By Robert Farago via The Truth About Guns
“Hawaii could become the first state in the United States to enter gun owners into an FBI database that will automatically notify police if an island resident is arrested anywhere else in the country,” bigstory.ap.com reports. “Most people entered in the ‘Rap Back’ database elsewhere in the U.S. are those in ‘positions of trust,’ such as school teachers and bus drivers, said Stephen Fischer of the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services Division. Hawaii could be the first state to add gun owners.” The FBI describes the system thus . . .
The Rap Back Service provides authorized agencies with notification of criminal, and, in limited cases, civil activity of individuals that occurs after the initial processing and retention of criminal or civil transactions. Rap Back does not provide new authority to agencies, including the FBI, for collection of biometric and biographical information. It does, however, implement new response services to notify agencies of subsequent activity for individuals enrolled in the service. Including a more timely process of confirming suitability of those individuals placed in positions of trust and notification to users of criminal activity for those individuals placed on probation or parole.
I’m not exactly sure who can access this database, but the Firearms Owners Protection Act is completely clear on its prohibition against ANY federal database of guns or gun owners.
No such rule or regulation prescribed [by the Attorney General] after the date of the enactment of the Firearms Owners Protection Act may require that records required to be maintained under this chapter or any portion of the contents of such records, be recorded at or transferred to a facility owned, managed, or controlled by the United States or any State or any political subdivision thereof, nor that any system of registration of firearms, firearms owners, or firearms transactions or disposition be established.
Now a clever man might wonder WTF. The paper records of firearms sales — recorded on ATF Form 4473 — violates FOPA. And I wouldn’t argue the point. But Hawaii’s move is in direct contradiction of FOPA’s mandate. Which hasn’t stopped its supporters from a) proposing it and B) trumpeting it as the shape of things to come.
Supporters say the law would make Hawaii a leader in safe gun laws. Allison Anderman, a staff attorney at the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, said the bill was “groundbreaking,” and that she hadn’t heard of other states introducing similar measures . . .
Sen. Will Espero, who introduced the bill, and the Honolulu Police Department said Hawaii could serve as a model for other states if it becomes the first to enact the law.
Surely the courts will strike this down! Don’t call gun control advocates Shirley.
Legal experts say the bill could face challenges, but would probably hold up in court. Recent Supreme Court rulings have clarified states’ ability to regulate gun sales, said David Levine, a law professor at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law.
The bill will undergo a legal review process by departments including the Attorney General’s Office, which supported the bill, before Gov. David Ige decides if he will sign it into law, said Cindy McMillan, a spokeswoman for the governor.
The cost to enter names in the database will be covered by a fee paid by gun owners, which wasn’t defined in the bill.
If the Aloha State legislators’ legal advisors can read the U.S. Constitution, and not ignore what they read, this one won’t pass muster. But the smart money’s on Hawaii — the island state where gun rights go to die — passing this bill. Will the FBI play ball? Watch this space.
In any case, this move proves that the fight for gun rights in one state is a fight for gun rights in every state. In case you’re one of those let-California-stew-in-its-own-tyrannical-juices types.