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Tipsheet

In Hawaii, Exercising Your Constitutional Rights Now Lands You On A Federal Database

They said they were going to do it—and now it’s done. Hawaii will become the first state to enter its gun-owning residents into an FBI database because law-abiding citizens should be feared, or something. This is the price you pay in the Aloha State for exercising your constitutional right to own firearms (via AP/Fox News):

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Hawaii signed a bill Thursday to become the first state to enter gun owners into an FBI database that will automatically notify police if an island resident is arrested anywhere else in the country.

Gov. David Ige said in a statement that the legislation is about community safety and responsible gun ownership. He said it will help law enforcement agencies protect Hawaii residents and visitors.

State Sen. Will Espero, who introduced the bill, and the Honolulu Police Department said the measure could serve as a model for other states. However, critics believe gun owners shouldn’t have to be entered in a database to practice a constitutional right.

Most people entered in the program, known as the “Rap Back” database, are in “positions of trust,” such as school teachers and bus drivers Stephen Fischer of the FBI's Criminal Justice Information Services Division said in May. Hawaii is the first to add gun owners.

Hawaii News Now added that Gov. David Ige signed two other gun bills. One related to barring a person charged with “harassment by stalking and sexual assault” from owning firearms, while another would give police the authority to seize guns from someone due to mental illness. On its face, they seem reasonable, but what are the criteria to determine someone who is mentally unfit to own firearms? Is paranoid schizophrenia on the prohibited list? What about Asperger Syndrome? While the mentally ill are more of a danger to themselves than other people, there are certainly some mental illnesses that should prohibit those from owning guns. Aaron Alexis, the Navy Yard shooter, is a prime example. Yet, I’m not so sure about people who are diagnosed with autism or lesser developmental disorders.

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As for the measure over stalking, of course, domestic abusers, rapists, and stalkers shouldn’t have access to firearms, but only after they’re convicted. Merely being charged sidesteps due process, so this whole bundle is just a mess. Yes, in the wake of Orlando, the killer, Omar Mateen, bought his guns legally, but seldom are law-abiding gun owners interviewed by the FBI due to repeated instances of raising red flags over terrorism. The goal of this database initiative is simply to monitor gun owners because they seem to be more of a threat than say…ISIS. It’s truly despicable.

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