Hawaii Gun Group Sues FBI to Obtain State ‘Rap Back’ Data

Rap Back is part of the FBI’s Next Generation Identification (NGI) system capabilities. That it is considered appropriate to use it to monitor gun owners adds a whole new dimension of concerns and potentials for abuse and denial of rights.

U.S.A. – -(Ammoland.com)- The Hawaii Firearms Coalition filed a lawsuit against the Federal Bureau of Investigation Wednesday in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, a group news release announced. The gun owner rights advocates made the complaint because they have been trying to obtain information about the state’s use of the FBI’s “Rap Back” system for monitoring criminal activity of registered firearm owners, and the Bureau has been non-responsive to their Freedom of Information Act request.

“The law authorizes people who register firearms in Hawaii to be entered in the FBI’s Rap Back service database,” the release explains. “Per the FBI, ‘The Rap Back service allows authorized agencies to receive notification of activity on individuals … thus eliminating the need for repeated background checks on a person from the same applicant agency.”

At issue is a disturbing claim:

“It was brought to Hawaii Firearms Coalition’s attention during this year’s legislative session that not one single firearms owner has been entered into the service. However, for more than two years, the state has been requiring firearm owners to sign a waiver (of their constitutional rights) and collecting the fees associated with the FBI Rap Back service.”

The state’s position is that new firearm purchases are going to require fingerprints and coerced “consent,” if you don’t you won’t get a permit, you have to pay fees and to be unenrolled, “a registrant must show documentation that all of his or her registered firearms are no longer in Hawaii, or have been sold.”

The Coalition “requested copies of all communications and policies shared between the state and the FBI regarding Rap Back and the state’s use of it for firearms owners. Additionally, they requested copies of any and all receipts for payments from the state to the FBI in relation to firearms and the Rap Back service.”

Because the FBI failed to respond to the FOIA request within the timeframe mandated by law, the Coalition through attorney Stephen Stamboulieh filed the lawsuit to force compliance. Through legal action it is attempting to verify four major points on the legality of the state’s infringements, that Hawaii’s use of the Rap Back “service” for firearms owners:

  1. Violates the FBI’s policy’s regarding the Rap Back service.
  2. Violates federal laws
  3. Infringed on the constitutional rights of firearms owners, and
  4. The FBI is denying the state’s use of the Rap Back service due to these attempted violations.

“We are pleased to assist Hawaii’s firearms owners to get to the bottom of where their money is going,” attorney Stamboulieh told AmmoLand Shooting SportsNews. “This entire premise of a state attempting to use this type of “service” from the FBI should give all gun owners concern.”

Hawaii Firearms Coalition has posted a copy of the complaint. As a necessary disclosure, this writer works closely with Stephen Stamboulieh in similar FOIA projects and lawsuits, including actions to determine State Department knowledge and involvement of Operation Fast and Furious “gunwalking,” a complaint against ATF regarding its “bump stock” ban ruling, and other projects.

About David Codrea:David Codrea

David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating/defending the RKBA and a long-time gun owner rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament. He blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” is a regularly featured contributor to Firearms News, and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.

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universal lawyer-protection, ensuring no citizen retribution for illegal acts


Straight out of Laws enacted by The Nazi’s and Communists. Diisarm the populace and leave them vulnerable to both state malfeasance and criminals.


This is frightening, how is the continuous monitoring of law abiding citizens OK? What are we becoming?

n r ringlee

This idea comes straight out of the KGB playbook. Denunciation Nation is alive and well in Hawaii. I doubt they spend this kind of time and effort tracking illegals and felons.


f the commie taqiyya-bama state

Rocky Mountain

5. Gun control violates Constitutional law and FBISIS/US Corporation has zero authority over firearms per US Constitution Bill of Rights A2 that states “shall not be infringed”.


ALCON, Here we go again….a lawsuit has to be filed AGAINST the fedgov to ….ahem….force the scum of government to comply with their own law(s) ! And no names of fedgov scum are ever mentioned nor actually named in the lawsuit. The unelected Deep Staters of fedgov will once again not be held accountable. Just some lawyer(s) will milk the “justus” system whether lawyers for plaintiff or defendant. In the meantime the common citizen cannot afford through the Amerikan “justus” system, to fight the ongoing tyranny of government whether that .gov be local, county/parish, state/commonwealth or federal tyrants. The scum… Read more »