First responders push for measures to control guns

HONOLULU — Honolulu’s police chief and other first responders asked state lawmakers to pass a package of gun control bills they say could prevent violence like a shooting that left two police officers and a woman dead last month.

Honolulu Police Chief Susan Ballard made an appeal Wednesday for proposals to ban rifle magazines that hold more than 10 bullets and for new restrictions on the sale of ammunition.

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The announcement came in advance of voting in the state House and Senate on the bills, which some lawmakers said would close loopholes and prevent gun-related crimes.

“We’re asking them to please, please pass these bills, for law enforcement, for all of our public safety, for the safety of our officers, for the safety of our community,” Ballard said. “These bills are there to make it safe.”

Two of the proposals are being linked to the murders of Honolulu Police Officers Tiffany Enriquez and Kaulike Kalama in an Oahu neighborhood Jan. 19.

One of the issues being investigated is how shooter Jaroslav “Jerry” Hanel obtained a rifle and ammunition used to kill the officers and his landlord Lois Ann Cain while he was under a court order banning him from possessing firearms. The bodies of Cain and Hanel were found in the burned home where Hanel had lived.

Hanel may have obtained an unregistered gun belonging to Cain that was in the home, investigators said.

One of the legislative proposals would impose new requirements when an owner of a firearm dies. An appointed representative of the late gun owner would be required to notify police of any firearms included with the owner’s estate.

Another proposal would prevent people from buying ammunition for guns that are not registered to them by regulating ammunition in the same manner as firearms.

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The bill would require gun owners to show their firearms registration when purchasing ammunition.

“The measure does not infringe upon the rights of anyone who legally owns a firearm,” House Judiciary Committee Chair Chris Lee said.

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