Slippery Slope In Effect as Hawaii Begins Gun Confiscation Program

Slippery Slope In Effect as Hawaii Begins Gun Confiscation Program

Hawaii is known for lush beaches, warm weather and an apparent hatred for armed citizens.

A mere three months after Hawaii approved the opening of its first-ever medical marijuana dispensary in Maui, officials are now aiming to disarm residents that merely possess a medical marijuana card.

From Reason:

Hawaii is one of 29 states that allow medical use of marijuana, but it is the only state that requires registration of all firearms. If you are familiar with the criteria that bar people from owning guns under federal law, you can probably surmise what the conjunction of these two facts means for patients who use cannabis as a medicine, which Hawaii allows them to do only if they register with the state. Some of them recently received a letter from Honolulu Police Chief Susan Ballard, instructing them to turn in their guns.

”Your medical marijuana use disqualifies you from ownership of firearms and ammunition,” Ballard says in the November 13 letter, which Leafly obtained this week after Russ Belville noted it in his Marijuana Agenda podcast. “If you currently own or have any firearms, you have 30 days upon receipt of this letter to voluntarily surrender your firearms, permit, and ammunition to the Honolulu Police Department (HPD) or otherwise transfer ownership. A medical doctor’s clearance letter is required for any future firearms applications or return of firearms from HPD evidence.”

Although medical marijuana states typically register patients and/or issue them ID cards, Hawaii is unusual in making its registry both mandatory and accessible for purposes other than confirming eligibility, which is how Ballard knew where to send her warning. The letter, which comes just three months after Hawaii’s first medical marijuana dispensary opened, does not say what will happen to gun owners who fail to “voluntarily” give up their weapons. But if police decide to pay them a visit, it should be easy enough to locate them by comparing the state’s list of patients with its list of gun owners.

Proponents of the Second Amendment have long opposed gun registration because of its 'slippery slope' nature. In essence, if the government knows who has guns, then the government knows where to go when it wants to forcibly disarm the populace.

That time has come. For too long, anti-gun activists have labeled the slippery slope effect mere paranoid delusion. "The intent of gun registration is not confiscation," they said. Well, brace yourselves, Hawaii — the government is here to collect.

Leafly tells us more:

Many state laws allow patients to medicate with cannabis, but the federal prohibition on cannabis consumption crosses that legality when it comes to firearms. The supremacy of federal law on this point was upheld last year by the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals.

“It may be argued that medical marijuana users are less likely to commit violent crimes, as they often suffer from debilitating illnesses, for which marijuana may be an effective palliative,” the federal ruling stated. “But those hypotheses are not sufficient to overcome Congress’s reasonable conclusion that the use of such drugs raises the risk of irrational or unpredictable behavior with which gun use should not be associated.”

The Honolulu Police Department cites state law, not federal law, as the basis for the order. “Under the provisions of the Hawaii Revised Statutes, Section 134-7(a), you are disqualified from firearms ownership,” says the letter.

Curiously, HRS 134-7(a) makes no specific mention of a person’s medical marijuana status. It’s a blanket statement about federal law:

134-7(a) No person who is a fugitive from justice or is a person prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition under federal law shall own, possess, or control any firearm or ammunition therefor.

Until now, the clash between firearm ownership and patient status has been largely avoided through a de facto “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. Firearms purchasers are forced to either lie on the ATF form (a federal offense), or tell themselves they’re technically honest—the ATF form asks, “Are you an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana,” and those who quit cannabis yesterday technically were but no longer are unlawful users of marijuana.

This gun confiscation program, at minimum, is an encroachment on the Second, Fourth and Fifth Amendments. Depriving a person of his liberty to own or control a firearm first places the burden of proof on the state.

Possession of a medical marijuana card is not proof that a person uses marijuana. Hawaii is making the case that every person that has one is a user of marijuana, whether or not they actually are — that is their basis for the program.

Here's the letter being sent to Hawaii residents:

Way to take a dump on your citizens, Chief Ballard.

Way to take a dump on your citizens, Chief Ballard.

Every state in the U.S. has some type of law on the books that prohibits a person from possessing or controlling a firearm while intoxicated. If a person is observed leaving a restaurant that happens to serve alcohol, would Hawaiian authorities then declare that person intoxicated and strip them of their firearms? Of course not -- there'd be an investigation first. This is not the case here.

Criminals neither care about gun nor marijuana laws. The only people affected by these new draconian measures is the law-abiding citizen, and if you think it can't happen to you, just you wait. Hawaii's got your name.

Stay alert. Stay alive.

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