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When you think ‘gun control,’ the states that immediately come to most people’s minds are California, New York, New Jersey and a few other usual suspects. But Hawaii takes a back seat to no one in its zeal to keep its citizens disarmed (see, for example, the state’s virtual ban on carrying guns outside the home). But yesterday, a US District Court judge struck down two laws that are clearly intended to limit or outright discourage individuals from buying and owning firearms.

Hawaii is a may-issue state that requires a permit in order to purchase a firearm. The state-issued permits have a short shelf life, expiring in 10 days. The government claimed that allowing only ten days from issuance to purchase somehow “promotes public safety.” But in their response to the lawsuit challenging the law, they didn’t demonstrate how.

As Judge J. Michael Seabright wrote . . .

[T]he Government makes no effort to explain how this promotes public safety—that is, why the law is a reasonable fit to its asserted objective. In absence of an explanation, the court’s best guess as to the Government’s reasoning is that the law ensures that individuals do not make use of a permit to acquire after they become disqualified from owning a gun. But that this promotes public safety is not a common-sense conclusion. In fact, the opposite could be true. By shortening the permit use period to reduce the likelihood that disqualifying changes occur before the applicant obtains the handgun, the law arguably increases the likelihood that individuals will already be in possession of a gun should a disqualifying change occur.12 This outcome could negatively impact public safety by increasing the probability that unqualified individuals may be in possession of guns.

The second law that was challenged requires the buyer to then appear at their local police station to present the newly-purchased firearm for inspection and registration.

You read that correctly. When you manage to get the state’s permission to buy a gun in Hawaii, you have to take it to your local cop shop to register it and let them make sure the gun you bought matches the one on the permit. Well, you did.

Regarding that requirement, the judge wrote . . .

…the Government wholly fails to demonstrate how the in-person inspection and registration requirement furthers these interests. It merely states that “ensuring that the registration information is accurate, ensuring that the firearm complies with Hawaii law, and confirming the identity of the firearm can be easily accomplished simply by bringing the firearm to the registration for inspection.”

This bald statement is not enough to meet the Government’s burden. “To survive intermediate scrutiny, the defendants must show ‘reasonable inferences based on substantial evidence’ that the statutes are substantially related to the governmental interest.” Here, the Government has provided no evidence whatsoever in support of its position.

That’s a shame.

…it is again worth noting that Hawaii is the only state in the country to require in-person inspection and registration of firearms. As in the case of the 10-day permit use period, if it were truly a matter of common sense that in-person inspection and registration promoted public safety—or that misidentification in the absence of in-person inspection and registration was a problem—one would expect additional states to maintain similar requirements. The Government has failed to show that the in-person inspection and registration requirement is reasonably tailored to a significant, substantial, or important government interest. HRS § 134-3(c)’s in-person inspection and registration requirement does not survive intermediate scrutiny.

In the end, Judge Seabright, applying intermediate scrutiny, struck down both laws. He ruled that both the 10-day expiration and the in-person registration requirement are unconstitutional violations of the Second Amendment. You can read the judge’s full ruling here.

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    • @fww

      “it ain’t paradise if yer a peon!”

      I am stealing appropriating your awesome quote.

      Thank you.

      • my paradise includes wheat thins, vaseline, ding dongs and taco sauce.
        and while israeli supermodel urine may not be paradisio, it’s hardly objectionable. it could always be raining.

      • well that depends on who’s doing the peeing and what kind of stuff you’re into.
        you don’t speak for everybody.

  1. I have to wonder why people in Hawaii follow those unconstitutional laws. My life and health trump any cr@p politicians can produce. Fortunately I live in a state that mostly respects the Constitution though we don’t have Constitutional Carry mostly due to the “Republican” Speaker of the House.

    • They follow them out of fear their lives will be ruined by persecution and prosecution taking every thing they have.

      • Because we got constantly sold out by the ruling politicians that they want to put the screws into the population. Plus,the court system is not the greatest on both on the state and federal level. The erosion of the 2A for the State started in the late 80’s. In addition, older population group keeps voting in the same people in each elections. So, it is going to take a while if anything is improve 2A situation in the State

    • Having been there multiple times and having spoken with locals, I’ve found that native born (pure blood) Hawai’ians look back upon their Polynesian ancestry in which they followed a King. Much different than our own mainland American history in which we began in the Eastern Colonies and spread out Westward. The original Hawai’ians were subjects who looked to their King for protection. Mainland Americans were Pioneers who looked to Winchester and Colt for protection.

      Fast forward to today, and most white Hawai’ians who live there tend to be the progressive type who see no need to own a gun. Funny, that…since they’re on a remote group of islands so far from the protection of the rest of the country…and 3000 miles closer to China.

      • You might as well be comparing Canadians and Europeans to Americans. Canuckistan and Europe are still in thrall to the idea of some elite taking care of them. Unfortunately, the idea has taken root in America, but, I believe, will fail.

      • You must had talk to the wrong group of Hawaiians. The ones I know that can think for themselves are leaving the State. The few that are fighting the draconian system are taking up the mantle to start getting the government back to the people.

    • okay, that’s a great tag line. especially if you live in snow country.

      Rusty – Always Carry – Chains.

      If you lived near salt water you just switch it around to “Always Carry Rusty Chains”. Or if your a Star Wars Yoda fan, you go with “Rusty Chains always carry.”

      Okay, ya…I have too much time on my hands.

    • Those who follow laws do so because they have something to lose.

      The left is dangerously close to pushing many people to the “nothing to lose” category, who aren’t on their payroll.

  2. All laws limiting oe denying 2 amendment rights are only legal because they have not been ruled constitutional.

    • For those who do not know the reference: in 1994 with the then Biden backed ban a journalist asked a senator if it was
      constitutional legally. The senator pointed out the difference between legal and constitutional and how they are not the same all the time then said “All laws limiting or denying 2nd amendment rights are only legal because they have not been ruled constitutional”

  3. Abide by the U.S. Constitution or get kicked out of the Union.

    Boy I wish we could do that. Some states would gladly accept.

  4. Dementia Joe on the ropes, chaos in the Whitehouse, Congress is pounding the pooch, the two biggest Dem governors about to get taken out, millions of new firearms owners, tens of millions of new firearms sold, billions of rounds of ammo sold, favorable rulings on 2nd rights from the courts, red states flipping the bird to the feds …

    I’m gonna crack open an expensive bottle of bourbon this weekend to celebrate, along with throwing a nice marbled ribeye on the grill.


  5. Michigan used to require a return to the department who issued the permit to purchase for inspection and registration. No longer a requirement to bring the handgun back for inspection, BUT we must return a copy of the purchase permit to the issuing agency. Now today the purchase permit system is done at the gun store. Still have to bring a copy of the RI60 form to their cop shop for registration. Private sales still require a visit to the local police dept. to obtain a purchase permit. Carry permit holder do the RI60 between buy/seller and take a copy of the RI60 to the cop shop. Michigan State Police keeps a database of all handguns sold in Michigan. Been doing it as long as I remember. 1972 is when I first used the purchase permit / registration system.

    • My city allows me to mail in the pistol purchase form. It’s all BS, but at least it’s little easier.

      The Michigan law requiring inspections was repealed only 10-12 years ago. I thought they were joking when I was first told to take my pistol into the police station.

    • Snakeman,

      Correct me if I am wrong about the legal landscape with respect to purchasing handguns in Michigan:

      If you do not have a concealed carry license and you want to purchase a handgun from a private individual (who will obviously not conduct an NICS background check), FIRST you must go to your local police department and acquire a handgun purchase/ownership license which expires in 10 days. Only then can you go and purchase a handgun from a private individual. If you fail to complete that purchase within 10 days, you are out of luck and would have to go through the process again.

      The legal situation in Michigan is dangerously close to the legal situation in Hawaii if you want to purchase a handgun. And, just a few short years ago, was nearly identical.

      • And it all started as a way to keep people like Dr. Ossian Sweet from defending themselves and their homes from racist mobs.

  6. When I think “Gun Control” I do not see states I see a long history of racism and genocide tied to Gun Control. And now I see an individual falling to his death from a cargo jet out of unspeakable fear of what would happen to him if he does not leave his home country.

    And which USA Political Party again left men, women and children to the dogs? That would be the democRat Party. That is come to be expected from the party that owns the legacy of slavery, segregation, Jim Crow, the KKK, lynching, Eugenics, Gun Control and other race based atrocities.

    Sitting around the dorm room smoking dope may work for Spaghetti-O munching pasty mouth global warming-cooling marxist wannabes but for those in the real world it ain’t working.

    Unfortunately it doesn’t end with empty cans of Spaghetti-Os when you have gun owning clowns who without any doubt own and use products made worldwide attack Canik, Sarsilmaz, etc. and those who purchase them. That’s the dictionary definition for a hypocrite. Too bad azzhat ain’t in the dictionary too. Bottom line…Do not hold your breath for such hypocrite slugs to defend your rights because they have clearly demonstrated their desire is to pick and choose who has rights.

  7. I don’t get the “only state in the union” part. Up until covid last year, I had to pay for a pistol at my FFL, then bring the paperwork to Suffolk County PD for a “purchase document”, go back to the FFL, trade the paper for the gun, and then go BACK to the police so they could examine it and add it to my permit. Thanks to covid, I can now bring a photo of the gun to the police, get my purchase document and put it on my permit, then go pick up the gun.

    At least I’m not in Nassau county where you used to have to bring your entire collection to the police every 5 years to renew your permit. Not sure if that’s still a thing.

  8. I’ll be curious to see how things change in Hawaii, if they do at all. It seems to me that there has been more than one court ruling that is simply ignored in the blue states if said ruling isn’t to the regimes liking.

  9. South Carolina. “Permit? We don’t need no stinkin’ permit to buy a pistol”. Or any other firearm for that matter.

    • Fishing the swamps in SC, Game warden ask to see fishing permit, take .38 out of back pocket so I could get to my wallet, laid it on a stump. He never flinched. That was in the 90’s. No permit for handgun, it was legal as long as hunting or fishing, on your way there or back. Back to Tx in 2000, still miss wading those creeks with light spinning gear.

  10. “Thank God for my constitutional carry second amendment sanctuary state .”

    How thankful will you be when the state legislature and governor decide to overturn “constitutional carry” and sanctuary?

    We have a strongly worded amendment to our national constitution that forbids government to create or enforce any restriction on gun possession by “the people”. And an onerous amendment process safeguarding public passion from repealing the Second Amendment. Yet, we have an overflowing abundance of gun control laws in the nation. So, now we are dependent on state legislatures to protect our unalienable right?

    • State legislation was how it was originally envisioned. The federal government was suppose to be subservient to the states and the states responsible to their citizens. Each state was suppose to be a sovereign entity able to make their own laws which were supreme over federal government and not infringe rights.

      So if its ok with u ill be thankful for now for a state that let’s me exercise my rights.

  11. “So if its ok with u ill be thankful for now for a state that let’s me exercise my rights.”

    Of course.

    But, seeing as how the States states are fast becoming mere precincts of the central committee, thankful can be astonishingly fleeting.

    You are correct about the original design of the US governing structure, which meant…the States could freely, legitimately, enact gun control laws.

    Managing expectations is an important element of politics.

  12. It would be very difficult for my constitutional carry second amendment sanctuary state to not be one. First, the state constitution would need to be changed, that is a state resident voter thing. Second, in the Supreme Court interpretation our state is doing it the way its suppose to be by it being an individual right. Going back is going to be a really hard sell in the federal courts because it can’t be justified to move away from Supreme Court decision.

  13. Like The National Party Front for Organized Crime cares? They can simply ignore The Supreme Court.

  14. Why did the judge apply intermediate scrutiny here? I thought the second amendment was always subject to strict scrutiny…

    • Not all 2A cases require strict scrutiny. Strict scrutiny is appropriate when a law “implicates the core of the Second Amendment right and severely burdens that right.” other wise intermediate scrutiny is appropriate.

      Basically; The core of the second amendment right in this case is possessing or acquiring handguns. The law did not prohibit possessing or acquiring handguns but instead only attempted to regulate the plaintiff action in relation to possessing or acquiring handguns. Additionally there was no severe burden to the right because in the plaintiffs own words they “are required to take time off work to make their firearms purchase in quick succession.” which is not a significant burden on the right because its a self-created voluntary action (it was the persons choice to buy a gun and in doing so subjected their self to the states process – the state did not make or require them take time off from work) so the right was not severely burdened.

      Thus intermediate scrutiny is appropriate because the issue is not affecting the core of the second amendment right and does not severely burden the right.

        • it affects it yes, but for this case it didn’t implicate “the core of the Second Amendment right and severely burdens that right.” – even though it is still an infringement.

          You are confusing constitution with constitution law. Yeah, so its going to be strange for people to know they are not the same thing. The constitution is a unique contract instrument called a “compact” so to support it properly in law means arguing it under contract law but instead we have constitution law which is not contract based or contract law.

          If the constitution could be argued in court in contract law no state would have any firearms laws except to prohibit criminals from having them and there would be zero infringements.

      • All of which is why the judicial fiction of “levels of scrutiny” should itself be prohibited. “Infringe” is not a word that has layers/levels of meaning. The plain meaning is “interfere”, or “burden”; not “interfere slightly”, “interfere more than slightly”. It means “interfere at all”. The founders were not ignorant of human nature, nor use of the language.

        However, the peoples’ representatives have had a coupla hundred years to discipline the Supreme Court regarding the Second Amendment, and refused…apparently to the liking of the majority of voters.

        • Complaint about the “levels of scrutiny” are one of the biggest complaints by the anti-gun lobby. They would love to see “levels of scrutiny” abolished. The reason they would love to see them abolished is because that want to argue on what is perceived and what they say rather than what actually is. Basically, “levels of scrutiny” are the “filter” and test of the logic to arrive at a decision.

          If the SCOTUS and courts did not have “levels of scrutiny” we would not have the McDonald and Heller decisions favorable to gun owners and this case in the article would have gone against the plaintiff.

          You can’t just, for example, go to the SCOTUS and say “Justices, died this year due to gun violence”, therefore guns should be heavily regulated (or outlawed)” and have that accepted as truth in context with the second because it can’t be refuted because its true that people die due to gun violence. That’s what the anti-gun lobby wants to be able to do – just present perception and what they say as the basis for their cases and move the argument into perception and what they say away from rational logical context for the intent and meaning of the second. This article case is a good example of that – Hawaii gave perception and we-say arguments that were not substantiated, the “immediate scrutiny” applied kept those from becoming defacto “truths” and we end up with a favorable decision for the plaintiff based upon sound reasoning and logic in context with the intent of the second.

  15. There is no accountability when legislators and burro-crats make laws and regulations that are later found to be an unconstitutional violation of our civil rights.

    Until We the People can sue The State for triple damages for violation our civil rights, both collectively and personally, this abuse of civil rights will continue.

  16. @Jack
    “…instead we have constitution law which is not contract based or contract law.”

    Is there a document, or SC case that commands the words of the Constitution have meaning, other than that which is apparent using the plain meaning? Am familiar with the fact that “administrative law” is not bound by the same rules of “law” as civil and criminal law. Have not seen a document that sets up “constitutional law” as being inherently ambiguous.

  17. @Jack
    “Complaint about the “levels of scrutiny are one of the biggest complaints by the anti-gun lobby.”

    The issue with levels of scrutiny is that the analysis starts from the bottom, and hopes to resolve the matter without actually ever getting to a constitutional issue. The First and Second Amendments are clear, “Congress shall make no law…”, and “…shall not be infringed.” In both cases, the clear requirement is absolute. When presented with a claim of government violation of rights, the main (only?) questions should be: “Did Congress make a law regarding the issue at hand?”; “Did the Congress create any constraint on RTKBA?”

    Taking another constitutional protection, the Fifth Amendment, “nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself,…”. Here, the word “compelled” indicates a trade, or avoidance, of something through inducement. The whole concept of “immunity from prosecution” is a violation. It is an offer of something of value (liberty/life) in exchange for testifying against oneself. And, I am informed that federal law prohibits federal prosecutors for offering something of value (liberty/life) in exchange for testimony. The question here would be, “Did the government make an offer of value in exchange for testimony?)i.e. freedom from criminal prosecution in exchange for testimony that incriminates a witness?

    Our natural, civil, constitutional and human (unalienable) rights are not predicated on government’s inability to inventively find a way around them.

    • it does get to a constitutional issue, the resulting decision is the constitutional issue. In the case of this Hawaii thing the resulting decision places the laws squarely in the unconstitutional and that was the constitutional issue – in other words the constitutional issue was if the laws were infringing constitutional or not.

      No, “levels of scrutiny” does not start at the “bottom” or the top or the middle – it stares with each point and a level of scrutiny is applied then handles each point.

      You can’t apply the filter of “Did Congress make a law regarding the issue at hand?”; “Did the Congress create any constraint on RTKBA?” to a states law. You forget the concept of sovereignty, each state is a sovereign entity. If you apply your filter to a state law the answer will always be “Congress DID NOT make a law regarding the issue at hand?”; “ Congress DID NOT create any constraint on RTKBA?”

      “Congress shall make no law…” only applies to congress, not to the states. The only restrictions in the constitution are to restrict the federal government. There is not one restriction for a state in the U.S. constitution in relation to rights in the bill of rights – yep, that’s right. It is only by the states association with the union that they agree to adopt the U.S. constitution as the founding and guiding document and thus become subject to it because the people in the state are under its protection which is why SCOTUS can make decisions concerning the constitutionality of states laws.

      This started with the 13 colonies who reserved unto them self the powers of “sovereign states” – they united and formed the union in a geographic land mass called America thus the term “The United States Of America”. Others joined this union over the years and today we have 50 “sovereign states” or just “states” for short. The federal government its self is not actually, constitutionally, a “sovereign”. Its actually the “sovereign states” which form the sovereignty of our country. Our federal government was never intended to be “sovereign”.

  18. “it does get to a constitutional issue”

    When the SC analyzes, there is always a bottom-up analysis. And….the SC has ruled that the states are constrained by the federal constitution (as in applies to the states, a concept called “incorporated”). Thus, “Congress” equates to state legislatures.

    In order for the courts (any of them) to come up with levels of scrutiny, “due process” must enter. The result is if a government (at any level) properly establishes a law violating the absolute words of the US Constitution, yet does so through “due process of law”, it is the “due process” that is evaluated for being in line with “tradition and history”. From “due process”, the analysis moves to a judicial rule that the US Constitution can be violated by government if it can prove “compelling state interest”, which is considered part of “due process”.

    If, when government creates a constraint on the Constitution, the courts were eager to make a direct evaluation, yes, the analysis would begin with, “What are the applicable words (clause, or amendment) words of the Constitution at issue?” Next would be, “Does the act of government infringe/violate those words?” The government courts begin with the presumption that government DOES have the right and power to modify the constitution through simple legislation.

    If the SC were not looking for ways to avoid direct constitutional analysis, it would not entertain “due process” (“compelling state interest”). The analysis would begin as I noted…”What are the words of the Constitution relevant to the issue; does the government action in question violate the provisions of the Constitution and Amendments?” The mere existence of “levels of scrutiny” reinforce the idea of “compelling government interest” (Note: nowhere in the Constitution, nor in the letters of the framers, does the idea of “levels of scrutiny” exist.)

    • “If the SC were not looking for ways to avoid direct constitutional analysis, it would not entertain “due process” (“compelling state interest”). ”

      “The mere existence of “levels of scrutiny” reinforce the idea of “compelling government interest” (Note: nowhere in the Constitution, nor in the letters of the framers, does the idea of “levels of scrutiny” exist.)”

      Nope, not correct. “Due Process” is a concept outside analysis for the second amendment. At its very core “due process” means “a reasonable opportunity to be heard”. There are two types:

      Procedural Due Process: Requires that when the federal government acts in a way that denies a citizen of a life, liberty, or property interest, the person must be given notice, the opportunity to be heard, and a decision by a neutral decision-maker. This is the type applied to individuals in, for example, criminal trials.

      Substantive Due Process: A concept allowing courts to protect certain fundamental rights from government interference, even if procedural protections are present or the rights are not specifically mentioned elsewhere in the U.S. Constitution. This is where your “compelling state interest” lies, it takes different forms, for example, the use of eminent domain where the government must pay fair market value for a piece of privately owned property they take for building a highway.

      Both types of “due process” are concepts outside analysis of an issue, rather, they are either procedural as in Procedural Due Process or determinate as in Substantive Due Process.

      You still miss an important point, one I made earlier about contract law vs constitutional law.

      The SC is not looking for ways to “avoid direct constitutional analysis”, they perform the analysis based upon constitutional law in which interpretation and precedence enter to affect the analysis. The constitution is a unique special contract called a “compact”. Its proper analysis using “direct analysis” (e.g. what its words say and the ‘meeting of the minds’ to determine what was intended concept such as the federalists papers) would require it to be addressed in contract law and not constitutional law.

      So why constitutional law and not contract law? This started many years ago by the framers of the constitution and the answer is really simple; Basically, the framers of the constitution, the founders of our nation, debated as to what things meant in different viewpoints and “precedence” of natural law in relation to creating the constitution, thus “constitutional law” was born as the form of law applied to the constitution.

      So yes, if SCOTUS always used direct constitutional analysis (contract law) things would be much better in relation to the second amendment and all these anti-gun arguments would be moot. But due process has nothing to do with the analysis of the second amendment. But that being said, SCOTUS has indeed applied elements of contract law concepts in second amendment cases, two such cases were McDonald and Heller and without applying that contract law concept we would not have had McDonald and Heller decided in favor of the second amendment and gun owners.

      “levels of scrutiny” have nothing to do with “compelling government interest”.

      The idea of “levels of scrutiny” exists all over the constitution, the constitution is founded on levels of scrutiny. It exists in the Natural Law foundation of the constitution.

      • “…the constitution is founded on levels of scrutiny.”

        Do you have a reference in either the Constitution, or framers’
        letters? Seems that if the original idea was “levels of scrutiny”, the first and second amendments would not use such absolute words such as “shall make no law”, or “shall not be infringed”. Those two phrases were utterly, singularly, clearly understood as absolute in the days of the founding.

        As to “due process” if the SC can find any thing wrong with the procedure of creating the law, the constitutional principle is not reached: Masterpiece Bakery. The ruling there did not even get to the theory of operating a “public accomodation”. The ruling turned not on the constitution itself, but on the intent (prejudice) exhibited by the human rights committee in Denver.

        As noted, all constitutional questions should be resolved by direct analysis of the words in the document. The plaintiff declares that a law, provision, procedure violates a specific protected right, for instance, “Congress shall make no law respecting …. the right of the people peaceably to assemble,…”

        “…make no law..” is not malleable, or subject to “reasonable”, or “common sense” restrictions. Requiring permits to assemble peaceably is a clear violation of “shall make no law”.

        Analysis should be straight forward: Does petitioner claim a violation of the First Amendment? What do the words of the First Amendment state? What is the wording of the alleged violation? Does a does a rule, law, procedure, process constraining the exercise of the right of peaceable assembly exist?

        Described above is “top down” analysis. All this falderal over precedent, history, tradition is entirely nonsense; simply a way to say the Constitution is a living document. If prior rulings fail proper analysis and must be overturned, so be it. If tens of thousands of laws, regulations, etc. are erased, so be it. The founders were not ignorant, nor short-sighted. Remember, they had no intention to “incorporate” the Constitution against the then States.

        “Precedent, history and tradition are merely stealth attacks on the Constitution. Attacks promoting judicial modification of the Constitution without the messy and unpredictable amendment process being required. Precedent, history and tradition declare that if a constitutional violation exists long enough, the constitution is thus amended (which IS a precept of contract law).

        Levels of scrutiny are, indeed, tied to “compelling interest”. Levels of scrutiny are predicated on the legal myth that there are some instances when just a little bit, or moderate bit of violation of the Constitution are, indeed, permissible. Why is this so? Because the court jurisprudence justifies such violations using “levels of scrutiny”. I.E. there are instances when the government must be allowed to restrict protected rights because it is in the interest of government to do so. And then there is the myth of “core”, or “fundamental” rights (but that is for another string). The framers found no reason to stratify our protected rights; courts just made up those categories.

        Our disagreement, or difference of opinion seems to be one of “this is how it is” vs. “this is how it should be”. Not sure that divergence can ever be resolved.

  19. The post is partially inaccurate, it states Hawaii is the only state that requires the firearm to be brought in to be verified on your permit. When I got my Nassau County New York carry permit, it was far more restrictive. I had to take the completed purchase document back to Police Headquarters, and have them verify it also. They required a time stamp from the gun store, so they knew the exact time I left the store and they required me to take a direct route back that was on a small map. I no longer live there.

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