“When it comes to firearms laws, Hawaii has some of the most stringent statutes in the country,” civilbeat.com reports, and not without reason. “Residents who want to enjoy their right to bear arms legally need to comply with a lengthy checklist of state-specific prerequisites and guidelines — and that’s on top of federal gun laws. But incidents like the recent shooting spree that killed one and seriously injured two others raises the question: Have Hawaii’s strict gun laws help nurture an active underground firearms market?” For that answer we turn to the agency that knows exactly how to create an active underground firearms market: the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (and Really Big Fires) . . .
Probably not, says Jordan Lowe, resident Agent-in-Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Hawaii, the federal law enforcement agency that investigates illegal firearms use and trafficking . . .
Lowe says he doesn’t think Hawaii’s strict gun laws are exacerbating the state’s underground weapons trade. According to Lowe, Hawaii’s firearms black market probably isn’t any more high-octane than those in states like Arizona and Alaska, where gun laws are much more lenient.
The fact that most of illegal guns recovered by police were once legally registered are another indication that strict state gun provisions probably haven’t had much of a bearing on the magnitude of the black market, Lowe said.
“There’s illegal firearms trafficking in every state,” said Lowe. “There’s obviously a market for it everywhere. If there’s a demand, there’s going to be a market.”
It’s rare that a federal agency with no reason to live makes such a compelling and clear-cut case for its dissolution. Strange times.