From HIFICO, April 28, 2021
HB891: RELATING TO ELECTRIC GUNS is on its way to the governor and had the intent of legalizing electronic weapons (such as tasers and stun guns). Now, this sounds like a great thing, BUT... Hawaii's anti-self-defense legislators did what they usually do and messed things up.
In their efforts to make tasers and stun guns as hard as possible for law-abiding people to own, they ended up banning the use of commonly used medical devices.
Legislators made a choice (in an effort to be as inclusive as possible), to define electric guns as "any portable device that is designed to discharge electric energy, charge, voltage, or current into the body" with the exception of "automatic external defibrillator used in emergency medical situations." (1)
Because they opted to include an exception in the law, this means that any other item not listed as an exception but meets the definition would legally be considered an electric gun. This is where things get bad, really bad.
There are many medical devices that are portable and designed to discharge energy into a body. Many of these are commonly used, often life-saving/changing pieces of medical equipment. These would include; Pacemakers, Cochlear implants, electrosurgery/electrocautery units, Electronic Pulp testers used by dentists during root canals, electrolysis hair removal devices used by beauticians, Non-automatic defibrillators and, Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation machines used in massage and physical therapy.
This is just a shortlist of easily recognized medical devices that are in common use in the state, and you might think that it's crazy that anyone would believe that these items could be classified as electric guns, and I would agree, but with the wording of this law, that's the reality.
Now would a doctor, dentist, or therapist be charged with a crime (a misdemeanor.") for using one of these items on a patient? Who knows? All it would take is for a patient to have a falling out with a doctor and to make a criminal complaint, and the police would have to investigate.
The bigger risk to medical professionals would be in the form of malpractice lawsuits. Should a patient face complication, injury, or death during a procedure that used a device that could be defined as an electric gun, lawyers would surely bring this up in court. A malpractice lawsuit using such a device could end up costing millions in legal and settlement fees.
Because the law has passed through the legislators and is on its way to the governor, it's too late to make changes to the wording. The only available avenue to stop this bill from becoming law would be for the governor to veto the bill.
If you are a medical professional or concerned citizen, We highly recommend that you contact the governor and ask him to veto this bill (HB891: RELATING TO ELECTRIC GUNS).
You can do so by calling 808 586-2211 OR visiting https://governor.hawaii.gov/contact-us/comments-on-legislation/
We would also request that you contact any association you are part of to make them aware of this bill.