What’s the Law: Liability to 3rd Parties for Legal Transfers

What’s the The Law

Darryl Choy

Liability to 3rd Parties for Legal Transfers

On April 6, 1994, the Hawaii Supreme Court decided a case that may directly affect anyone that transfers ownership of a fire­ arm without proper permit.

In Reyes. vs Kuboyama 76 HAW 137 (1994), the owner of a liquor store sold beer to two minors in violation of State Law. The beer was consumed at a party and one inebriated minor crashed his car on the way home, injuring his female passenger. The store owner was held liable for the injury of the female passenger • The Supreme Court ruled that the store owner had a duty to an innocent third party in not selling liquor to a minor in violation of the law.

Does HRS Chapter 134 (the Hawaii Gun Law) impose a duty on all of us not to transfer a firearm in violation of the law?

Consider if you transfer a long gun to a friend without a valid permit and the gun is later used or is involved in injuring a third party. Would the rule of the law in the Reyes case apply if you are sued?

Be safe. Get a copy of your buyer’s permit. You may even consider getting copies of the FFL yellow form and have your buyer fill it out.

Going underground or outside the law without permits might be fun to brag about, but being in Court, getting sued millions of dollars is not.

Remember, we are most at risk during the gunshow and several days afterwards.  Be safe, follow the law, no worry.

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