Thursday, February 23, 2017

Hawaii

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Native Hawaiian

The Department of the Interior (DOI) last year promulgated a rule intended to provide a way to organize “a Native Hawaiian government” that could “seek a government-to-government relationship with the United States.” In plain English, this is an attempt to grant tribal status to Native Hawaiians by executive decree. The means for accomplishing this would be a vote, restricted by the regulation to those who had at least one drop of Native Hawaiian blood.

This atrocious rule, which is almost certainly unconstitutional, should immediately be repealed. Congress has the power to do so now under the Congressional Review Act (CRA). This law allows Congress a certain time to object to any new rule if it believes, for example, that an agency has overstepped its legal authority. If the President agrees, the rule is repealed.

The DOI’s regulation amounts to (another) attempt by the now-departed Obama Administration to use an executive order to circumvent Congress – and the Constitution. Under art. I, § 8, Congress is vested with the authority to regulate commerce with Indian tribes. This has been interpreted to mean that Congress has complete power to make this decision. Starting in 2000 and for more than a decade, Hawaii’s Senator Akaka tried to convince Congress to pass the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act, popularly known as the “Akaka Bill.” The Akaka Bill would have granted Native Hawaiians a pathway to federal tribal status. But Congress never passed the bill.

Switching tactics, the Obama Administration decided to try to accomplish the same thing by executive action. Relying on a hodgepodge of federal statutes, the DOI argued that a “special” or “trust” relationship existed between the U.S. government and Native Hawaiians, and that this provided the basis for the DOI to adopt a regulation creating a pathway to Native Hawaiian tribal status. This approach is dishonest. The federal government has never recognized Native Hawaiians as a sovereign entity like other Indian tribes. If it had, there would have been no need for the Akaka Bill. When members of Congress expended political energy for more than a decade trying to pass that bill, were they wasting their time? The DOI’s regulation is based on a fiction and ignores the obvious: Native Hawaiians have not been granted federal tribal status because Congress rejected the effort to do so.

Even worse is what the DOI’s regulation does. It requires members of the Native Hawaiian community to adopt a “governing document” – meaning a constitution – and then to submit that document to a “ratification vote.” Under the DOI’s regulation, that ratification vote would be restricted to voters who can prove that they were descendants “of the aboriginal people who, prior to 1778, occupied and exercised sovereignty in the area that now constitutes the State of Hawaii.” A single drop of blood is enough to be allowed to vote. This is the same ugly standard applied during the Jim Crow era to define a person as black for the purposes of the segregation statutes.

Such a rule would define more than 500,000 Americans as “Native Hawaiian.” (Only 1.3 million people live in Hawaii.) If such a tribe ever were formed, it would instantly become the largest tribe in the United States, by a wide margin. Indeed, this looks more like a secession movement that the designation of a tribe. When Hawaii tried to take advantage of this regulation by holding an election restricted to “Native Hawaiians,” using the same definition as the DOI, Judicial Watch sued on the grounds that this constituted racial discrimination in violation of the Constitution. (Akina v. State of Hawaii, No. 15-322.) The Supreme Court appeared to agree when it granted an injunction in December 2015 stopping the election. Hawaii later abandoned its efforts to hold such an election.

This is a strong sign that the Supreme Court would also enjoin any other attempt to hold a racially exclusive, “Native Hawaiian” election. The DOI’s rule is nothing but an invitation to violate the Constitution. It should be repealed now under the CRA.

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FBI Database

Want to be treated like a criminal and added to an FBI database? All you have to do is buy a gun in the state of Hawaii and you will be added.

Hawaii Governor David Ige signed a law into place that will allow police to add anyone registering or buying a new gun will be added to an FBI database called “Rap Back” that monitors criminal activities of Americans who have been under investigation.

The new law treats gun owners like criminals, literally.

The Democrat from Hawaii was inspired by the sit-ins held by the Dems in the House.

This isn’t the first time that the Hawaii Governor has tired to enforce gun control. He signed a law that would limit gun ownership to people in sexual crimes and stalking.

The governor also created a law that people with mental illnesses must surrender their guns.

The truth is, if you want to be a gun owner that isn’t watched by the FBI and treated like a criminal, then you better not live in Hawaii.

The scary thing is that this might become a trend. Hawaii is the first state to add gun owners to the FBI watch list, but will it be the last?

Depending on how the law works out, we might see other states with Democrats as governors do similar things.

This law could become a new trend, and good, honest gun owners all over America will be treated like criminals.

Do you think gun owners should be added to the FBI criminal watch list? Let us know in the comments below.

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A man in Hawaii has filed a lawsuit against the Honolulu Police Department for discriminating against non-U.S. citizens with respect to gun rights.

The United Kingdom citizen, Andrew Namiki Roberts, is a legal permanent resident of the United States. When navigating the stringent gun laws of Hawaii, he ran into a bit of trouble.

First, he acquired a permit just to purchase and own rifles and shotguns. Then, he took a firearm safety course, which is required before one can be issued a permit to obtain a handgun. But when he went to get the permit, after jumping through every legal hoop, he was told that his background documentation was not complete. He would have to get a letter from the British consulate on his behalf. When his background check was denied, it also invalidated his previous permit to have rifles and shotguns and the one he had purchased from a Hawaii sports shop was seized.

Hawaii’s firearm permit allows a person to purchase a firearm, use it for hunting, or transport said firearm to specific locations like gunsmiths or shooting ranges. Hawaii law also requires firearms to be registered at a statewide level. The county police departments are in charge of handling the permits and registrations, like the DMV for guns. Last year, a ruling was made by a federal judge in Honolulu that said only granting permits to U.S. citizens was unconstitutional.

The department is hoping to circumvent the ruling by requiring those with green cards to obtain extra clearance. Roberts’ lawsuit is calling the extra documentation required “unfair” and discriminatory against permanent resident aliens. Another issue that the lawsuit takes with the arrangement is that there is no written requirement for the documentation.

Hawaii law states that an inquiry will be made into permit applicants if they are not U.S. citizens, through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System and the Immigration Enforcement databases. Roberts’ is arguing that if he has already passed all the requirements to be a permanent resident, the extra requirements are unfair. The lawsuit states that, “Mr. Roberts has the constitutional right to keep and possess firearms in his home for the purpose of self-defense,”.

What do you think? Should he have to become a citizen to own firearms? Or is the permanent residency investigation enough?

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