State bill would allow gun seizure after hospitalization for mental health issues
HONOLULU - Hawaii gun owners are speaking out against a bill they say would allow police to take their guns without due process.
State lawmakers moved forward Wednesday with a bill to force gun owners to immediately surrender firearms after undergoing an emergency hospitalization for mental health issues. The proposed law would require police to give gun owners written notice to immediately surrender all firearms. But if gun owners fail to do so, the chief of police could seize all firearms and ammunition.
Under the bill, guns would be held in police custody until the person is medically cleared of conditions or until the guns were sold by the owner.
Supporters say getting firearms out of a mentally ill person's hands as quickly as possible is critical to preventing dangerous situations. The Hawaii County Prosecutor's office and the Honolulu Police Department were in support of the bill, saying it wouldn't give any additional authority to the police, but would instead close a loophole that allows Hawaii residents to keep their guns for 30 days after being deemed mentally ill.