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Hawaii governor signs bill banning concealed firearms in 'sensitive places'

Hawaii averages 3.8 gun deaths per 100,000 residents.

June 2, 2023 11:35pm

Updated: June 2, 2023 11:50pm

Hawaii Gov. Josh Green signed a bill Friday banning concealed firearms in what are deemed "sensitive places."

Senate Bill 1230 bans concealed firearms in government buildings, hospitals, restaurants and bars that serve alcohol, stadiums, movie theaters, concert halls, schools and colleges.

"This is a public health crisis in our country," Green said. "On average, there are 11.9 gun deaths per 100,000 in the nation."

Hawaii is the second safest state in the country, according to Green.

"Hawaii averages 3.8 gun deaths per 100,000," Green said. "One average someone in Hawaii is killed with a gun every week, about 55 people per year. One death or injury is simply too much for us to ever experience."

The bill could lead to lawsuits, Hawaii Firearms Coalition Director Andrew Namiki Roberts previously told The Center Square.

"There are many provisions in the bill that serve no purpose than to make it harder for people to obtain firearms," Roberts said. "The biggest concern should be with how obviously unconstitutional much of the bill is. For example, the requirement that someone be a resident of Hawaii to apply for a concealed carry license. This is a clear violation of the Second and Fourteenth Amendments, making it so that visitors and serving military members lose their right to bear arms upon entry to the state."

Attorney General Anne Lopez said the state is ready to defend any challenges.

"This law and the protections it provides are too important to simply say it's going to cost too much to support it and to fight against it," Lopez said. "We also have somebody who regularly argues before the United States Supreme Court who has offered his services pro bono, so the expense will be greatly reduced if we are able to make that happen."

Green also signed HB1329, which would establish an active shooter training program in schools.

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