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Hawaii’s Supreme Court declares the Second Amendment clashes with ‘the spirit of Aloha’ and says ‘there is no state constitutional right to carry a firearm in public’

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Hawaii’s Supreme Court declares the Second Amendment clashes with ‘the spirit of Aloha’ and says ‘there is no state constitutional right to carry a firearm in public’


Hawaii’s Supreme Court has ignored recent Supreme Court precedent in a recent case, and upheld state laws that prohibit carrying an unlicensed firearm in public.

‘The spirit of Aloha clashes with a federally-mandated lifestyle that lets citizens walk around with deadly weapons during day-to-day activities,’ Justice Todd Eddins wrote in a unanimous 5-0 decision.

In Wednesday’s ruling, the court said it disagreed with the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent rulings interpreting the right to bear arms under the Second Amendment, which is also repeated almost verbatim in Article 1, Section 17 of Hawaii’s state constitution.

‘We read those words differently than the current United States Supreme Court,’ Eddins wrote. ‘We hold that in Hawaii there is no state constitutional right to carry a firearm in public.’

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Rather, the court contended, the right was ‘militia-centric.’ 

Hawaii’s Supreme Court upheld state laws that generally prohibit carrying an unlicensed firearm in public, straying from precedent set by the U.S. Supreme Court

Michael Wilson was among the justices who stated the Second Amendment 'clashes with the spirit of Aloha

Justice Todd W. Eddins said Hawaii's Supreme Court 'read those words differently than the current United States Supreme Court'

Michael Wilson (left) and Todd W. Eddins (right) were among the justices who stated the Second Amendment ‘clashes with the spirit of Aloha

The court also reversed a lower circuit court’s dismissal of two charges filed against Paia man Christopher Wilson, 47, after he was arrested for criminal trespass while carrying an unregistered pistol.

The case against Wilson dates back to December 2017, when Flyin Hawaiian Zipline owner Duane Ting spotted men on his fenced-in property and called Maui police.

When officers arrived, Wilson said he had a weapon in his front waistband. Police lifted his shirt and found a Phoenix Arms .22 LR caliber pistol, loaded with ten rounds of .22 caliber ammunition.

Wilson said he legally purchased the gun in Florida in 2013. A records check showed that the pistol was unregistered in Hawaii, and Wilson had not obtained or applied for a permit to own a handgun.

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The County of Maui Department of the Prosecuting Attorney charged Wilson with four counts. Two of the counts, improper storage of a firearm and improper storage of ammunition, fall under Hawaii’s ‘place to keep’ laws.

The Paia man was also charged with violating permits to acquire ownership of a firearm and first degree criminal trespass.

Wilson filed to dismiss the charges twice. On the second attempt, following the 2022 ruling of New York State Rifle & Pistol Ass’n, Inc. v. Bruen, he successfully appealed and the place to keep charges were dismissed in circuit court.

Wilson claimed the place to keep laws subverted his constitutional right to protect himself in public by carrying a lethal weapon.

The justices declared there is 'no state constitutional right to carry a firearm in public'

The justices declared there is ‘no state constitutional right to carry a firearm in public’

Lisa M. Ginoza was among the five judges who issued the ruling in a unanimous decision

Justice Sabrina Shizue McKenna

The ruling was a unanimous 5-0 decision. Pictured: Judges Lisa M. Ginoza (left) and Sabrina Shizue McKenna (right)

However, the State appealed the dismissal in addition to challenging Wilson’s standing, arguing that Wilson did not bother to apply for a carry license and satisfy Hawaii’s license to carry law.

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Therefore, they argued, Wilson could not claim that his right to bear arms was impeded.

The case went to the Supreme Court, where the justices affirmed Wilson’s right to challenge the constitutionality of the place to keep laws.

‘A criminal defendant has standing to level a constitutional attack against the charged crime,’ Eddins wrote.

However, he contended, Wilson lacked the standing to challenge Hawaii’s licenses to carry law, as the State did not charge him with violating it and Wilson made no attempt to obtain a carry license.

‘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,’ Eddins wrote in the 5-0 decision.

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‘In Hawaii, there is no state constitutional right to carry a firearm in public.’

Moreover, he added: ‘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.

The court also reversed a lower circuit court's dismissal of two charges filed against Paia man Christopher Wilson, 47, after he was arrested for criminal trespass while carrying an unregistered pistol

The court also reversed a lower circuit court’s dismissal of two charges filed against Paia man Christopher Wilson, 47, after he was arrested for criminal trespass while carrying an unregistered pistol

‘The government’s interest in reducing firearms violence through reasonable weapons regulations has preserved peace and tranquility in Hawaiʻi. A free-wheeling right to carry guns in public degrades other constitutional rights.’

Laws regulating firearms in public advanced the rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, Eddins wrote.

He also criticized Bruen, writing: ‘Time-traveling to 1791 or 1868 to collar how a state regulates lethal weapons – per the Constitution’s democratic design – is a dangerous way to look at the federal constitution.’

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The Hawaii Supreme Court is made up of three appointed Democratic governors and two Republican-appointed justices.



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Hawaii

Hawaii’s Butterfly Knife Ban Will Get Full Ninth Circuit Review

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Hawaii’s Butterfly Knife Ban Will Get Full Ninth Circuit Review


Hawaii will get a second chance to argue that its ban on butterfly knives is permissible under the Second Amendment, after the Ninth Circuit agreed to rehear the case en banc Thursday.

The vote vacates a ruling that said “the possession of butterfly knives is conduct protected by the plain text of the Second Amendment” and that Hawaii failed to show the ban was consistent with the country’s historical tradition.

Chief Judge Mary H. Murguia of the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit scheduled oral arguments for the week of June 24, 2024, according to an order, with …



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Marcos sees ‘great deal of potential’ in PH-Hawaii trade

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Marcos sees ‘great deal of potential’ in PH-Hawaii trade


President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. is seeing a “great deal of potential” in trade between Hawaii and the Philippines. (File photo by WILLY KURNIAWAN / POOL / AFP)

MANILA, Philippines — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Thursday said he sees strong promise in trade between Hawaii and the Philippines.

The Filipino Chamber of Commerce of Honolulu and the Honolulu City Council trade mission met with Marcos in a courtesy call in Malacañan Palace.

“I think there is a great deal of potential there, as there are so many similarities in terms of what are needed and what needs to be done in terms of the state of Hawaii and the Philippines and in specific areas of the Philippines,” Marcos said in his speech.

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“I think we are presented with so many grand opportunities that we should, it behooves us to do our best, to try and explore those, to make those potentialities into reality,” he also said.

READ: Marcos waxes nostalgic in Hawaii

The President said that for the Philippines, trade is the way to move forward.

“We have always, we have come to a very clear principle that the only way forward in terms of the economy in the Philippines, and for that matter, for the rest of the world, is trade,” he noted.

Marcos and his family were exiled to Hawaii shortly after the 1986 People Power that overthrew his dictator father, Ferdinand Marcos Sr.

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READ: Bongbong Marcos says his family will never forget experience in Hawaii

The President has repeatedly shown affection for the Filipino community in Hawaii, saying he would never forget the kindness they’d shown to him during his family’s exile.



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County officials are seeking nominations for this year’s Outstanding Older Americans

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County officials are seeking nominations for this year’s Outstanding Older Americans


HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – Listen up, Kupuna of Maui, Kauai, and Hawaii counties!

County officials are seeking nominations for this year’s Outstanding Older Americans.

This year’s theme is “Powered By Connection.”

County officials are looking to honor one man and one woman per county for their efforts and contributions to the community.

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Nominees must be residents and 65 years of age or older.

The deadline to submit nominations for Kauai is Feb 28, Maui is March 15, and Hawaii County is March 28.

The awards will be presented in May in conjunction with Older Americans Month.

To submit for Kauai click here, Maui click here, and Hawaii County click here.

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