Unfortunately, many of the recent mass shootings in the U.S. have been perpetrated by a person using large-capacity ammunition magazines. The use of such has resulted in the injury or death of numerous people.
What Is a Large-Capacity Magazine?
Each state has a different definition of a large-capacity magazine, but generally, it's considered one that can carry over 10 rounds of ammunition. That's how Hawaii defines it, and having a magazine with more than a 10-round capacity is a crime. Under H.R.S. § 134-8, it is unlawful for a person to possess a large-capacity magazine. A violator can be charged with a misdemeanor.
Legislation Focused on Reducing Magazine Capacity
In the wake of mass shootings across the country, many states are considering reducing the capacity of ammunition magazines. Hawaii is included in this legislative movement. In December of 2019, Honolulu Department Chief Susan Ballard announced that she wanted to push for a law that would ban large-capacity magazines in the state.
On January 3, 2020, the Hawaii Firearms Coalition met with State Representative Gregg Takayama, who is the chairperson for the Public Safety, Veterans, & Military Affairs (PSM) Committee. Their discussion was focused on what was coming up in the next legislative session, and being that the PSM hears firearm-related bills, Representative Takayama said that Chief Ballard had asked him to sponsor the bill for banning large-capacity magazines.
Although he didn't say precisely what the proposed round limitation would be, he suggested that they might start with 5 rounds. That means if such a bill is submitted and passed into law, it may become illegal in Hawaii to have a magazine with more than that number.
Reason for Limiting Ammo
The rationale behind the legislative trend of decreasing legal magazine capacity is that by limiting how much ammo a person can carry, the number of incidences of mass shootings can be reduced. And while the results of a recent study suggest that may be true, statutes banning large-capacity magazines will benefit the bad guys and put law-abiding citizens at risk. Criminals seeking to carry out gun crimes will likely find a way around the bans to obtain a magazine that can hold more than 5 or 10 rounds. On the other hand, those following the law, trying to protect themselves from an attacker, will be limited in how many shots they can fire off, while their attacker can keep shooting with their illegal magazine.
Get Effective Legal Representation on Your Side from The Law Office of Kevin O'Grady, LLC
Currently, legislatures in Hawaii are only talking about a reduced magazine capacity statute, but keeping track of this is important for law-abiding citizens seeking to protect their firearm rights.
At The Law Office of Kevin O'Grady, LLC, I am committed to helping individuals caught up in the complex criminal justice system.
If you’ve been accused of a firearm offense in Honolulu and would like to discuss your Second Amendment rights and legal options, call my firm at (808) 521-3367 or fill out an online contact form, and I’ll get back to you promptly.