Governor signs bills to increase penalties for crimes against seniors, strengthen gun violence prevention

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HONOLULU (KHON2) — Gov. David Ige held a signing ceremony on Thursday on bills related to gun violence prevention and crimes against seniors.

Below are the three bills he signed:

  • HB490 (Relating to Crimes Against Seniors) — Lowers the age at which enhanced penalties apply for crimes against seniors from 62 years of age to 60 years of age. Makes commission of certain criminal offenses against a senior’s person or property applicable if the perpetrator knows or reasonably should know the senior victim’s age.

“You know, we see every day, stories of criminals targeting our kupuna. It’s tragic and totally unacceptable,” Ige said. “House Bill 490 will add further protection to our most vulnerable adults by standardizing the age at which certain penalties apply for crimes against our kupuna.”

  • HB31 (Relating to Firearms) — Raises the maximum age of minors for which safe storage of firearms is required from sixteen to eighteen years.

“Studies have shown that individuals in those age categories were the most inclined to use a firearm in a harmful manner if it was readily accessible. By strengthening this we hope to promote gun safety and gun ownership,” said HPD Capt. Brian Yamamoto on House Bill 31.

  • HB1366 (Relating to Firearms) — Amends the class C felony offense of manufacturing, purchasing, or obtaining firearm parts to assemble a firearm having no serial number to also prohibit possession of those firearm parts. Amends Act 74, Session Laws of Hawaii 2020, to repeal language that specified the prospective application of that Act. Effective 1/1/2022.

“Ghost guns, by design, are the perfect crime weapon, ” said Rep. Patrick Branco, vice chair, House Committee on Water and Land. “These firearms evade the permit and registration process and can be easily produced at home without a license or background check. These guns are not permitted, do not have a serial number and are essentially untraceable. Ghost guns do not represent responsible gun ownership.”

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