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Hawaii gun owners frustrated over new firearm law

By Shanila Kabir

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    HONOLULU, Hawaii (KITV) — A new law goes into effect across Hawaii on Jan. 1, 2024, that will require people who want to get a handgun permit to first complete a safety training course taught by a verified instructor.

The problem is the Honolulu Police Department has not certified any instructors yet, therefore it will be impossible to get a permit.

Many gun owners said this is just another obstacle making it more difficult to carry guns here. The long lines outside HPD headquarters this week were filled with people trying to get a permit before the law changes.

“People were here as early as 4 a.m. with a blanket and chair,” said Ewa Beach resident Christian Kelli.

Kelli said he drove into Honolulu early Thursday morning to make sure he was able to snag a permit. He said with crimes skyrocketing in Hawaii, good guys need guns much more than these criminals.

Many of gun owners are stressed the new law is blow to their constitutional rights.

“It’s our second amendment right. I can see these types of restrictions happening for people who have mental health issues or a criminal background. However, for people like me, this is ridiculous,” Michael Sakurada, also an Ewa Beach resident.

Andrew Namiki Roberts from the Hawaii Firearms Coalition said the Honolulu Police Department has done very little to get ready for the changes that came with the new firearms law.

“This is not just a Honolulu Police Department problem, it’s a statewide problem. Maui had a hearing last week, they made changes that kind of go into effect on time. Kauai had no information, they didn’t seem to know the law was changing. The Big Island said there waiting till Honolulu makes their rules and they’ll copy those,” said Namiki Roberts.

Namiki Roberts believes both the state and the city may find themselves in court over this issue.

On Jan. 9, HPD has scheduled a public hearing to discuss the new rules for gun permits. They are expecting hundreds of residents to give testimony. If you have questions or concerns about these new changes, you are encouraged to show up.

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