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Hawaii lawmakers want to repeal the Second Amendment

The Second Amendment (Nick Youngson/Alpha Stock Images)
March 08, 2019

Hawaii legislators want to amend the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution in an attempt to strengthen gun control.

Despite having some of the most prohibitive gun laws in the country, Hawaii lawmakers want more. They introduced the new resolution Tuesday, which calls to “clarify” the original text’s reference to a “militia,” arguing it was never intended to arm citizens, according to the Foundation for Economic Freedom.

In the bill, Senate Concurrent Resolution (SCR) No. 42, sponsors question the Framers’ use of the term “well-regulated militia.” Further, they propose it was “intended only to restrict the United States Congress from legislating away a state’s right to self-defense.”

The bill argues, “the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution should be repealed or amended to clarify that the right to bear arms is a collective, rather than individual, constitutional right.”

The resolution will go before the state’s legislature in an upcoming vote.

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Democratic legislators contend that the Second Amendment should be repealed or amended due to the incidence of mass shootings.

Sen. Roz Baker introduced SCR No.42, and she was also responsible for SB 2954 that passed in 2016, making Hawaii the first state to add gun owners to the FBI database.

The Supreme Court has addressed the issue of amending the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution on more than one occasion.

There was the 1939 Supreme Court decision of the United States v. Miller which Democrats refer to for the “collective rights” meaning of the Second Amendment.

In 2008, the Supreme Court ruled in the District of Columbia v. Heller case, where Justice Antonin Scalia wrote, “The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.”

Chief Justice John Roberts, Justices Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas, and Samuel Alito all concurred with Scalia.

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In 2010, the individual right to bear arms was deemed the law of the land in the McDonald v. Chicago decision.

Dahlia Lithwick of Slate said gun control activists usually interpret the Second Amendment to “only protect the states’ authority to maintain formal, organized militias.”

If this were true, only federal gun laws would have to adhere to it, whereas local and state officials could do as they please when making gun laws.