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New State Firearm Safety Laws Address 'Ghost Guns,' Safe Storage

Brett Hondow from Pixabay

Gov. David Ige signed Thursday two bills related to firearm safety into law, including one that seeks to better secure firearms around older teenagers.

One bill, HB 1366, closes a loophole regarding the possession of a firearm with no serial number, commonly known as a ghost gun.

A law created last year, Act 74, made manufacturing, purchasing, or obtaining parts to assemble a ghost gun illegal. Possession of these guns will also be illegal when the law goes into effect on January 1, 2022.

The second bill, HB 31, changes the maximum age of minors for which safe storage of firearms is required—raising it from age 16 to 18. That law goes into effect immediately.

"4.6 million children and adolescents in the United States live in homes with at least one unsecured firearm. Not surprisingly, the presence of unsecured firearms increases the risk of unintentional and intentional shootings," state Senator Karl Rhoads said.

He also explained the importance of this seemingly simple change.

"Teenagers between the ages of 16 and 18 have the highest rate of suicide attempts amongst all children and adolescents, while more than half of all school shootings have been perpetrated by 16 and 17-year-olds."

Both bills received numerous opposing testimonies from rifle associations during the legislative session.

Zoe Dym is a news producer at Hawaiʻi Public Radio.
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