What’s the Law: Koko Head Shooting Complex deed requires it must be a shooting range?

WHAT’S THE LAW?

BY DARRYL CHOY

TOPIC: Koko Head Shooting Complex deed requires it must be a shooting range?

Question: I have always heard for the last 40+ years that the Koko Head Range was given to the City and County of Honolulu by the Bishop Estate for the dedicated and limited purposes of establishing a public shooting range. So isn’t the city legally prohibited from shutting the Range down and creating just a park, or even a zoo, as was once proposed?

Answer: On December 29, 1928, five parcels of land (some of which is now known as the Koko Head Shooting Complex) were given to the City and County of Honolulu by the Bishop Estate (NKA, Kamehameha Schools) for the sum of $1. The conveyance was subject to a number of lease rights, all of which have long expired. Other conditions that appear to be valid today are the maintenance of an existing water system and that the City “shall use the conveyed premises for purposes of public parks/rights of way and for no other purposes….”

The only reference to a rifle range is contained in a handwritten waiver on Page 7. The entry is dated November 22, 1940, and states:

“Nov 22/40 Covenant waived as to area on mauka side Kal Hwy about 1⁄2 ‘ northeast … Hanauma Bay to be used by C & C for a rifle range (remain effective until abandoned)”

Contrary to popular belief, and most unfortunately, nothing in the deed specifically restricts the use to a shooting range. In fact the shooting range isn’t mandated but is rather allowed only by waiver. The deed can be found at the Bureau of Conveyances Liber 455.

© 2013 – 2015, Hawaii Historic Arms Association. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the Hawaii Historic Arms Association with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.