Hawaii cannot ban guns on beaches, US judge rules


A US federal judge has blocked the state of Hawaii from enforcing a ban on firearms in a number of public areas.

  • A federal judge has blocked the state of Hawaii from enforcing a recently enacted ban on firearms on its prized beaches and in other areas including banks, bars and parks.
  • US District Judge Leslie Kobayashi on Tuesday concluded that the prohibitions likely infringed on the rights of permit-carrying gun owners to carry firearms in public.
  • The measure was challenged by three Hawaii residents and the gun rights group Hawaii Firearms Coalition.

A federal judge has blocked the state of Hawaii from enforcing a recently enacted ban on firearms on its prized beaches and in other areas including banks, bars and parks, citing last year’s landmark US Supreme Court ruling expanding gun rights.

US District Judge Leslie Kobayashi in Honolulu on Tuesday concluded that the prohibitions likely infringed on the rights of permit-carrying gun owners to carry firearms in public under the US Constitution’s Second Amendment.

Those restrictions were enacted after the conservative-majority Supreme Court in June 2022 declared for the first time that the Second Amendment’s guarantee of a person’s right to “keep and bear arms” protects an individual’s right to carry a handgun in public for self-defense.

That decision, New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen, announced a new test for assessing firearms laws, saying restrictions must be “consistent with this nation’s historical tradition of firearm regulation.”

READ | Baltimore mass shooting leaves 2 dead, children among 28 injured

The ruling prompted Hawaiian lawmakers to pass a bill that Democratic Governor Josh Green signed into law in June that sought to comply with the decision while deterring gun violence by barring firearms in “sensitive places.”

The measure was challenged by three Hawaii residents and the gun rights group Hawaii Firearms Coalition, who called the prohibitions unconstitutional.

Hawaii Attorney General Anne Lopez’s office argued the law was consistent with historical gun regulations and served a state interest in protecting public safety, including on crowded beaches where children and families congregate.

But while Kobayashi acknowledged the important role beaches play in Hawaii’s economy, “the state does not provide any evidence that this nation has a historical tradition of regulating or prohibiting the carrying of firearms on beaches.”

Kobayashi, an appointee of Democratic then-President Barack Obama, said Hawaii’s ban on guns in bars and restaurants that serve alcohol likewise failed due to the “confounding” and “curious” way the Supreme Court defined what constitutes a “historical tradition” of gun regulation.

She issued a temporary restraining order barring enforcement of those provisions. Representatives for Lopez and the plaintiffs did not respond to requests for comment.


Related Posts

Australia's crop yields could be 4% lower by 2063 if further action is not taken to address climate change.

Australia says cost of climate, disasters surging

Australia’s crop yields could be 4% lower by 2063 if further action is not taken to address climate change. Australia’s government said on Tuesday that a…

Clean energy technologies are projected to deliver a third of the emissions reductions needed by 2030, says the IEA.

Rich nations, China must accelerate race to net zero – global agency

Clean energy technologies are projected to deliver a third of the emissions reductions needed by 2030, says the IEA. Rich and developing nations alike must sharply…

In this handout videograb of footage taken and rel

Fearing ethnic cleansing, Armenians flee Karabakh after the breakaway region’s defeat by Azerbaijan

Armenians fled the long-contested¬†Nagorno-Karabakh region after Azerbaijan defeated its armed forces. Some said they feared ethnic cleansing would follow the fall of the breakaway region. Armenia relies…

(Getty)

Germany’s housing sector slumps into crisis

Hundreds of homeowners-to-be across Germany have been left in the lurch as builders go out of business. A jump in interest rates and material costs has seen…

Watchdog targets Wall Street's private WhatsApp messages

Watchdog targets Wall Street’s private WhatsApp messages

The US securities regulator has collected thousands of staff messages in a probe into Wall Street’s use of private messaging apps. At least 16 firms have disclosed…

Lego designer Samuel Tacchi from France, 34, shows a few designs at the Lego campus in Billund, Denmark.

Lego drops plans to make new blocks from used plastic bottles

Lego designer Samuel Tacchi from France, 34, shows a few designs at the Lego campus in Billund, Denmark. Lego A/S has dropped plans to use recycled…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *