who violates section 134-2, 134-4, 134-10,
13 134-15, or 134-16(a) shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.  Any
14 person who violates section 134-3(b) or 134-10.5 shall be guilty
15 of a petty misdemeanor and, in the case of section 134-3(b), the
16 firearm shall be confiscated as contraband and disposed of, if
17 the firearm is not registered within five days of the person
18 receiving notice of the violation."
19      SECTION 5.  Section 663-9.5, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is
20 amended to read as follows:
21      "[[]663-9.5[]]  Liability of firearm owners.  The owner of
22 a firearm, if the discharge of the firearm proximately causes
23 either personal injury or property damage to any person, shall be

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 1 absolutely liable for such damage.  It shall be an affirmative
 2 defense to such absolute liability that the firearm was not in
 3 the possession of the owner and was taken from the owner's
 4 possession without the owner's permission and the owner had
 5 complied with section 134-10.5 and either had reported the theft
 6 to the police prior to the discharge or, despite the exercise of
 7 reasonable care, had not discovered the theft prior to the
 8 discharge or was not reasonably able to report the theft to the
 9 police prior to the discharge.  This section shall not apply when
10 the discharge of the firearm was legally justified."
11      SECTION 6.  Section 707-714.5, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is
12 repealed.
13      ["[707-714.5]  Criminally negligent storage of a firearm.
14 (1)  A person commits the offense of criminally negligent storage
15 of a firearm if the person violates section 134-10.5 and a minor
16 obtains the firearm.  For purposes of this section, "minor" means
17 any person under the age of sixteen years.
18      (2)  This section shall not apply if the minor obtains the
19 firearm as a result of an unlawful entry to any premises by any
20 person.
21      (3)  Criminally negligent storage of a firearm is a
22 misdemeanor."]
23      SECTION 7.  This Act does not affect rights and duties that

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 1 matured, penalties that were incurred, and proceedings that were
 2 begun, before its effective date.
 3      SECTION 8.  Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed.
 4 New statutory material is underscored.
 5      SECTION 9.  This Act shall take effect upon its approval.
 7                           INTRODUCED BY:_________________________