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Testifiers weigh in on proposed rules for carrying a gun in public on Oahu

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  • CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM
                                People gather for a public hearing on concealed-carry weapon permits held at Honolulu Police Department headquarters on Tuesday, Oct. 4. Above, retired Airforce Col. Kevin Cole, center, offers testimony to Lynne Uyema, HPD senior legal counsel, left, HPD Capt. Parker Bode, HPD Maj. Joseph “Jay” Trinidad and deputy city corporation counsel Daniel Gluck. HPD Assistant Chief Glenn Hiyashi was also present.

    CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM

    People gather for a public hearing on concealed-carry weapon permits held at Honolulu Police Department headquarters on Tuesday, Oct. 4. Above, retired Airforce Col. Kevin Cole, center, offers testimony to Lynne Uyema, HPD senior legal counsel, left, HPD Capt. Parker Bode, HPD Maj. Joseph “Jay” Trinidad and deputy city corporation counsel Daniel Gluck. HPD Assistant Chief Glenn Hiyashi was also present.

More than 50 testifiers showed up at the Honolulu Police Department’s Alapai headquarters this morning to weigh in on proposed rules that would govern the issuance of licenses and permits allowing people to carry guns in public.

By 10:24 a.m. 60 people signed up to provide in-person testimony and more than 400 pages of written testimony was submitted to police. No decision making on the proposed changes will be made today, police said, and any amendments will be shared with the public prior to adoption.

Testifiers who appeared this morning were heard by Lynne Uyema, HPD senior legal counsel, Capt. Parker Bode, Assistant Chief Glenn Hayashi, Maj. Joseph “Jay” Trinidad, and deputy city corporation counsel Daniel Gluck.

Retired U.S. Air Force Col. Kevin Cole, who flew B-52 bombers while on active duty, told the panel that the government trusts him with weapons and that he legally carried a gun in another state to protect his family after his wife had a run in with Neo-Nazi skinheads.

“I’ve looked at the rules…these are hurdles,” said Cole. “I am a citizen. I am not a threat. I’m the one who should determine if the threat applies to me.”

The hearing in HPD’s first-floor conference room is meant to gather input before amending the Rules of the Chief of Police to include the process and policies for issuing a license to carry a firearm in Honolulu. The concealed-carry weapons permit applications eventually will be reviewed in the order they were received and police expect to begin issuing them this month.

The proposed amendment to Chapter 15 of the Rules of the Chief of Police is on HPD’s website and is in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Bruen that struck down a New York state law limiting who can have a permit to carry a pistol outside their home.

In Hawaii the ruling meant that police chiefs no longer have the discretion to deny a permit to carry a handgun for law-abiding citizens who satisfy basic requirements crafted by each county.

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