Hawaii Supreme Court Rejects Major Second Amendment Rulings in New Gun-Carry Decision
by Stephen Gutowski, The Reload, Feb 7, 2024
...The Hawaii judges argued that standard should be tossed out, citing a line from an HBO drama.
“As the world turns, it makes no sense for contemporary society to pledge allegiance to the founding era’s culture, realities, laws, and understanding of the Constitution. ‘The thing about the old days, they the old days.’ The Wire: Home Rooms (HBO television broadcast Sept. 24, 2006) (Season Four, Episode Three).”
Instead of American history, the Hawaii court looked at the island’s pre-American history for guidance on the protections provided by its state constitution.
“We reject Wilson’s constitutional challenges,” the court wrote. “Conventional interpretive modalities and Hawaiʻi’s historical tradition of firearm regulation rule out an individual right to keep and bear arms under the Hawaiʻi Constitution.”
The judges concluded Hawaii’s unique spirit overrode SCOTUS’s view that its citizens are entitled to gun rights.
“The spirit of Aloha clashes with a federally-mandated lifestyle that lets citizens walk around with deadly weapons during day-to-day activities,” the Hawaiian Supreme Court wrote. “The history of the Hawaiian Islands does not include a society where armed people move about the community to possibly combat the deadly aims of others.”
(IQ Test: Are you laughing really, really hard?)
However, the Hawaiian court also went further and found the carry ban did not violate Wilson’s federal gun rights either.
“Bruen snubs federalism principles. Still, the United States Supreme Court does not strip states of all sovereignty to pass traditional police power laws designed to protect people,” the court wrote. “Wilson has standing to challenge HRS § 134-25(a) and § 134-27(a). But those laws do not violate his federal constitutional rights.”
The court also ruled Wilson had no standing to challenge the state’s gun-carry permitting law because he had not applied for a permit, despite the case stemming from a time before the Bruen ruling when Hawaii did not issue permits to regular civilians….
read … Hawaii Supreme Court Rejects Major Second Amendment Rulings in New Gun-Carry Decision
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ATTORNEY GENERAL LOPEZ HAILS HAWAI’I SUPREME COURT DECISION UPHOLDING CONSTITUTIONALITY OF “PLACE TO KEEP” FIREARMS LAWS
News Release from Hawaii Attorney General, January 7, 2024
HONOLULU – Attorney General Anne Lopez today praised the Hawaiʻi Supreme Court for its decision to uphold the constitutionality of state “place to keep” firearms laws, which generally prohibit carrying a firearm in public unless licensed to do so.
In a unanimous opinion authored by Justice Todd Eddins in State v. Wilson, the Court reaffirmed that under the Second Amendment, “States retain the authority to require that individuals have a license before carrying firearms in public.” Moreover, the court explained that because the defendant in this litigation “made no attempt to get a license, he cannot claim the law’s application procedures are unconstitutional as applied to him.”
The Hawaiʻi Supreme Court also rejected the suggestion that the Hawaiʻi Constitution independently bars the state of Hawaiʻi from enacting and enforcing important gun-safety legislation at the state level. The court explained that “the Hawaiʻi Constitution does not afford a right to carry firearms in public places for self defense.” The court noted that the words of the Hawaiʻi Constitution confer a right to “keep and bear arms” in the context of a “well-regulated militia.” This language—read in light of Hawaiʻi’s long history of protective firearms laws—excludes an individual right to carry deadly weapons in public under the Hawaiʻi Constitution.
“This is a landmark decision that affirms the constitutionality of crucial gun-safety legislation,” said Attorney General Lopez. “Gun violence is a serious problem, and commonsense tools like licensing and registration have an important role to play in addressing that problem. More broadly, Justice Eddins’ thoughtful and scholarly opinion for the court provides an important reminder about the crucial role that state courts play in our federal system.”
“We congratulate our friends and partners at the Department of the Prosecuting Attorney for the County of Maui for their work on this important case,” said Attorney General Lopez.
The case is State of Hawaiʻi v. Wilson, SCAP-22-0000561. A copy of the Hawaiʻi Supreme Court opinion can be found here.
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LO: Hawaii Supreme Court Achieves a Higher Caliber of Juris-Stupid – Law Officer
HIFICO: Hawaii Supreme Court says Aloha Spirit is a valid reason to ban arms.
FOX: Hawaii court says 'Spirit Of Aloha' supersedes Constitution, Second Amendment | Fox News
NW: Hawaii Rejects Second Amendment Interpretation in Landmark Decision (newsweek.com)
BI: Hawaii's Supreme Court Quotes 'the Wire' in an Anti-Firearm Ruling (businessinsider.com)
F: Hawaii Court Claims ‘Spirit Of Aloha’ Overrides Constitution (thefederalist.com)