HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.B. NO.

1538

TWENTY-SEVENTH LEGISLATURE, 2014

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

relating to firearms.

 

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 


SECTION 1. The legislature finds that some firearms are lawfully acquired but become unlawfully possessed thereafter because they are inadvertently not registered. Firearms acquired through family inheritance or brought to Hawaii following relocation from out of state by persons who are unfamiliar with Hawaii's firearm laws may not thereafter be registered. In such cases, once the period within which a firearm must be registered has elapsed, a person may be unwilling to register the firearm for fear of being charged with violating registration requirements.

The legislature further finds that a process should be established to allow a person in possession of an unregistered firearm to surrender the firearm to law enforcement, without fear of arrest or prosecution, for registration processing. Such a process would help ensure that more firearms are properly registered and possessed.

The purpose of this Act is to promote the lawful registration of all firearms by facilitating the voluntary surrender of unregistered firearms to law enforcement without the risk of arrest or prosecution. This Act also allows those who surrender unregistered firearms to reclaim the firearms upon compliance with registration requirements if the firearms have been found not to be stolen or associated with a crime. In addition, this Act appropriates funds for each county to establish firearm buy-back programs to provide cash incentives for the forfeiture of firearms to law enforcement.

SECTION 2. Chapter 134, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to part I to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"134- Amnesty for unregistered firearms surrendered voluntarily. (a) A person in possession of any firearm that has not been duly registered pursuant to section 134-3 may voluntarily surrender the firearm in accordance with this section and thereafter shall not be arrested or prosecuted on a charge of violating section 134-3 or any other provision of law with respect to registration of the firearm.

(b) The surrender of any firearm under this section shall be made at any police station in accordance with any terms and conditions as may be established by the chief of police of the county in which the police station is located; provided that:

(1) Upon a person's surrender of a firearm, the police shall issue to the person a receipt for the firearm and investigate the origin of the firearm to determine whether the firearm has been stolen or is associated with a crime;

(2) If the investigation conducted under paragraph (1) determines that the firearm has been stolen or is associated with a crime, the police shall attempt to identify and contact the legal owner of the firearm. The police shall retain possession of the firearm as evidence until the crime with which the firearm is associated is finally adjudicated. If the legal owner of the firearm cannot be contacted or declines to reclaim the firearm within the six months immediately following the completion of the investigation or upon final adjudication of the crime with which the firearm is associated, whichever occurs later, the firearm may be released to the person who surrendered the firearm pursuant to this section upon compliance with section 134-3;

(3) If the investigation conducted under paragraph (1) determines that the firearm has not been stolen or is not associated with a crime, the firearm may be released to the person who surrendered the firearm pursuant to this section upon compliance with section 134-3; and

(4) If after ninety days following the time at which the firearm becomes eligible for release pursuant to paragraph (2) or (3) the firearm has not been disposed of in accordance with the applicable paragraph, the firearm shall be forfeited to the State and disposed of in accordance with section 134-12.5."

SECTION 3. There is appropriated out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $         or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2014-2015 for the county police departments to establish any firearm buy-back program that offers cash incentives for the forfeiture of firearms, to be allocated as follows:

$       to the Honolulu police department;

$       to the Maui police department;

$       to the Hawaii police department; and

$       to the Kauai police department;

provided that no person who forfeits any firearm under a buy-back program established by any funds appropriated under this section shall be required to furnish any information about the firearm or any information that may be used to identify the person.

The sum appropriated shall be expended by the counties for the purposes of this Act.

SECTION 4. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 5. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2014.

 

INTRODUCED BY:

_____________________________

 

 


 


 

Report Title:

Firearm Registration; Amnesty; County Buy-back Programs; Appropriation

 

Description:

Provides for the voluntary surrender of unregistered firearms to law enforcement without the risk of arrest or prosecution. Allows those who surrender unregistered firearms to reclaim the firearms upon compliance with registration requirements if the firearms are not stolen or associated with a crime. Appropriates funds for each county to establish firearm buy-back programs.

 

 

 

The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.