What’s the Law: Firearms Insurance


Question: Does my homeowners or renters insurance policy cover firearms?

Answer: Most likely no. Firearms insurance policies have different aspects.

The first is firearms loss (theft, fire, etc.). Some homeowners insurance may cover but only for a limited amount; most don’t exceed $2,500. Some polices exclude firearms completely. You can get an additional rider policy, and even the NRA and other carriers offer firearms loss insurance.

The second is liability insurance for harm caused by your firearm. Virtually all homeowners insurance exclude intentional harm caused by firearms. Insurance can’t cover the commission of a crime.

Also excluded from coverage is harm caused by using, owning, lending, and firing firearms. Umbrella insurance policies may also have a firearms liability exclusion.

There are separate insurance policies available for firearms liability. They cover the cost of a civil or criminal defense and the injury caused by the firearms use. Such policies cover you when you use a firearm in self defense.

It appears that if you are injured by someone at the range or while hunting, it isn’t covered by that person’s homeowners policy. You’re also not covered if your gun blows up or your shot injures or causes property damage.

Act 125 — The “so-called” Ivory Ban


Act 125 — The “so-called” Ivory Ban

Question: What’s happening to the ivory ban that was passed in 2016 in Hawaii?

Answer: Commonly referred to as the “Ivory Ban,” Act 125 goes much further than just ivory. This new law prohibits selling, buying, trading any part (not just ivory) of the elephant, mammoth, rhinoceros, tiger, great ape, shark and ray, sea turtle, walrus, narwhal, whale, hippopotamus, monk seal, lion, pangolin, cheetah, jaguar, and leopard.

Exceptions are: (1) the banned animal part is documented as 100 years or older; (2) the banned animal part is less than 20% of the firearm (or any item) which was manufactured before 1975 and is a fixed component; it seems that inlays are okay but not removable ivory pistol grips; and (3) traditional cultural practices.

Possession of such animal parts is not prohibited. You can still own them, but you cannot sell or trade them, and you cannot acquire such parts by buying or trading. You can acquire or transfer ownership of these parts via inheritance. Violation of the law is a full misdemeanor. Maximum sentence is $2,000 fine and one year in jail. The right of a jury trial is afforded. The law is now in effect, but enforcement will not start until June 30, 2017.

The foregoing is a quick overview of this complex new law. For more detailed information, refer to http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2016/bills/GM1226_.PDF.

What’s the Law: New Rap Back System


Question: What’s the “Rap Back” system that the State of Hawaii just implemented?

Answer: The Rap Back Law (Act 108) has been implemented as of December 5, 2016. The law was enacted and signed by the Governor with much fanfare in July. After some five months, the process was finally established. Essentially, Rap Back is a FBI criminal history watch list where criminal acts will be reported to the subscribing states. Thus, any crime (“Rap”) committed will be reported “Back” to the “System” (Hawaii).

It is not a national firearms registration system. It registers people. Enrollment requires that you be finger printed, and information such as your social security number, physical description, gender, place and date of birth, and citizenship be submitted to the Rap Back system. HPD has the form online. The fee is $12 plus $30 for the Hawaii background check… a total of $42. HPD will accept major charge cards.

  1. If you already own firearms, you are not subject to enrollment.
  2. If you apply for a permit to acquire for either a hand gun or long gun, you will be enrolled.
  3. If you renew your long gun permit to acquire, you will be enrolled.
  4. If you arrive in Hawaii with a firearm to be registered, you will be enrolled.

You will NOT be issued a permit to acquire if you refuse to be enrolled in the Rap Back system, pay the $42 fee, and be fingerprinted.

Once you are enrolled, you are not subject to further fees; however, you will remain in the Rap Back system. Disenrollment only occurs when you:

  1. are deceased; or
  2. show proof that all of your firearms have been moved out of the State; or
  3. show proof that you have sold or transferred all of your firearms; or
  4. show proof that you have transferred all of your firearms to a federal firearms licensee FFL.

In simple terms, you will be required to enroll in the Rap Back system when you apply for a permit to acquire or register a firearm. If you do not acquire a firearm or apply for or renew a permit after the System went into effect, you are not subject to enrollment. If you sell or transfer a firearm, you are also not subject to enrollment.


What’s the Law: Rap Back


What’s the Law

by Darry Choy


Question: What’s happening to the new Rap Back System?

Answer: The “Rap Back” bill was signed into law by the Governor and effective July 1, 2016. However, HPD wasn’t ready. Unconfirmed is the development of a computer program that was said to be operational September 1. No word on the fee for the mandatory enrollment, but a $60 fee was rumored. Enrollment would be required when obtaining a firearm or applying for a permit. This may apply to renewals of long gun permits. As of the end of August, officers at the HPD Firearms Division haven’t heard as to the status of Rap Back.

Essentially, the Rap Back service does not register your firearms, but it does register you as an individual. Rap Back provides authorized agencies, such as HPD, with notification of criminal and civil activity (restraining orders and mental health matters) of individuals. 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 for firearms ownership.

Firing Heavy Caliber Rifles (The Real Story)

Firing Heavy Caliber Rifles (The Real Story) by Darryl Choy

The October 2015 issue of the American Rifleman had a wonderful article entitled “How To Shoot Big Guns (‘a man’s got to know his limitations’)” by Craig Boddington. The article laid out very important aspects such as scope eye relief, avoiding the prone and the bench rest positions, practicing with a .22 and building up gradually, using quality recoil pads and shields, increasing rifle weight and muzzle breaks, etc.

However, the article fails to explain specifically how to hold a heavy recoiling rifle. Many years ago, GARY CHANG and I established a dangerous game rifle shooting venue at both HRA’s annual Shooting Sports Fair and the Department of Land & Natural Resources National Hunting & Fishing Day events. The idea was to allow the public to fire heavy recoiling dangerous game rifles like the .375 H&H and .458 Magnum. You can imagine the potential injury and liability concerns voiced by other people.

In planning, we developed a simple method that allows just about anyone at least 95 pounds to handle a full house .375 H&H 300 grain load. The bolt action rifles all had open sights, recoil pads, weighed at least 10 pounds, and sans scopes. A high front bench bag was used to rest the rifle. No rear bag. The shooter was instructed to establish a hasty sling. This contributes little to recoil management but it does save the rifle from being let go and damaged if it fell off the bench. The shooter was told to use the left hand to grip the forend and the right hand to grip the pistol grip. Pretty basic stuff. But, more importantly, the shooter was told to grip both hands, not just tight, but as hard as possible. Pull the butt entirely (not just the bottom half) into the shoulder as hard as possible. And press down on the butt stock with the cheek, again, as hard as possible. The shooter was placed high on the bench with his/her back straight so the entire body would move back with the recoil. With the shooter holding the rifle as hard as possible at four points, the recoil was managed and injuries prevented. Not uncommon for a tiny Asian gal barely 100 pounds to fire a .375 H&H repeatedly.

This method has allowed many shooters to experience firing the century old .375 H&H cartridge and even the .458 Magnum. A few more seasoned public members even tried the rifles off hand with accurate results.


Crimping of primers on military ammunition is to prevent primers from backing or falling out when shot in firearms with poor head space. Once fired military brass in 7.62 NATO, 5.56 NATO, and .30 cal. M2 ball (.30-06) are plentiful. But to reload them takes much effort. Military cases are difficult to de-cap. Full length resizing and de-capping in one step can be a challenge. Many hand loaders will remove the crimped primers and full length resize separately with two different dies. Once done, the crimp has to be removed.
Two basic methods are reaming and swaging.

Reaming involves cutting away metal. It has disadvantages since it can distort the primer pocket and leave it non-uniformed. Reaming is normally done manually with a deburring tool or primer pocket reamer. This is slow tedious work.

Swaging re-forms the entire pocket and results in uniform primer pockets. But the disadvantage is the setup and adjustment time. The RCBS has an excellent tool that must be set up on your reloading press. It’s a bit of a hassle. The Dillon Super Swage 600 is the Cadillac of crimp removers. This dedicated tool does not need to be hooked up to your press. The crimp removal process is very quick. The case goes in, decrimped, and flipped out. You can also attach a spring or rubber band so that the case is flipped out without being touched. However, the Dillon is expensive… about $100. The Dillon works so well that RCBS is now selling their version of a stand-alone swagger called the bench tool. The RCBS is priced a little less than the Dillon and is said to work as well.

At a HHAA meeting a few months ago, GARY CHANG had a plastic grocery bag with some sort of tool. I asked him what it was. He said a Dillon primer pocket swage and added, “You like borrow?” Well I had nearly 1,000 once fired 5.56, about 600 .30 cal ball (.30-06), and bags of 7.62 ball. These have been sitting in a bucket since I was dreading the reloading process. Thanks to GARY, the hard part of removing the crimp from 2,000 primer pockets along with decapping and full length resizing were done in just a few evenings. But now I need to trim the cases… “Hey, GARY! You got an automatic trimmer?”

(And I am not sure I want to return the Dillon.)

What’s the Law: Bayonets banned for hunting?


QUESTION: I am told that a bayonet with more than the lower blade sharpened is a deadly weapon and cannot be used for pig hunting but can be possessed at home or at a gun show for display. I don’t see a clear description of what constitutes a deadly weapon in Sec. 134 HRS. Does a Glock field knife with a blade that is sharpened along the bottom edge AND serrated or with saw tooth upper edge meet the definition of a deadly weapon? I know a pig hunter who wants to buy one with a saw tooth upper and a sharpened lower edge blade.

ANSWER: A bayonet is a deadly weapon. But deadly weapons can be used for hunting; i.e., guns. A bayonet is a deadly weapon with or without both edges sharpened. A Glock field knife is just a knife. Check out Sec. 134-51 HRS; the Case Note at 55 H. 531 is dispositive. The Hawaii Supreme Court ruled that the test is whether the “sole design and purpose is to inflect bodily injury or death.” If so, it’s a deadly weapon.

While bayonets have been used to clean boots, open cans, etc., the sole design and purpose is to hurt people. Thus a deadly weapon. The Glock is a field knife for numerous purposes, so it doesn’t fit the definition and, thus, it’s just a knife. But remember, people get busted by uninformed cops all the time, so carrying is always a risk. You don’t want to have a Supreme Court case with your name as the defendant. The scarier the knife, the more likely to get busted.

What’s The Law: Non-FFL shipping of guns interstate (revisited)


Question: I know from prior WTL columns that I can ship a gun to a FFL in another state even if I don’t have a FFL. The federal laws does not require FFL-to-FFL. (See WTL, May 2013 and February 2014.) But when I sell my guns on internet auction, I discovered a number of my mainland buyers’ FFLs refuse to accept firearms from me and require I have them sent via a Hawaii FFL. What gives?

Answer: You are correct that under the federal law a non-FFL can ship a firearm interstate to a FFL. But a growing number of FFLs will not accept firearms shipped by non-FFL. This prohibition is mostly imposed by the receiving FFL; the main reason is they don’t know you and the firearm may be stolen. Even when you give them a copy of your HPD registration, some FFLs will still refuse to accept your firearm. These FFLs feel that if a FFL, rather than the seller, ships, at least it’s in the ATF system. Some states even prohibit FFLs in their state from receiving firearms from non-FFLs. California took one step further and require out-of-state FFLs to register with California before a gun can be received by a California FFL.

There isn’t much you can do about this other than having your buyer find a receiving FFL who does not require FFL-to-FFL. Keep in mind having your firearm shipped from a Hawaii FFL to a mainland FFL is a problem. Your Hawaii FFL must dealer register the firearm and take your long gun or handgun into inventory. This requires that your dealer go down to HPD and obtain a dealer permit for a handgun, get your signature, and return to HPD to dealer register the handgun. Your dealer must also obtain a HPD registration for your long guns. Once done, your FFL can ship. This can be simplified by having both you and the dealer go to HPD together. Note some dealers have declined to offer this service, and those who do will require a fee.

What’s the Law: Plastic Bag Ban and the Gun Show


What’s the Law: Plastic Bag Ban and the Gun Show

QUESTION: How does the plastic bag ban apply to Gun Show table holders?

ANSWER: The plastic bag ban imposed on businesses by City & County ordinance, ORD 12-8 amended by ORD 14-29, became effective July 1, 2015. The short answer is plastic bags are banned at the gun shows.

There are some fine points on whether nor not all gun show tables are businesses.
The City law 9.1 defines: “Business” means any commercial enterprise or establishment operating in the City and County of Honolulu, including an individual proprietorship, joint venture, partnership, corporation, limited liability company, or other legal entity, whether for profit or not for profit, and includes all employees of the business or any independent contractors associated with the business (bold added).

HHAA is a non-profit corporation, and the Gun Show is a business. As such, all independent contractors associated with the Gun Show business are also subject to the ban. This includes all table holders, whether or not businesses. The NBC has instructed HHAA that all Gun Show table holders are prohibited from placing items in plastic bags; this includes new or reused bags. However, the thicker 2.25 Mil bags are allowed under the Ordinance.

Keep in mind the ban applies to Gun Show table holders. Gun Show attendees are allowed to bring their own plastic bags.

It’s unpredictable when the “Opala” inspectors might show up at the Gun Show to enforce the ban. Regardless, the Gun Show must follow the law, and table holders at the October 2015 and future Gun Shows will be prohibited from using plastic bags. See <http://www.opala.org/solid_waste/archive/plastic_bag_ban.html> for more detail.

What’s the Law: Back-to-back gun sales without intermediate registration


Topic: Back-to-back gun sales without intermediate registration

QUESTION: Can I resell a long gun I just bought before I register it (before the five days) and skip registration altogether?

ANSWER: No. Each transaction must be completed. When you buy a gun from a seller, you have five days to register it at HPD, and your seller must inform HPD that you bought it. This is mandatory under Chapter 134 HRS. If you don’t register the gun and sell it to a new buyer, that person will not be able to register it since HPD will have a record that you bought the gun and not your buyer. If you bought the gun from a FFL, you could be deemed a straw buyer which is federal offense.

1 2 3 9