October 1993 Home   Newsletters

February 1994

May 1994

President's Message (Jim Koshi)
Council is Coming
Board Highlights
Campaign Spending (Patricia Card)
Members Appreciated
Citizens Jury Project
Firearms Control Coalition (Evelyn Bender)
Member Opportunity
Public Issues Channel Launched
Key Legislative Dates

Firearms Control Coalition

The Hawaii Firearms Control Coalition has been instrumental in the passage of critical legislation in the area of firearms control. The focus for the 1994 legislative session will primarily be on attaining universal registration.

Universal registration will require registration of all firearms, and will make it feasible for police to confiscate firearms belonging to violent offenders. It will also increase office safety by allowing identification of those who have stockpiled these weapons.

Nadine Onodera is co-chair of the Coalition and can be reached at 235-4222. Evelyn Bender is League's member on the Coalition; she can be reached at 737-2524 if you have questions or want to be a part of the action this coming legislative session.

Senate Judiciary Committee chair is Rey Graulty. He may be reached at 235 S. Beretania, #508; his phone is 586-6670, fax: 586-6979. House Judiciary chair is Terrance Tom whose room is #803; phone: 586-6490 and fax: 586-6491. Provide them with your thoughts on this subject.

Remember that you can influence public policy at the state level. Anyone can talk or write to their legislator, or any legislator. Tips for lobbying include: Be informed, be persuasive, be courteous, be brief and concise, and be prepared to follow up.

Some facts that may help:

  1. Firearm related injuries and deaths represent a serious and growing threat to public health and safety. In the four year period from 1989 through 1992, 222 people were killed in firearm related incidents in Hawai'i.

  2. Firearms injuries and deaths disproportionately affect children. From 1987-1992, there were I I homicides from firearms for children ages 1-18 in Hawaii. Most of these deaths were caused by handguns.

  3. Firearms in the home have not been proven to provide protection against crime, but likely increase the risk of homicide by a member of the family or a close acquaintance. A recently published study "found that keeping a gun in the home was strongly and independently associated with an increased risk of homicide. Virtually all of this risk involved homicide by a family member or intimate acquaintance." (The New England Journal of Medicine, Oct. 7, 1993)

  4. Gun-control legislation generally seeks to reduce the use of firearms in crimes of violence and is usually based upon one of 3 strategies: a) Prohibiting the use of firearms by identified high-risk users, b) limiting the supply of certain high risk weapons by restricting importation, manufacture, and/or sale, c) providing accountability in the form of gun registration.

  5. The state of Hawai'i's geographic location can make firearm restrictions and enforcement more effective. The Firearms Control Coalition in Hawaii has sponsored or supported several successful legislative efforts in these areas.

  6. In the 1994 legislative session, introduction and passage of a bill to create universal firearm registration in Hawaii will be sought. Under current law a person who seeks to acquire a firearm must wait 14 days, the law needs to be strengthened in several areas to reach the goal of reducing injuries and deaths for women, children, and police officers.

The public can play a critical role in achieving passage of firearms legislation and in the effort increase awareness of firearms issues. League members can do their part by being informed and taking action.

Evelyn Bender

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