The right to bear arms is protected in the United States.
This is a fact.
But these days, it feels as if that right is slowly being stripped away. The Left continuously rallies to restrict everything from basic weapons to the very bullets used with them, doing everything they can to prevent honest Americans from fulfilling their Second Amendment rights.
We saw this full force recently in Hawaii, where regulatory changes essentially resulted in a “de facto ban” on carrying weapons (even if licensed). Now, gun activists have filed an injunction with the U.S. District Court in an effort to restore freedom and justice.
- The new motion was officially filed on Thursday, April 11th, by the Hawaii Rifle Association (HRA) and the National Rifle Association (NRA). It seeks to further the impact of a lawsuit (Livingston v. Ballard) filed against Honolulu Police chief Susan Ballard and Hawaii Attorney General Clare Connors.
- In Hawaii, current legislation states that gun owners may only carry weapons in “urgent” or “exceptional” situations. However, the law does little to explain exactly what this means, leaving it open to interpretation instead.
- In fact, the state’s laws are so restrictive, many are calling it a “de facto ban.” Chris W. Cox, executive director of the NRA’s Legislative Action group, explains. “The law in Hawaii is so restrictive that not a single person has been issued a permit since 2013,” he says. “It amounts to a prohibition on carrying a firearm, and thatʻs unconstitutional.”
- Livingston v. Ballard seeks to overturn the subjective legislation, labeling it unconstitutional and punitive. It asks the courts to intervene, either overturning the law completely or altering it to make it more fair. If it succeeds, it will be a significant win for Hawaiians — but getting an answer could take months or even years.
- Thursday’s newest motion asks the District Court to restore Hawaiians’ Second Amendment rights via an immediate injunction against unfairly subjective carry laws and punitive permit regulations. Hawaiians would once again be permitted to carry licensed guns and ammunition in nearly all locations — and they wouldn’t have to prove the situation was “urgent” or “exceptional.”
- While the District Court cannot overturn the law completely, it can suspend enforcement of the associated regulations. Gun owners would instantly be protected from unfair fines for exercising their right to carry under federal law.
- Why does this matter so much? Well, think of it this way: how likely is it that you’ll be able to predict exactly when an active shooter event will happen? How about a robbery or a violent attack on the streets? Those of us who exercise Second Amendment rights know that the best defense against violent criminals is a responsible gun owner who knows how to shoot.
- This isn’t the first time gun advocates have attempted to overturn Hawaii’s incredibly restrictive laws. Just last year, a Ninth Circuit judge ruled in favor of a complainant George Young after he accused the law of punishing law-abiding citizens. While the state has since appealed, it set a new precedent.
- Honolulu Police chief Susan Ballard seems to be a significant part of the problem. As chief, she is directly responsible for issuing carry permits, and she’s been stonewalling since 2013. In fact, the Honolulu Police Commission even condemned her refusal to approve permits in her annual review for 2018, calling it “risky.”
Thursday’s motion also comes close on the heels of another even more restrictive proposed regulation, SB 600, which makes it illegal to import a firearm into Hawaii if you are under the age of 21. SB 600 has already passed the House in Hawaii.