Hawaii has taken another big step toward eliminating guns for self–defense in public spaces. Governor Josh Green (D) signed legislation Friday prohibiting concealed carry for self–defense in movie theaters, on beaches, in stadiums, and other locations throughout the state.
The new law requires private businesses to post signs that they allow guns to be carried for self–defense if that is the case.
A doctor by training, Green commented on the legislation by saying, “On many occasions in my training back on the mainland, I was one of the physicians that took care of individuals who were victims of gun violence. Not only that, I lost a loved one to a suicide with a gun. And so anything that we can do, we should.”
State Rep. David Tarnas (D) supported the measure, saying, “We aim to create a balanced approach that respects the rights of gun owners and the need to maintain a safe and protected space in Hawaii.”
The signing of this bill is likely to solidify Hawaii‘s rank as one of the most restrictive states in the nation for gun owners. Hawaii is currently ranked as the third strictest state in the nation for gun control by Michael Bloomberg–funded Everytown For Gun Safety.
The legislation has sparked debate over whether it is a violation of Second Amendment rights and the right to bear arms. Some have argued that the law will simply create more danger, as criminals will know which businesses allow guns, and which do not. Others contend that more stringent gun control policies are necessary in order to ensure the safety of the public.
Whatever side of the debate one may be on, there is no denying that Governor Green‘s signing of the legislation will have far–reaching consequences. It is certain to become a major issue in the upcoming gubernatorial election, and its effects will be felt for years to come.
Only time will tell if the law will be effective in reducing gun violence in Hawaii.