Big Island Police Department sued for violating Second Amendment rights.
News Release from Hawaii Firearms Coalition, September 14, 2021
Today, September 14th, Attorneys
A couple of weeks back, we were reached out to by a big island resident who was in urgent need of assistance. In July of this year, Lance Choda had applied for a permit to acquire firearms. Instead of collecting his permit 14 days later, he was sent a denial letter.
The letter informed him that the police department had denied his permit due to a "crime of violence conviction," informing him that he had until September 15th, 2021, to dispose of all firearms and ammunition within thirty days.
Last year, Lance had got himself into a kerfuffle with his neighbor. He had got into a dispute over some noise which escalated into a yelling match. The police were called, and Lance ended up being arrested for disorderly conduct.
In January, Lance was charged and pleaded no contest to disorderly conduct and harassment over the matter. Hawaii law denies people that have been convicted of a crime of violence from owning firearms. In Lance's case, there was no violence nor threat of violence. Just some hurtful words are thrown over a fence.
With the police department giving Lance a limited window to surrender his firearms, time was of the essence. We immediately reached out to HIFICO lawyers Alan Beck and Kevin O'Grady to apprise them of his situation, and they agreed to take on his case.
Today they filed a second amendment lawsuit in the Honolulu Federal District Court saying that HPD had operated outside of Hawaii law and was Violating Lance's second amendment rights. In addition to the lawsuit, they filed a temporary restraining order against the Police department to stop them from taking away Lance's lawfully owned firearms.
With a similar case just won on Oahu, were hoping that this case (which in our opinion is even more egregious) will be over quickly, and Lance's right to bear arms will be affirmed.
If you live in Maui or Kauai counties and have a similar situation, please reach out to us, and we can see if we can help you fix it.
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UPDATE Sept 16, 2021: Great news in the Big Island lawsuit.
The Judge has agreed to block the police department form taking Mr Choda’s firearms, this is in effect until after the lawsuit is over.
PDF: Excerpt from Court Order