HONOLULU (KHON2) — More than a dozen people on Hawaii Island are approved to carry firearms in public so far, but where they can carry guns is still being negotiated.
The Hawaii County Council is poised to pass a bill that prevents guns from being brought to sensitive places.
Check out more news from around Hawaii
The Hawaii County Council Parks and Recreation and Public Safety Committee passed a bill Tuesday that defines sensitive places where concealed carry would be banned.
One change to the original bill, which was postponed earlier in October over concerns that it was too restrictive, includes schools, daycare centers and churches.
“So we added the clause, except where permission is granted by the institution,” said Aaron Chung, Hawaii County Councilmember.
However, some councilmember didn’t support that amendment.
“Guns just don’t belong in places of education, similarly where children are,” said Heather Kimball, Hawaii County Councilmember.
Private property owners will also be required to post signage where open carry is prohibited.
“I think that those who don’t want to be around guns should be able to know where guns are allowed,” said Beverly, a testifier. “So by having places post will allow us to decide where we want to be.”
Some gun advocates believe establishing sensitive places for concealed carry isn’t efficient.
“So if you’re one of the supporters who think that having this bill was going to keep you from having firearms in your vicinity, that’s wrong,” said Justin Arnold, a testifier. “Criminals don’t care about the law.”
Meanwhile, Honolulu City Council has received a similar bill from Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi, but Maui and Kauai Counties don’t have sensitive places bills planned.
These discussions come as some counties are already issuing concealed carry licenses while others are still navigating the rules.
Oahu has received 535 applications, but the Honolulu Police Department is still reviewing requirements for licenses. Kauai County has received 35 applications, Maui County has issued 11 licenses and Hawaii island has issued 19 licenses.
The sensitive places bill heads to the full Hawaii County Council next.
Get Hawaii’s latest morning news delivered to your inbox, sign up for News 2 You
“Our task is public safety. I think we would be negligent in our duties if we didn’t even look at this matter,” Chung said.