We received a message from Andrew Namiki Roberts, the director of the Hawaii Firearms Coalition, in which he stated that the actions of the state were intentional when they trashed 700 testimonies as “spam.” The testimonies were both for and against the legislation. The committee clerk is being blamed for the trashing of the testimonies, but what he says in the video is that the Senator’s orders were not to accept testimonies from email…even though one of the official methods of sending them is email. The testimonies were not entered into the record until AFTER the first hearing on the gun bills.
An intentional act
Andrew Roberts wrote:
I’m a director for the Hawaii firearms coalition and I have the proof it was no mistake. When I spoke to the committee clerk I was wearing a body camera. We had double and triple checked that what we were doing was right, and the day before the hearing we called to ask them if they had all the testimonies.
The person I’m speaking to is the committee clerk, the person they are blaming for thinking it’s spam…
The Hawaii Firearms Coalition posted:
“Since the beginning of this Legislative session, Hawaii Firearm Coalition has been working with its members and members of the public to get them involved with the legislative process and defend their second amendment rights. Hawaii Firearms Coalition setup web pages for different firearms related bills that allowed the public to submit testimony in line with where Hawaii Firearms coalition stood on each bill. These web pages e-mailed the testimony direct to the committees that were hearing the bills. Hawaii Firearms coalition had verified with the committees, the senate clerk and the open access room that the e-mail system was a correct method of submitting these testimonies.
The Senate Public safety and military affairs committee was hearing 5 firearms related bills. SB556, SB600, SB622, SB1321 and SB1466. This hearing was for 02/07/2019. Hawaii Firearms coalition handled approximately 700 hundred e-mails for these 5 bills in both support and opposition. The day of the hearing the testimonies were made public. The 700 emails handled by the Hawaii Firearms coalition were missing from the testimony history.
Andrew Namiki Roberts, a director for the Hawaii Firearm coalition went to the capital to ask Senator Clarence Nishihara, the committee chair, what happened. (on 02/08/2019) Andrew instead spoke to the committee clerk, the person responsible for handling testimonies. The clerk stated “The committee does not allow e-mail testimonies.” That they have not done so for 2 legislative sessions and that it was under the orders of the senator that they have not been doing so… (see video above)
The senator called Andrew later that night saying that the testimonies will be added to the comity (sic) report (generated after the hearing and vote on the bills) Richard Rapoza, state Senate director of communications. Stated that the mistake was made by a clerk who believed they were spam. Every e-mail was different and included a name, e-mail and zip code for the individual submitting the testimony. Richard Rapoza’s statement is in direct conflict with what the committee clerk said to Andrew.”
The Hawaii Firearms Coalition decided the best way to prevent this from happening again was to print out every page and hand deliver them. Four of the bills are up for a second committee hearing this week. The 5th one, SB556 – a bill to notify the terrorist screening center of the FBI before a firearm can be purchased, was deferred to the next session. The Firearms coalition plans to hold a small rally at the capitol on Thursday, Feb 21.
We hope this time their voices will be heard. Silencing legal gun owners? Not if these folks can help it- they are fighting back!