Hawaii gun owners would be required to have insurance for their firearms and renew their gun registrations every five years under a bill introduced Wednesday at the State Legislature, proposals that gun advocates said are unneeded and would have a chilling effect on constitutional gun rights.
The proposal, introduced by State Sen. Josh Green (D – Kona, Ka’u) would require gun owners to obtain firearms liability insurance from private insurance companies. Hawaii would be the first state in the country to enact such a requirement, if lawmakers and the governor approve of the law.
“I don’t want to take people’s guns away from them but I want people to take full responsibility,” said Green, an emergency room physician at Kohala Hospital on the Big Island.
Green likens the requirement to car insurance.
“They have to pay insurance so that if they’re in a collision and they hurt someone else who’s an innocent bystander, it’s covered. Just like with guns, if a gun falls into the wrong hands or if there’s an accident, just an accident, it makes a lot of sense to me that we have that extra level of responsibility,” Green said.
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