H.B. NO.



H.D. 1


S.D. 1














     SECTION 1.  The legislature finds that section 134-7, Hawaii Revised Statutes, as a matter of public safety, prohibits the possession of firearms and ammunition by criminal offenders who have committed any felony, a crime of violence, or the illegal sale of drugs; substance abusers; persons diagnosed with a mental or emotional disorder; and persons who are subject to a restraining order or protective order.  However, the prohibition does not directly apply to perpetrators of certain misdemeanor offenses, such as harassment by stalking, who may pose a significant risk of harm to others if allowed to possess firearms.  A study of female murder victims in ten cities published in 1999 found that seventy-six per cent of women murdered and eighty-five per cent of women who survived a murder attempt by a current or former intimate partner experienced stalking in the year preceding the murder.  J. M. McFarland, J. C. Campbell, S. Wilt, C. J. Sachs, Y. Ulrich, & X. Xu, Stalking and Intimate Partner Femicide, 3 Homicide Studies no. 4 300 (Nov. 1999).  This and other studies demonstrate that while stalking may appear to be low-level, nonviolent behavior, it is often the first step in an escalating course of conduct that too often results in murder.

     The legislature further finds that stalking and related acts of domestic abuse have been linked with gun violence.  According to the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health's Center for Gun Policy and Research, having a gun in the home increases the risk of homicide of an intimate partner by eight times compared to households without guns and by twenty times when there is a history of domestic violence in the family.  Additional studies have documented the correlation between partner stalking, sexual assault, and the propensity for partner stalkers to use firearms against their victims.  T. K. Logan & J. Cole, Exploring the Intersection of Partner Stalking and Sexual Abuse, 17 Violence Against Women no. 7 904 (July 2011); K. Mohandie, J. R. Meloy, M. McGowan, & J. Williams, The RECON Typology of Stalking: Reliability and Validity Based Upon a Large Sample of North American Stalkers, 51 J. of Forensic Science no. 1 147 (Jan. 2006).

     Currently, at least eleven states bar some or all individuals convicted of misdemeanor stalking from possessing firearms.  As noted by the United States Supreme Court in United States v. Castleman, 134 S.Ct. 1405, 1409 (2014), in regards to federal law, "Congress enacted [the misdemeanor domestic violence gun ban], in light of these sobering facts, to 'close a dangerous loophole' in the gun control laws: While felons had long been barred from possessing guns, many perpetrators of domestic violence are convicted only of misdemeanors."

     The purpose of this Act is to enhance protections against acts of gun violence committed by individuals with a history of dangerous behavior by specifying that misdemeanor harassment by stalking and sexual assault are among the offenses that disqualify a person from owning, possessing, or controlling any firearm or ammunition.

     SECTION 2.  Section 134-1, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending the definition of "crime of violence" to read as follows:

     ""Crime of violence" means any offense, as defined in title 37, that involves injury or threat of injury to the person of another[.], including sexual assault in the fourth degree under section 707-733 and harassment by stalking under section 711-1106.5."

     SECTION 3.  This Act does not affect rights and duties that matured, penalties that were incurred, and proceedings that were begun before its effective date.

     SECTION 4.  Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken.  New statutory material is underscored.

     SECTION 5.  This Act shall take effect upon its approval.


Report Title:

Firearms Possession; Misdemeanor Stalking and Sexual Assault



Specifies that harassment by stalking and sexual assault are among the offenses that disqualify a person from owning, possessing, or controlling any firearm or ammunition.  (SD1)




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