A Democratic state senator in Hawaii recently introduced a bill that would register Hawaiian gun owners to an FBI database.
Gun owners would likely have to pay a fee to cover the cost of being enrolled in the database, The Associated Press reports.
The bill stipulates that gun owners would be registered to the database so that federal authorities would know if they had been arrested in a state other than Hawaii. However, enrollment in the database is mandatory for any Hawaiian who owns a gun, even those who have never been arrested.
One Hawaiian named Jon Ilo, a former firearms instructor, stated that the new proposal made him and other gun owners feel like “big brother is watching” them.
Honolulu Police Department Maj. Richard Robinson, who helped draft the bill, believes it will prevent dangerous people from obtaining guns. He states that when his department used just background checks on people who registered firearms, “We were only discovering things by accident.”
He says that the department often only discovers that gun owners have a criminal history when they attempt to register a new gun. “They happen to come register another firearm, we run another background check, and then we find out they’re a prohibited person.”
But some say the bill oversteps legal boundaries and violates the Second Amendment.
According to National Rifle Association spokeswoman Amy Hunter, “This is an extremely dangerous bill. Exercising a constitutional right is not inherently suspicious. Hawaii will now be treating firearms as suspect and subject to constant monitoring.”