STAND. COM. REP. NO. 1496
RE: H.B. No. 461
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Twenty-Ninth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2017
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Judiciary and Labor, to which was referred H.B. No. 461, H.D. 1, entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO RESISTING ARREST,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to:
(1) Establish the offense of resisting arrest in the first degree as a class C felony; and
(2) Reclassify the existing offense of resisting arrest as the offense of resisting arrest in the second degree, which is a misdemeanor.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of the Prosecuting Attorney, City and County of Honolulu and Police Department, City and County of Honolulu. Your Committee received testimony in opposition to this measure from the Office of the Public Defender and two individuals. Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Department of the Attorney General.
Your Committee finds that existing law does not adequately address situations where an offender takes or attempts to take a law enforcement officer's firearm. Officers sometimes engage in physical altercation with offenders while trying to make an arrest, placing their firearms in close proximity to the offender's grasp. This can result in a dangerous situation for the law enforcement officer and the offender because a gun in close quarters can discharge and seriously injure or kill the persons involved or bystanders. This measure elevates the offense of resisting arrest to a felony when the offender uses or attempts to use force to remove a law enforcement officer's firearm during the course of an arrest, to provide a greater deterrent as well as create a safer working environment for law enforcement officers.
Your Committee notes the concerns raised in written testimony submitted by the Department of the Attorney General that the language in this measure regarding the offense of resisting arrest in the first degree may pose title concerns because the language only refers to an officer who is acting under color of the law enforcement officer's official authority. Thus, a law enforcement officer could be engaged in any law enforcement activity, not necessarily an arrest.
Accordingly, your Committee has amended this measure by:
(1) Adopting the language suggested by the Department of the Attorney General that clarifies the language under the offense of resisting arrest in the first degree that the use of force to remove a firearm from a law enforcement officer must be done while the law enforcement officer is effecting an arrest;
(2) Clarifying that the mens rea required under the offense of resisting arrest in the first degree is only intentionally, rather than intentionally or knowingly;
(3) Inserting an effective date of January 7, 2059, to encourage further discussion; and
(4) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity and consistency.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Judiciary and Labor that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 461, H.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 461, H.D. 1, S.D. 1, and be placed on the calendar for Third Reading.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Judiciary and Labor,
GILBERT S.C. KEITH-AGARAN, Chair