Hawaiian Governor David Ige signed legislation Thursday requiring gun owners in the Aloha State to register their firearms with the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) “Rap Back” program.
“This is about our community’s safety and responsible gun ownership. This system will better enable our law enforcement agencies to ensure the security of all Hawaii residents and visitors to our islands. This bill has undergone a rigorous legal review process by our Attorney General’s office and we have determined that it is our responsibility to approve this measure for the sake of our children and families,” Ige said in a statement.
“Rap Back” is an element of the FBI’s Next Generation Identification (NGI) system, a comprehensive biometric database and identification system that provides notifications on background checks.
Originally designed to rely on fingerprinting, the program has been expanded to include palm prints, photos (with facial recognition technology), iris scans, tattoos, scars and body markings, voice identification, gait and residence, employment and arrest records.
Should a Hawaii resident be arrested anywhere in the U.S., state authorities would receive an alert and then determine if the gun owner is fit to continue to own a firearm.
The Institute for Legislative Action (ILA), the lobbying branch of the National Rifle Association responded swiftly and condemned the new law.
“The exercise of an individual’s Second Amendment rights is not inherently suspicious and should not require a person to surrender other civil liberties, including unwarranted invasions of privacy or unequal treatment under the law. The lawful acquisition, possession, carrying, or use of a firearm does not justify subjecting citizens to ongoing monitoring,” the ILA posted on its website.
In related news, the Supreme Court ruled Monday in a 6-2 decision that individuals convicted of domestic violence crimes in the U.S. can be legally barred from purchasing firearms.