HONOLULU (KHON2) — Recent violent crimes involving teenagers with guns are raising concerns in the community. Some are wondering how they were able to get a hold of them.
The Honolulu Police Department said it is looking into how two 19-year-old suspects acquired handguns in two separate homicide cases.
Hawaii law requires people to be at least 21-years-old to purchase a gun.
Honolulu’s Prosecuting Attorney Steven Alm said there are only so many ways people get a hold of firearms illegally.
“That’s one of the things we’re going to be looking at, at all of these cases, to find out did they purchase it from somebody else?” Alm said. “Was it the parent’s? Was it a relative? Was it stolen from somewhere? We’re going to try to look at each because for each one of these cases we’re working with the police department.”
In the last three years, the Honolulu Police Department has gotten 378 reports of stolen guns, 44 reports just this year.
Senator Lynn DeCoite also emphasizes the need for more gun safety education. She said guns are commonly used on neighbor islands for hunting, and it is up to gun owners to be responsible with gun handling.
DeCoite said, “For us to make sure that if the firearms do get on the streets, and they have not been locked up properly. That those that own those firearms should be held accountable.”
A shooting early Friday at the Tantalus lookout left an 18-year-old man dead, while 20-year-old Marqus I. McNeil was killed in Waikiki on Saturday.
Representative Patrick Branco said outlawing the possession of ghost guns was a loophole that needed to be closed in order to prosecute those caught with unregistered firearms. Ghost guns are unserialized and untraceable firearms that can be bought online. Possession of them became illegal at the start of the year.
Branco said, “It’s been in effect for three months. I have spoken to some of our law enforcement officers, and they have shared that now this gives them the ability to confiscate the guns. That actually prosecute these cases.”
A 19-year-old Nainoa Damon was charged with murder for the Tantalus shooting, HPD confirmed his parent is a police department employee and has ceased regular contact with Damon prior to the shooting. Police are still looking for the passenger in Damon’s Car.