In every meaningful effect, that’s what this would be: through an end-around, Hawaii condemning its gun owners to be entered in a national gun registry.
The law hasn’t been passed yet. It was introduced recently in the Hawaii legislature by state Senator Will Espero, a Democrat.
Hawaii could become the first state in the United States to enter gun owners into an FBI database that will automatically notify police if an island resident is arrested anywhere else in the country.
Most people entered in the “Rap Back” database elsewhere in the U.S. are those in “positions of trust,” such as school teachers and bus drivers, said Stephen Fischer of the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services Division. Hawaii could be the first state to add gun owners.
In other words, to be clear, if you’re a resident of the Aloha State, Hawaii would enter your name in the database because you’re a gun owner. That’s why you would be singled out.
This approach clarifies one thing most people rarely think about in a focused way. Registering guns is about registering the people. It’s not the guns the authorities care about; it’s disarming the people who possess them — or treating those people differently. Under Hawaii’s law, it’s not “your gun” that will be registered with the FBI. It’s you.
Advocates of the proposed law hope other states follow suit.
Supporters say the law would make Hawaii a leader in safe gun laws. Allison Anderman, a staff attorney at the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, said the bill was “groundbreaking,” and that she hadn’t heard of other states introducing similar measures.
(The San Francisco-based Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence gets its major funding from the anti-gun Joyce Foundation, on whose board Barack Obama served from 1994 to 2002. There’s a reason why Allison Anderman is the go-to anti-gun commentator for MSM coverage.)
The argument for gun rights opponents in Hawaii is that the state needs to know when its gun owners are arrested in other states, as those events may make them ineligible for continued gun ownership in Hawaii.
But since the FBI already maintains its Interstate Identification Index, there is no justification for the proposed Hawaii law.
The Interstate Identification Index or III (pronounced “triple-eye”) is a national index of criminal histories (or rap sheets) in the United States of America, maintained by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) at the National Crime Information Center. Included in this index are individuals who have been arrested or indicted for “a serious criminal offense anywhere in the country.”
The program is designed to facilitate the interstate exchange of criminal history records among State justice agencies. In addition to the interstate exchange, this index holds millions of fingerprint identification cards for criminals who have committed a serious enough crime to go to jail for over 24 hours.
If Hawaii feels that this database is not updated quickly enough, that point could be addressed without singling out gun owners for special notification from the FBI. The excuse for adding gun owners to the Rap Back database is superficial and unsupported.
Notably, Will Espero was one of the Hawaii lawmakers who huddled with Obama in Washington, D.C. last fall to take up the challenge of implementing his agenda at the state level. Although mainstream media reporting doesn’t indicate the anti-gun agenda was on their list, Obama has continued to push it through all available avenues.
Hawaiians buying guns in the state will be required to pay for the cost of entering their names into the Rap Back database.