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State Update: Hawaii, South Dakota, Virginia, Washington Gun Owners Battle Gun Control

By: Teresa Mull

Dedicated gun owners across the nation are standing firm in their support for the Second Amendment. Here’s an update on what’s happening in a handful of states:

Hotels in Hawaii
A Democrat in Hawaii is trying to make it illegal for hotel guests to have guns and ammo in their rooms.

KHON2 reports:

A bill [state Representative Tom Brower (D, Waikiki and Ala Moana] introduced Friday in the state legislature would prohibit hotel guests from having firearms and ammunition in their rooms. Brower says he got the idea from watching a report on KHON2 in May 2018.

"I was watching KHON, and there was a story," he explained. “This man had a number of firearms and a large number of ammunition!"

Last May, Honolulu Police discovered multiple guns, 18 knives, and more than 800 rounds of ammunition in a Waikiki hotel room.

A 38-year-old local man told police he brought the weapons and ammunition to the hotel room over the course of a few days.

He was arrested, and the weapons were confiscated.

No word on whether Brower plans to introduce legislation banning people from having “a number of firearms and a large number of ammunition” in other places guns and ammo are likely to be stored, if he hears about it on TV.

Constitutional Carry in South Dakota
South Dakotans are one step closer to passing Constitutional Carry in their state.

The Washington Times reported last week:

A Senate panel on Thursday approved a measure that would allow people to carry concealed handguns without a permit in South Dakota, advancing a conservative priority that supporters hope will be achieved under new Gov. Kristi Noem’s administration.

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 4-3 to send the bill to the full chamber. A similar proposal passed the Legislature in 2017 before being vetoed by former Gov. Dennis Daugaard, but Noem offered support for a so-called constitutional carry law during her campaign.

Noem said Lt. Gov. Larry Rhoden met Thursday at her request with gun-rights advocates, law enforcement, community leaders, and lawmakers about firearms legislation. The meeting was intended to discuss priorities and how to find agreement by the end of the 2019 session, she said.

“I’ve supported the principle of constitutional carry, and … I’ve talked extensively about that, so we will look at specific language in each of these bills and see where the support is,” Noem said. “I’ve also talked extensively about the fact that it’s important to me that we consult with law enforcement officers … because their role is incredibly important with making sure that we’re protecting people while protecting people’s rights.”

“Constitutional Carry legislation recognizes law-abiding citizens' right to carry concealed firearms for self-defense, without obtaining a permit, but retains the concealed carry permitting system for out-of-state reciprocity,” South Dakota Gun Owners (SDGO) stated in a press release.

Gunpowder Magazine reported earlier this year:

State Rep. Drew Dennert has filed Constitutional Carry legislation (House Bill 1041) in South Dakota.

Dennert's bill has garnered the support of more than a dozen other legislators, along with that of SDGO and the National Association for Gun Rights (NAGR).
A Senate complimentary Constitutional Carry bill has also been filed by Senate Judiciary Chairman Sen. Lance Russell. Sen. Russell reiterated Rep. Dennert’s optimism in passing Constitutional Carry this year.

“Since 2017, we’ve seen a growing amount of support for Constitutional Carry among legislators and their constituents throughout South Dakota,” said Senator Russell. “Now with a Governor that supports our Second Amendment rights, we should have the support we need to finally pass this into law.”

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National Association for Gun Rights Vice President Zach Lautenschlager testified in Pierre and delivered petitions in support of Constitutional Carry.

Nothing for Northam in Virginia
GPM reported earlier in January that Virginia’s new governor, Democrat Ralph Northam, had called for just about every firearm restriction measure there is, including Extreme Risk Protection Orders (red flag gun confiscation laws) and background checks on all gun sales.

Northam isn’t getting his way. The Virginia Pilot reports:

Bills to tighten Virginia’s gun control died their usual deaths in state House and Senate committees this week.

The proposals killed included limiting gun purchases to one a month, raising the legal age to buy firearms from 18 to 21, and banning “bump stocks” like those used by the gunman who killed 58 people in Las Vegas in 2017.

One measure, which would empower courts to take weapons when people are found to be a risk to themselves or others, remains on life support.

Rallying in Washington State
Washington State gun owners gathered for a rally at the capitol to protest Lt. Governor Cyrus Habib’s stance on gun control.

"Gun owners say [their rights are] being threatened by the legislature including bills restricting access to large-capacity magazines and requiring training for concealed pistol licenses," KOMA News reported last week. "Hearings on those and other bills are set for Monday and Tuesday.

"'Definitely rights are being taken away,'" said gun owner Andrea Snoke. 'But also I think there's a strong group of people who aren't being heard and it's very important to have our voice out there — especially as a woman.'"

Washington State has also come to the profound realization that criminals don’t follow the law.

“The Spokane Police Department is seeing a dangerous and growing trend: convicted felons carrying firearms,” KXYL reports. “State law bans anyone with a felony conviction from having a gun, but that's not stopping criminals -- especially those involved in drug trafficking.”

Teresa Mull is editor of Gunpowder Magazine. Contact her at teresa@gunpowdermagazine.com.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Gunpowder Magazine.