The names and addresses of gun owners in Hawaii could be placed in an FBI database if a landmark bill there becomes law, and it would alert state officials if a gun owner was arrested anywhere in the U.S., even if the crime did not involve a gun.
The bill in the state legislature would place all information about gun owners in the database, which is maintained by the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services Division.
Significantly, gun owners will be required to pay a fee for their name to be put in the system, AP reported.
The so-called Rap Back database allows law enforcement to check the backgrounds of professionals like school teachers. If it passes, it would allow, for example, New York to discover if a Hawaii resident arrested in the Empire State owned a gun.
“I don’t like the idea of us being entered into a database. It basically tells us that they know where the guns are, they can go grab them,” Jerry Ilo, a firearm and hunting instructor in Hawaii, told AP. “We get the feeling that Big Brother is watching us.”
Supporters hope other states pass similar bills. The Hawaii attorney general supports the proposal.
“This is an extremely dangerous bill. Exercising a constitutional right is not inherently suspicious,” Amy Hunter for the National Rifle Association told AP. “Hawaii will now be treating firearms as suspect and subject to constant monitoring.”
“You’re curtailing that right by requiring that a name be entered into a database without doing anything wrong,” Kenneth Lawson, a professor at the University of Hawaii’s William S. Richardson School of Law, told the news service.
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