Hawaii became the first state in the nation to enact legislation requiring gun owners to be entered into an FBI database.
The measure, signed into law on Friday by Democratic Gov. David Ige, will automatically notify police if an island resident is arrested anywhere in the country through what is known as the “Rap Back” system.
Fox News reports that the database is already in place in the FBI and used to keep track of people in “positions of trust” such as schoolteachers or bus drivers. Hawaii becomes the first state to use the system to keep track of all gun owners.
Critics says that gun owners should not have to be entered into a database simply for exercising their constitutional right to bear arms.
The National Rifle Association and the Hawaii Rifle Association opposed the legislation.
— NRA (@NRA) June 24, 2016
“This is an extremely dangerous bill. Exercising a constitutional right is not inherently suspicious,” Amy Hunter of the National Rifle Association said in May. “Hawaii will now be treating firearms as suspect and subject to constant monitoring.”
“I don’t like the idea of us being entered into a database. It basically tells us that they know where the guns are, they can go grab them” Jerry Ilo, a firearm and hunting instructor for the state, told the Associated Press last month. “We get the feeling that Big Brother is watching us.”
The law was one of three gun control measures Ige signed on Friday. State law now also bars those convicted of stalking or sexual assault from gun ownership and gives the police the authority to seize firearms from any deemed disqualified due to mental illness.
State Sen. Will Espero, the Democrat who introduced the FBI database registration requirement for gun owners, hopes it will be a model for other states.