The Hawaiian Supreme Court has sparked controversy with its recent ruling upholding a man’s gun-carry conviction. The court rejected landmark decisions from the Supreme Court of the United States, boldly stating that the state’s constitution does not protect the right to bear arms in any way. This is despite having a provision in the state constitution identical to the one in the federal constitution that protects the right to keep and bear arms.
The ruling is a direct challenge to the core holdings of the SCOTUS’s gun rights precedents, specifically the 2008 decision in District of Columbia v. Heller and the 2022 decision in New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen. The lower court’s outright rejection of the higher court’s Second Amendment jurisprudence could provoke the SCOTUS to take up the case and issue a rebuke, mirroring its actions in the 2016 case Caetano v. Massachusetts.
In Heller, the majority wrote that “there seems to be no doubt” that the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to keep and bear arms. Similarly, in Bruen, the court ruled that the Second and Fourteenth Amendments protect the right to carry a handgun for self-defense outside the home. This history-based test for gun laws to be compatible with Second Amendment protections has been called into question by the Hawaiian court.
The Hawaiian judges argued that the standard outlined in Heller and Bruen should be discarded, citing a line from a popular HBO drama. This dismissal of American history and tradition in favor of their own interpretation of the state’s pre-American history is concerning. The court stated that “the spirit of Aloha clashes with a federally-mandated lifestyle that allows citizens to walk around with deadly weapons during day-to-day activities.” This statement disregards the fundamental right to self-defense and protection of one’s family and property.
if you think people are overstating the thing about progressives not understanding the difference between tv and real life: the Hawaiian Supreme Court cited the television show ‘The Wire’ in a ruling about the second amendment https://t.co/4IqGzPQGxQ
— Maarek (@Maarblek) February 8, 2024
In addition to rejecting federalism principles and disregarding the Second Amendment’s protections, the court also ruled that the defendant did not have standing to challenge the state’s gun-carry permitting law because he had not yet applied for a permit. This ruling is concerning for law-abiding citizens who may face similar situations in the future. The court’s justification for this decision, stating that the laws do not violate the defendant’s federal constitutional rights, is concerning and opens the door for further erosion of the Second Amendment.
This ruling has caused outrage among gun rights advocates and conservatives across the nation. It undermines the individual’s right to self-defense and protection and goes against the core principles of the United States Constitution. The court’s decision to reject established Supreme Court precedent and interpret the state’s constitution in its own way sets a dangerous precedent for other states to do the same. The SCOTUS needs to take up this case and overturn the Hawaiian Supreme Court’s ruling to protect the rights and freedoms of all Americans.
Not only does this ruling affect the rights of Hawaiians, but it also has broader implications for the Second Amendment as a whole. If state courts are allowed to disregard established federal precedents and interpret the Second Amendment as they see fit, the fundamental right to keep and bear arms could be in jeopardy. It is up to the SCOTUS to ensure the protection of our rights and prevent further erosion of the Second Amendment.
“We read those words differently than the current United States Supreme Court. We hold that in Hawaiʻi there is no state constitutional right to carry a firearm in public.”
This is wild. A court in Hawaii has now declared itself to be above the United States Supreme Court. https://t.co/uiBJcvKjuu
— Hans Mahncke (@HansMahncke) February 7, 2024
The Hawaiian Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the gun-carry conviction of Christopher Wilson is a blatant disregard for the constitutional rights of American citizens. By rejecting established federal precedents and interpreting their state constitution as they see fit, they set a dangerous precedent for the erosion of the Second Amendment. The SCOTUS must protect the rights of all Americans, regardless of state lines. The Second Amendment exists to protect our right to self-defense and should not be undermined by state courts’ personal opinions.