[§134-6.5] Relief from federal firearms mental health prohibitor. (a) Any person who is prohibited from shipping, transporting, possessing, or receiving any firearm or ammunition, pursuant to title 18 United States Code section 922(d)(4) or (g)(4), having been adjudicated as a mental defective or having been committed to a mental institution under the laws of this State, may petition the circuit court in the circuit where the adjudication or commitment was made, in a civil proceeding, for relief from the federal firearm prohibitor based on the adjudication or commitment. The attorney general shall represent the State; provided that the attorney general, with the prosecuting agency's consent, may designate the prosecuting attorney for the county in which the petitioner seeks relief to represent the State.
(b) In the civil proceeding, the court shall consider:
(1) The circumstances regarding the adjudication or commitment from which relief is sought, including the court files of the adjudication or commitment;
(2) The petitioner's mental health and criminal history records, if any;
(3) The petitioner's reputation in the community, developed at a minimum through character witness statements, testimony, or other character evidence; and
(4) Changes in the petitioner's condition or circumstances since the disqualifying events relevant to the relief sought, including medical documentation that the petitioner is no longer adversely affected by the condition that resulted in the petitioner's adjudication or commitment and is not likely to act in a manner dangerous to public safety.
(c) The court shall grant the petition for relief if the petitioner proves, by clear and convincing evidence, that the petitioner will not be likely to act in a manner dangerous to public safety and that the granting of the relief would not be contrary to the public interest. The court shall make written findings of facts and conclusions of law on the issues before it and issue a final order.
(d) When a court issues an order granting or denying a petition for relief, the court shall forward this information to the Hawaii criminal justice data center, which in turn shall forward this information to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, or its successor agency, for inclusion in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System database. The information shall also be maintained by the Hawaii criminal justice data center for disclosure to and use by law enforcement officials for the purpose of firearms permitting or registration pursuant to chapter 134.
(e) A person may file a petition for relief under this section no less than two years after the adjudication or commitment from which the relief is sought, and no more frequently than once every three years thereafter.
(f) For purposes of this section, the terms "adjudicated as a mental defective", "committed to a mental institution", and "mental institution" shall be construed in accordance with title 18 United States Code section 922, title 27 Code of Federal Regulations section 478.11, and judicial interpretations of those provisions.
(g) Any relief granted pursuant to this section shall not constitute relief from any other federal prohibitors or from any state prohibition pursuant to chapter 134. The State, its officers, and its employees shall not be liable for any damages, attorneys' fees, or costs related to this relief process.
(h) The petitioner may appeal a denial of relief, and the standard of review on appeal shall be de novo. [L 2014, c 87, §2]