HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
THIRTIETH LEGISLATURE, 2020
STATE OF HAWAII
A BILL FOR AN ACT
relating to firearms.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:
SECTION 1. The legislature finds that the State has some of the strongest gun safety laws in the nation, receiving an A‑minus rating from the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. However, the legislature also finds that the State can improve its gun safety laws by completely prohibiting the use of large-capacity magazines for all firearms. Existing state law prohibits the use of these types of magazines with pistols but not with long guns such as rifles or shotguns.
The legislature further finds that the involvement of large capacity magazines increases the deadliness of violent incidents. Large capacity magazines are capable of holding in excess of ten rounds of ammunition. These magazines significantly increase a shooter's ability to injure and kill large numbers of people quickly before a shooter needs to reload. For example, in the 2019 mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio, the assailant, using an assault weapon and a drum magazine that held one hundred rounds, fired at least forty-one rounds of ammunition in less than thirty seconds, killing nine people and wounding twenty-six others. According to the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, large capacity magazines have been used in all ten of the deadliest mass shootings in the last decade. According to Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund, mass shootings that involve large capacity magazines result in five times as many people being shot with twice as many fatalities compared to mass shootings that do not involve large capacity magazines.
The time a shooter takes to reload his weapon can be critical in enabling victims to escape and for law enforcement or others to intervene. In the 2011 mass shooting in Tucson, Arizona, the shooter was tackled by a bystander after stopping to reload his weapon. In the 2018 mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School were able to escape down a stairwell while the shooter paused to reload his weapon.
The purpose of this Act is to reduce gun violence in the State by eliminating the use of large capacity magazines in all types of firearms, not just pistols.
SECTION 2. Section 134-8, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:
"§134-8 Ownership, etc., of automatic firearms,
silencers, etc., prohibited; penalties. (a)
The manufacture, possession, sale, barter, trade, gift, transfer, or
acquisition of any of the following is prohibited: assault pistols, except as provided by
section 134-4(e); automatic firearms; rifles with barrel lengths less than
sixteen inches; shotguns with barrel lengths less than eighteen inches;
cannons; mufflers, silencers, or devices for deadening or muffling the sound of
discharged firearms; hand grenades, dynamite, blasting caps, bombs, or
bombshells, or other explosives; or any type of ammunition or any projectile
component thereof coated with teflon or any other similar coating designed
primarily to enhance its capability to penetrate metal or pierce protective
armor; and any type of ammunition or any projectile component thereof designed
or intended to explode or segment upon impact with its target.
Any person who installs, removes, or alters a firearm part with the
intent to convert the firearm to an automatic firearm shall be deemed to have
manufactured an automatic firearm in violation of subsection (a).
Except as provided in subsection (d), the manufacture, possession, sale,
barter, trade, gift, transfer, or acquisition of detachable ammunition
magazines with a capacity in excess of ten rounds [ which are designed for or
capable of use with a pistol] is prohibited. This subsection shall not apply to magazines
originally designed to accept more than ten rounds of ammunition which have
been modified to accept no more than ten rounds and which are not capable of
being readily restored to a capacity of more than ten rounds.
Detachable ammunition magazines with a capacity in excess of ten rounds
may be possessed and used by a law enforcement agency or duly authorized law
enforcement officer for official use.
Any person violating subsection (a) or (b) shall be guilty of a class C
felony and shall be imprisoned for a term of five years without probation. Any person violating subsection (c) shall be
guilty of a misdemeanor except when a detachable magazine prohibited under this
section is possessed while inserted into a [ pistol] firearm in
which case the person shall be guilty of a class C felony."
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.
Firearms; Large Capacity Magazine; Prohibition
Extends the prohibition for large capacity magazines to all firearms, rather than just pistols. Provides an exception to the prohibition for law enforcement agencies and duly authorized officers.
The summary description
of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is
not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.