Hawaii Just Did What?

posted on February 17, 2024

The Hawaii Supreme Court recently upheld a conviction that directly goes against the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen (2022). The Hawaiian court instead cited the “spirit of Aloha” as their rationale for doing so.

“The spirit of Aloha clashes with a federally-mandated lifestyle that lets citizens walk around with deadly weapons during day-to-day activities,” reads the decision.

The state’s highest court ruled in Hawaii v. Wilson that a citizen violated state laws by carrying without a permit. It also acknowledged Bruen and the Second Amendment, which has identical text in the Hawaiian Constitution, and outwardly defied both.

“Article I, section 17 of the Hawaii Constitution mirrors the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution,” says the decision. “We read those words differently than the current United States Supreme Court. We hold that in Hawaii there is no state constitutional right to carry a firearm in public.”

The Hawaiian court went on to argue that the Bruen precedent is outdated—despite being decided less than two years ago. Hawaii v. Wilson reverses a lower court’s decision that found the defendant’s rights were violated.

“We believe it is a misplaced view to think that today’s public safety laws must look like laws passed long ago. Smoothbore, muzzle-loaded, and powder-and-ramrod muskets were not exactly useful to colonial era mass murderers. And life is a bit different now, in a nation with a lot more people, stretching to islands in the Pacific Ocean,” read the decision. “As the world turns, it makes no sense for contemporary society to pledge allegiance to the founding era’s culture, realities, laws, and understanding of the Constitution.”

As we’ve reported numerous times, the Bruen decision affirmed that our Second Amendment rights do, in fact, extend beyond our front doors. Constitutional attorney Stephen Halbrook broke down the Bruen decision for America’s 1st Freedom at the time it was decided.

Hawaii’s decision to abandon the U.S. Constitution and ignore decisions of the nation’s highest court further illustrates the need to elect representatives who will nominate judges that do not subjectively interpret the Constitution to fit an agenda.



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