Hawaii Supreme Court Defies SCOTUS Gun Rights Ruling

The Supreme Court of Hawaii ruled on Wednesday — in a unanimous decision — that “the spirit of Aloha” takes precedence over the most recent landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision enforcing the rights under the Second Amendment for all American citizens.

In State v. Wilson, Justice Todd Eddins wrote for the unanimous Hawaii Supreme Court that states “retain the authority to require” people to obtain permits before carrying a firearm in public places. The judge then made a remarkable legal argument that Hawaii does not recognize the right to carry a gun for self-defense.

Eddins acknowledged that the Hawaii Constitution “mirrors” the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution, but wrote, “We read those words differently than the current United States Supreme Court.” He added, “We hold that in Hawaii there is no state constitutional right to carry a firearm in public.”

The opinion argued that gun rights do not accord with Hawaiian culture: “The spirit of Aloha clashes with a federally-mandated lifestyle that lets citizens walk around with deadly weapons during day-to-day activities. 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.”

State v. Wilson began in December 2017 when the state arrested Hawaiian Christopher Wilson and authorities charged him with improperly carrying a firearm and ammunition. Wilson says he was carrying it for protection while hiking in West Maui. He did not register the firearm in Hawaii and he told police that he bought the gun in Florida four years earlier.

This is not the first time a state has defied the Supreme Court’s recent 6-3 Bruen decision in 2022 that upheld the Second Amendment by requiring states to maintain “shall issue” policies for firearm carry permits rather than “may issue” policies.

“California progressive politicians refuse to accept the Supreme Court’s mandate from the Bruen case and are trying every creative ploy they can imagine to get around it,” the California Rifle and Pistol Association’s president, Chuck Michel, said in a statement when a judge overturned a California law that openly defied Bruen. “The Court saw through the State’s gambit.”

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