A gun rights group in Hawaii is filing an ethics complaint after a clerk for a Senate committee trashed 700 gun rights testimonies regarding 5 bills of gun control measures up before the legislature. The clerk reportedly thought all 700 testimonies were “spam” or “orphaned” emails. Seven hundred. Mistake or intentional?
Hawaii is an anti-gun state. The gun rights advocates say that the mishandled testimony was a violation of their free speech.
“People were upset. These people had gone through the process of submitting testimony. Some of them pretty lengthy.”
Andrew Namiki Roberts, Hawaii Firearms Coalition
Hawaii News Now reported,
Wearing a body camera, Roberts went to state Sen. Clarence Nishihara’s office, the Public Safety chair, and demanded answers from the committee clerk.
Nishihara had no comment, but the communications director for the Senate acknowledged it was a mistake.
“When the clerk saw that, he thought they were all spam or orphan emails so he just ignored them. That was a mistake. He shouldn’t have done that,” said Richard Rapoza, state Senate director of communications.
Rapoza says the state Capitol prefers to get testimony for scheduled bills through the Capitol website so they can be sorted electronically. Using committee emails is discouraged, but it’s still OK.
According to the committee, the mishandled testimony will be added to the proper place, and they are “glad” someone brought this problem to their attention so they could add it. But is this how the clerk decided to silence the gun rights advocates?
Just note: emailing the testimony actually preserved it. If they had used the Capitol website in Honolulu, there may not have been a copy preserved. Maybe they were thinking ahead?
Tom Knighton at Bearing Arms stated,
I have no proof, but this just reeks of someone in that office deciding that gun rights activists in the state didn’t deserve to be treated appropriately. I find it very hard to believe that some 700 people providing testimony to lawmakers emailed their testimony with titles promising free cruises or anything that would have justified marking them as spam.
It’s never a good choice to “ignore” gun owners, no matter what state they are from. Just sayin’.