Judge Michael Seabright recently overturned a Hawaii law which made it difficult for immigrants in the state to obtain a permit to own/possess a fire arm. This news broke amidst stories of similar rulings against similar laws in other regions of the country. The case which was discussed last month (September 2014) involved Steve Fotoudis, an Australian citizen who permanently resides in Honolulu. The local and state government denied Mr. Fotoudis a fire arm permit when he applied for it through the Honolulu Police Department in spite of the fact that he was a former competitive shooter back in his home country. Mr. Fotoudis possesses an extensive amount of training in firearm use and safety. Following the denial, he sued the state and lost since the Hawaiian gun control laws only allow U.S. citizens to obtain such a permit. This ruling was afterwards deemed unconstitutional by federal judge Michael Seabright. Judge Seabright ruled that denying Steve Fotoudis this right only due to his non-citizen status was a violation of the equal protection clause of the American Constitution. Our post today covers this case in which a Federal Judge ruled that Hawaiian gun control laws are unconstitutional.
This ruling serves as yet another win in a series of battles for gun rights activists such as the Second Amendment Foundation. The Second Amendment Foundation campaigns tirelessly to prevent such malpractices of the law from taking place across the country. The Second Amendment Foundation works to politically strengthen gun owners’ rights in various states across the nation. Their usual activity involves writing numerous, open letters to local governments in each problematic state, urging them to improve their local legislation. They also point out the unconstitutional character of certain gun control measures. If you recall, we recently covered their past work in the state of Utah. However, this recent Hawaiian court ruling can definitely be awarded to them as well. Allan Gottlieb, the founder of the foundation, said that the recent federal ruling strengthens not only the rights of residents such as Steve Fotoudis but the rights of American citizens all over this country.
Generally speaking, attorneys of gun control groups argue that while a certain state’s gun control law are not very constitutional, these laws are necessary to prevent crime. Many left leaning states argue that, in the case of non-citizen residents (or immigrants), it is next to impossible to perform full backgrounds check to ensure they won’t commit crime with a firearm. Multiple rulings around the country have ended in favor of gun rights lately. New Mexico and Utah serve as just two examples. Now, with the Hawaiian gun control laws being overturned as well, the individual’s rights and the constitution are strengthened beyond the local state area, says Allan Gottlieb.
The firearm lobbyist Second Amendment Foundation found previous success in promoting their agenda through the states of Washington, Nebraska and Massachusetts. Similar trials are currently being undertaken in these states. The recent Hawaiian ruling appears to be good news for us freedom lovers. However, the ruling may still not be upheld in the state long term. The local government can take the liberty to not properly use the federal ruling and to continue applying the old Hawaiian gun control laws as they existed previously. Of course, another trial would then ensue. This is still a possibility since not all local governments choose to remain compliant with federal rulings. We often see this in places that experience a strong public reaction against these rulings.
Still, we feel rather optimistic about the prospect of the anti-gun control rulings in Hawaii. If public feeling serves as an accurate indicator of what a government will decide to do about a ruling (such as the one issued by Judge Michael Seabright), then the odds remain in the favor of respecting the Federal ruling since the Hawaiian population is not as biased towards gun control as some other American states. Remember, the victory of last month was one not only for Steve Fotoudis or Allan Gottlieb or the Second Amendment Foundation, but for maintaining civil liberties and rights throughout the nation in general. Keep fighting the good fight!
If you live in one of the Hawaiian islands and are interested in becoming a gun smith, check out these schools closest to you: