Federal Judge Strikes Down Draconian Hawaii Handgun Purchase Requirements

Hawaii Gov. David Ige, an anti-gun Democrat. (Photo: Facebook)

A federal judge in Hawaii struck down this week two of the state’s most draconian handgun purchase requirements.

Judge Michael Seabright ruled that the laws violate the Second Amendment rights of Hawaiians because “the Government has entirely failed to demonstrate how each law effectuates its asserted interest in public safety.”

“My co-counsel Stephen Stamboulieh and I are pleased with the outcome,” Alan Beck, one of the plaintiff’s lawyers, told GunsAmerica. “We believe that the court came to the correct legal conclusion based upon existing case law. The two challenged laws do nothing to promote public safety and do nothing other than act as a burden to lawful firearm ownership.”

The first law challenged in the suit requires handgun owners to purchase a handgun within 10 days of receiving a permit to purchase that handgun. In Hawaii, residents must apply for a permit for each separate handgun. The second law forces residents to present their handguns to be inspected by law enforcement within five days of acquiring the firearm.

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Both laws require residents to physically visit police stations multiple times, and those stations are only open during limited business hours.

The plaintiffs alleged that both laws infringe on the Second Amendment right to bear arms because “people who wish to own a firearm… must take time off work to complete the lengthy application process.”

The judge agreed. Seabright argued that the laws fail the “intermediate scrutiny” test because the state could not prove that either law contributes to public safety.

“The Government does not show that the legislature considered any evidence—let alone substantial evidence—prior to enacting the law,” Seabright says. “The Government provides no empirical evidence or case law suggesting that a 10-day permit use period would enhance public safety. Indeed, as the Government conceded during oral argument, its arguments boil down to simple ‘common sense.’”

SEE ALSO: Hawaii Expands Gun Registration, Bans ‘Ghost Guns’

Hawaii state attorneys also failed to prove that the police inspection requirement protects public safety.

“The Government wholly fails to demonstrate how the in-person inspection and registration requirement furthers these interests,” Seabright writes. “It has not shown that inaccurate registration was a problem affecting public safety (or even a problem at all) prior to enactment of the 2020 in-person inspection and registration requirement, nor has it provided any studies, examples from other jurisdictions, or any other type of evidence suggesting that an in-person inspection and registration requirement would ameliorate such a problem.”

The state can either appeal the ruling in the 9th Circuit or accept it. Beck told us it will be several months before they make that decision.

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About the author: Jordan Michaels has been reviewing firearm-related products for over six years and enjoying them for much longer. With family in Canada, he’s seen first hand how quickly the right to self-defense can be stripped from law-abiding citizens. He escaped that statist paradise at a young age, married a sixth-generation Texan, and currently lives in Tyler. Got a hot tip? Send him an email at jordan@gunsamerica.com.

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  • Boss August 20, 2021, 7:51 am

    Well the Taliban just took over Kabul, and the rest of the country btw! The first thing they did was take all the guns from the people. They did what the demorats are trying to do to us. They went to each home and said ‘give us your guns and your young daughters or we will kill you all’.
    Makes you feel right at home don’t it.

  • Jesse Tiede August 19, 2021, 2:24 pm

    Why can’t these Liberal Progressive Socialist Democrats understand the term, “shall not be infringed…”? Well, I suspect it has something to do with nobody having guns but those in power, under their regimens. Kind of like what the Khmer Rouge, Pol Pot, Stalin, Mao, Hitler, Himmler, and hundreds of other fascists’, communist dictators, and such have done to ensure there was nobody with guns to resist their version of One World Government…

  • Robert Banks August 19, 2021, 1:20 pm

    Shouldn’t the state only have five days to appeal? Only fair.

  • Vincent Brady August 19, 2021, 10:40 am

    Making good guys and families defenseless doesn’t make bad guys harmless.

  • Dr Motown August 19, 2021, 8:01 am

    Now the state will appeal it, the law will be “temporarily” reinstated, and it’ll take YEARS to wind through the appellate process……death by a thousand cuts with these anti-gun libtards

    • Clark Kent August 19, 2021, 2:12 pm

      You meant to say ‘anti gun federal courts’.

      • Jesse Tiede August 19, 2021, 2:24 pm

        Same thing, isn’t it?

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