HONOLULU (KHON2) — A new law could help in the fight against crime in the islands.
The law aims to keep so-called “ghost guns” off of Hawaii’s streets.
Hawaii has had a ghost gun law since September 2020. It makes it a felony to manufacture, purchase or obtain firearm parts to make a gun without a serial number — otherwise known as an untraceable ghost gun.
Authorities realized a big loophole in the law after it took effect, however, when they would catch someone with one of these weapons.
The person could claim they got the parts to make the gun before the law took effect, so lawmakers went back to close the loophole by adding possession to the law.
“Ghost guns kits can be purchased online by anyone, including prohibited purchasers, domestic abusers and gun traffickers,” said Rep. Patrick Branco. “I want to reiterate that these weapons do not have a serial number and are virtually untraceable. These firearms evade the permit and registration process and can be easily produced at home without a license or background check.
Honolulu police Capt. Brian Yamamoto said, “We at the Honolulu Police Department feel that they were a very serious threat to the public and law enforcement.”
The new law will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2022. Violators could face up to 5 years in jail.