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Hawaiʻi County Council considers bill to prohibit concealed weapons in 'sensitive places'

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The Hawaiʻi County Council is working on a bill that will prohibit concealed weapons in sensitive spaces. This comes in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court striking down a New York law requiring people to show a need to carry a firearm in public.

The bill was introduced by councilmember Aaron Chung. The measure would designate sensitive places as anywhere children gather — including schools and parks, or places like hospitals and airports.

Hawaiʻi doesn’t have statewide concealed weapons regulations.

Hawaiʻi County Deputy Attorney Sylvia Wan says that gives the county some leeway in determining its own laws.

"There have been a number of iterations and changes as far as the way that different states have regulated firearms as well as carrying either concealed or unconcealed within communities," Wan said. "Since then, there has been an evolution of the statutory structure in a number of states."

"They have delegated the regulation of sensitive places and or where other firearms are allowed to municipalities, as well as to cities to further refine where each smaller location determines for themselves, which is sensitive and which is not."

Bill 220 advanced out of committee and is slated for further discussion with the full council.

Sabrina Bodon is a general assignment reporter at Hawaiʻi Public Radio. Contact her at sbodon@hawaiipublicradio.org or 808-792-8252.
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