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House committee passes gun control bill

  • ASSOCIATED PRESSHawaii House Committee on Public Safety Vice-Chairman Kaniela Ing, left, and Chairman Henry Aquino, right, listen to testimony during a hearing on Thursday, March 14, 2013 at the state Capitol in Honolulu. The committee voted during the hearing to require background checks for gun owners from out of state. (AP Photo/Anita Hofschneider)
    ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Hawaii House Committee on Public Safety Vice-Chairman Kaniela Ing, left, and Chairman Henry Aquino, right, listen to testimony during a hearing on Thursday, March 14, 2013 at the state Capitol in Honolulu. The committee voted during the hearing to require background checks for gun owners from out of state. (AP Photo/Anita Hofschneider)

The Hawaii House Committee on Public Safety is moving forward a bill to require background checks for people who bring in guns from outside the state.

The bill is the last surviving gun control proposal this legislative session, which started just weeks after the shooting deaths of 20 children in Connecticut forced the issue of gun violence onto the national agenda.

Hawaii lawmakers responded by introducing proposals to start a gun buyback program, limit the sale of ammunition to lawful gun owners and increase background checks for people with mental health issues.

But all of those proposals have failed in response to hundreds of opponents largely organized by the Hawaii Rifle Association. Many see Hawaii’s existing firearm laws as extremely restrictive and fear further limits on their Second Amendment rights.

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