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:
- Violates the FBI's policy's regarding the Rap Back service.
- Violates federal laws
- Infringed on the constitutional rights of firearms owners, and
- 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 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.