Handguns on display at a gun store in May 2021
Handguns on display at a Virginia gun store in May 2021 / Stephen Gutowski

Honolulu Immediately Folds in Face of Gun-Rights Lawsuit

A Honolulu practice of denying gun rights to residents over non-criminal disorderly conduct violations was quickly felled on Monday.

A mere ten days after a lawsuit was filed, the city and county of Honolulu capitulated and signed an agreement with the plaintiffs. They agreed to no longer deny gun-purchase permits to people with mere violations instead of crimes. Plaintiffs said the case was simple and the localities knew they were on the wrong side of the law.

“The City and County of Honolulu were acting outside of what state law allows them to do,” Alan Beck, one of the plaintiffs’ lawyers, told The Reload. “I am glad that once we filed this lawsuit, the City was willing to accept that and agreed to enter into this judicially-enforceable stipulation with us.”

The agreement was entered into the United States District Court for the District of Hawaii. It came as Beck and another group of plaintiffs secured a second win in the state. A federal judge struck down two aspects of the state’s handgun purchase law.

Federal District Judge J. Michael Seabright, a Bush appointee, ruled the state’s requirement that pistol purchasers present their guns to police for inspection and its 10-day expiration for purchase permits were unconstitutional.

“The Government provides no empirical evidence or case law suggesting that a 10-day permit use period would enhance public safety,” Judge Seabright wrote in the ruling. “Indeed, as the Government conceded during oral argument, its arguments boil down to simple ‘common sense.'”

He went on to argue Hawaii also “failed to show that the in-person inspection and registration requirement is reasonably tailored to a significant, substantial, or important government interest” and, therefore, neither restriction survives even intermediate scrutiny. He said both provisions violate Hawaiians’ Second Amendment rights. He ordered they could no longer be enforced.

Beck called the restrictions “onerous and irrational.” He said they did not make Hawaiians safer despite promises from the state’s government and he’s happy they’re now gone.

“Both these laws did nothing to promote public safety and were there solely to encumber Hawaii’s firearm owners,” Beck said.

Neither Governor David Ige (D.), Attorney General Clare E. Connors (D.). nor the Honolulu Police Department responded to a request for comment.

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Created by potrace 1.16, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2019


Created by potrace 1.16, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2019

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