Five state senators in Hawaii have introduced a Senate Concurrent Resolution (see below) this week that would ask the U.S. Congress to “consider and discuss whether the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution should be repealed or amended to clarify that the right to bear arms is a collective, rather than individual, constitutional right.”
Known as SCR42, the resolution includes the following reasoning for repealing or amending the Second Amendment:
- There is considerable debate about whether the Second Amendment creates an individual or a collective right to bear arms.
- In 1939, the U.S. Supreme Court adopted a collective rights approach to the right to possess firearms in United States v. Miller, 307 U.S. 174 (1939).
- In 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court recognized an individual right to possess firearms in District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008).
- When it decided Heller, the U.S. Supreme Court “revitalized the discussion of whether the Second Amendment is a collective or individual constitutional right.”
- There have been “numerous tragic mass shootings at schools, workplaces, and public events [and so] it is necessary to repeal or amend the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution.
The five senators who introduced SCR42 are:
- Senator Stanley Chang, Senate District 9;
- Senator Karl Rhoads, Senate District 13;
- Senator Rosalyn H. Baker, Senate District 6;
- Senator Dru Mamo Kanuha, Senate District 3; and
- Senator Laura H. Thielen, Senate District 25.
This is the second time in as many years that Hawaii has introduced such a measure. In 2018, The House introduced HR167, a resolution virtually identical to SCR42. HR167 never made it out of committee.
It is unknown whether SCR42 will ultimately pass. Even if it does, one state calling for the repeal of the Second Amendment is unlikely to get much traction in Washington, D.C. Still, it is important to remain vigilant since it is clear that the anti-gun crowd will continue to push its agenda by any and every means available.
For now, the current state of the law is clear: the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to possess firearms. Let’s do everything we can to keep it that way.