It is long established law that United States residents who are not U.S. citizens enjoy the same Constitutional protections as U.S. citizens, with minor exceptions, under the equal protections clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Several recent cases have reaffirmed that precedent. Voting is specifically limited to Citizens in the Constitution. A permanent resident of Hawaii, Andrew Namiki Roberts, is suing the Honolulu Police Department for denying him the right to own a handgun for self defense.
Honolulu resident Andrew Namiki Roberts, who was born in England, was given a permit to acquire rifles and shotguns, which must first be obtained before purchasing one. He then took a firearms safety course, which is required to obtain a permit for a handgun, according to his lawsuit. But when he tried to get a handgun permit, he was told his background check was deemed incomplete and that he needed a letter from the British consulate clearing his background.
His lawyer, Richard Holcomb, said the department couldn’t produce written policy about requiring such documentation, but even if it could, it’s an unfair requirement. “They can’t discriminate against permanent resident aliens,” he said.
To add additional injury, the department seized his legally acquired shotgun:
The department also revoked his previously issued permit that allowed him to purchase a shotgun and then seized the weapon he bought from Sports Authority, the lawsuit said.
In the case of Steve Fotoudis vs City and County of Hawaii(pdf) in 2014, a federal judge ruled that permanent resident aliens have the same rights to acquire, keep, and use firearms as do United States citizens. From the decision:
The undisputed facts establish that Fotoudis, as a lawful permanent resident alien of the United States (and resident of Hawaii), was denied the opportunity to apply for a permit to acquire firearms solely because of his alienage.3 This classification violates the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution. HRS § 134-2(d) is thus unconstitutional as-applied to Fotoudis (and other lawful permanent resident aliens), and Defendants are therefore permanently enjoined from denying Fotoudis the opportunity (1) to apply for a permit to acquire firearms, and (2) to obtain such a permit, if he otherwise meets the qualifications of state law, as specifically set forth in the Conclusion of this Order.4
The decision states, in the conclusion:
(b) evaluate in the normal course, with no more or less scrutiny than would be applied to a citizen applicant, Fotoudis’ application and background to determine his fitness and qualifications to acquire firearms lawfully;
This is likely to be another defeat for the civilian disarmers entrenched in the Hawaii and Honolulu governments.
As we have seen with other disarmist governments in the District of Columbia and Chicago, they fight against the constitutional rights of their residents with continual small changes of law, claiming that each change is new law that must be fought out in the courts. It is a tactic used to delay the free exercise of Constitutional right. In the case in Hawaii, it is not even a statute or a written regulation. It is just another hurdle that was hastily erected on the spot by the Honolulu Police Department.
Perhaps, at some point, a judge will cease to be amused by these heavy handed tactics.
©2015 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.