Americans in Hawaii have recently suffered a crushing blow to their Second Amendment rights. State Gov. David Ige recently signed a bill into law that places all of Hawaii’s law-abiding gun owners into a federal database called “Rap Back.” Other legislation he signed will make it easier for law enforcement to seize people’s guns.
The database is run by the FBI and will alert Hawaiian law enforcement if a Hawaiian gun owner is arrested for a crime anywhere in the United States.
“This will allow county police departments in Hawaii to evaluate whether the firearm owner may continue to legally possess and own firearms,” Ige, a Democrat, said in a Fox News story.
This story from breitbart.com says the bill was passed by the state’s Democratic-controlled legislature “under the presumption that background checks are not enough.”
Honolulu Police Department Maj. Richard Robinson said placing gun owners into the database “in essence provide(s) an ongoing background check on firearm owners to determine their eligibility to own and possess a firearm.”
This story from guns.com says the Rap Back program would issue authorized agencies with notifications of criminal, and in some cases, civil activity of those in the database. It would also direct the Hawaii Criminal Justice Data Center to access firearm registration data for that purpose.
The program was designed to keep tabs on those in public trust positions, such as teachers and public transportation employees, as well as individuals under criminal investigation. it was not designed to be used to store lists of registered gun owners.
The Hawaii Rifle Association has argued that the new law may violate long-standing federal prohibitions. The Firearms Owners’ Protection Act, signed by President Ronald Reagan in 1986, specifically bans the establishment of any federal system of registration of firearms, firearm owners, or firearm transactions, the story says.
“It states that the Federal Government will not be able to maintain a database on gun owners, and that’s exactly what this is,” HRA Board Member Bill Richter told local media. “It’s a biometric database maintained by the FBI. So every time a gun owner goes in to register a new gun after purchase, they’ll be entered into this ‘Rap Back’ system…and we’re just kind of waiting to see what the Attorney General says.”
The new law takes effect immediately.
But the Rap Back bill isn’t the only one Ige signed. Perhaps most importantly, he signed a pair of House measures limiting firearms ownership and a final law, HB 2632, that requires any gun owner ruled unable to possess firearms or ammunition to immediately hand them in to police, who would be authorized to seize them if the person does not voluntarily comply.