Hawaii Supreme Court Snubs 2nd Amendment, Looks to Pre-U.S. Days in Gun Ruling


(Kim Jarrett , The Center Square) A ruling by the Hawaii Supreme Court saying “there is no state constitutional right to carry a firearm in public” drew praise from the state’s attorney general and criticism from people across the U.S.

Hawaii’s history “does not include a society where armed people move about the community to possibly combat the deadly aims of others,” the court’s 53-page ruling said.

“The spirit of Aloha clashes with a federally-mandated lifestyle that lets citizens walk around with deadly weapons during day-to-day activities,” it added.

The court’s decision was based on a case brought by Christopher Wilson, who was cited by police in 2017 on several charges after he told police he was carrying an unregistered gun, according to the ruling.

Wilson challenged the conviction, saying he was carrying the gun for self-defense.

In later filings, Wilson’s attorneys cited a 2022 U.S. Supreme Court ruling, New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen, in which the justices said carrying a firearm in public is a constitutional right.

The court’s decision upheld “the constitutionality of state ‘place to keep’ firearms laws, which generally prohibit carrying a firearm in public unless licensed to do so,” state Attorney General Anne Lopez said.

“Gun violence is a serious problem, and commonsense tools like licensing and registration have an important role to play in addressing that problem,” Lopez added. “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.”

Hawaii has aimed at stricter gun laws. Gov. Josh Green signed a bill in June that banned the carrying of concealed weapons in what are called “sensitive places.” That includes hospitals, schools and government buildings. The law went into effect on Jan. 1.

Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst criticized the court’s decision on social media.

“The ‘Spirit of Aloha’ does not give any court the ability to override our constitutional #2A rights,” Ernst tweeted. “This is absolutely disgraceful.”

Kostas Moros, an attorney with the California Rifle & Pistol Association, also dissected the bizarre ruling in a lengthy Twitter thread.

“Sounds like the Hawaii Supreme Court doesn’t even want to be a part of the United States, in this rejection of not just the Second Amendment but their culture and understanding of the Constitution,” he tweeted.