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Gun control activists talk a lot about “safety.” They love the word so much, they’ve tried to entirely re-brand gun control as “gun safety.” But in reality, “gun safety” is just their latest buzzword for leaving you disarmed and helpless.

Worse, “common-sense gun safety” has become a near constant refrain from those who oppose your natural right to self-defense. But their idea of “common sense” is to claim you’re safer when it’s more difficult to defend yourself from violent criminals.

Some courts have even given in to this bizarre view of “safety.” While the Supreme Court has stood strong on firearm rights (although it has remained silent on the issue for too long), lower courts have not, often giving way when states claim their restrictions protect “public safety.”

Hawaii is one of the worst offenders against the People’s right to self-defense, with judicial approval from the federal courts that cover Hawaii, including the infamous Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. And Hawaii is now lazily invoking the gun control narrative of “gun safety” to further its infringement.

But Hawaii can’t just invoke “safety” and do whatever it wants. In 2021, two of the state’s more absurd gun restrictions—pure bureaucratic barriers with no justification—were ruled unconstitutional by the federal district court in Hawaii in the case of Yukutake v. Connors.

It was a first-round victory for Todd Yukutake, an Army veteran fighting for self-defense rights alongside Honolulu small business owner David Kikukawa. Their ongoing lawsuit is a challenge to laws requiring government-granted permits—permits that make handgun ownership difficult, if not impossible, for ordinary working people.

Now, Hawaii is trying to revive these obstacles to gun ownership, and the matter is being fought out in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

The laws at issue here are a perfect illustration of this basic anti-gun premise: government control equals safety.

After obtaining the initial “permit to acquire” a handgun, Hawaiians were required by law to make their purchase within ten days, or the permit would expire. If they cleared that hurdle, the new owners were then required to bring the weapon to the police department for in-person inspection and registration, during limited hours of operation, within five days of the purchase.

These are not true safety measures. They are immoral, unconstitutional burdens on the exercise of a natural right. If free speech or the free exercise of religion were treated similarly, subjected to arbitrary government regulation, there would be national outrage.

During initial proceedings in the federal district court, the state of Hawaii thought it could simply invoke the ambiguous rationale of “safety” to clear the low bar of intermediate scrutiny, which requires only a reasonable fit between the challenged law and an important government interest. (While this is not the proper legal test for gun rights cases, it is typical for the Ninth Circuit.)

Hawaii, however, failed to meet even this extremely low standard. The state offered no serious argument as to how its time-limited permitting and in-person registration demands would actually serve the interest of “public safety.”

But the state asserted, without evidence, that these barriers to gun ownership would enhance public safety because “such requirements provide more effective supervision and control over the sale, transfer, and possession of firearms.” During oral argument, the state said its position boiled down to “common sense.”

Here, we have a remarkably pure example of gun control ideology at work. “Supervision and control” are presented as automatically making us safer—even when the government offers no worthy argument to this effect.

Making matters worse, Hawaii insists that this premise—government control equals safety—is a matter of obvious “common sense.”

The district court in Yukutake, however, was not persuaded. It found the government had “entirely failed to demonstrate how each law effectuates its asserted interest in public safety.”

If Hawaii had better arguments, the state would have offered them. Instead, Hawaii showed its clear disrespect for the People’s natural right to self-defense by making the empty argument that residents are safer when it’s harder for them to exercise their right to defend their lives and the lives of their loved ones.

Americans across the political spectrum increasingly see the absurdity of this position. When it rules on Hawaii’s appeal in the Yukutake case, hopefully the Ninth Circuit won’t regard such nonsense as “common sense.”

 

Cody J. Wisniewski (@TheWizardofLawz) is the director of Mountain States Legal Foundation’s Center to Keep and Bear Arms. He primarily focuses on Second Amendment issues but is happy so long as he is reminding the government of its enumerated powers and constitutional restrictions.

To learn more about the Center to Keep and Bear Arms’ work and support their fight for your natural right to self-defense—from both man and tyranny—visit www.mslegal.org/2A and donate today!

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57 COMMENTS

  1. “Buzzwords”! “SAFETY,” the key word to take your guns acceptable……”INCLUSION”……….to attempt to turn your child into a confused freak! Etc. Etc.

  2. And where will pompous pasty mouth gun control activists be to help you and yours during a home invasion, murder, rape, robbery, child abduction, etc? The answer is where pompous pasty mouth gun control activists always are…NOWHERE.

  3. Well of course! The government of Hawaii is safer when the citizens don’t have rights. That’s is the based theory behind all democrat policy.

  4. Are there any Hawaiians here? If I understand correctly, Hawaii was red in its time as a territory. How did it become one-party-state blue as a state?

    • Simple many people who voted were the white elites … Turning blue when the unions asserted their power

    • There are hard-working conservative folks in Hawaii. There are also lots of freeloaders who live off of plucked fruit, poaching and government handouts. The second group has out-bred the first group. The second group also hates tourists. The second group is also more likely to get shot during their pre-dawn leisure hours.

  5. It is “common sense” for the same reason that denying CCWs in California is “common sense”: fewer guns means fewer gun crimes. Because that is the true purpose, after all, to dissuade people from buying guns because it is such a hassle. The whole rigamarole is silly. You have to find your gun, and get all of the identifying information, including make, model, caliber and serial number from the dealer, take that to the local PD to get the permit–which includes all of that information–then go back to buy the gun, then take the same gun for which the PD already has all information necessary to register it, for an “inspection.” Not even California requires a permit to purchase or a PD “inspection” to complete purchase and registration. (D.C. used to, but I don’t know if they changed that after an expose about the whole silly process and the single FFL in City Hall who could process a purchase.)

    One important clarification: although Cody provides an excellent discussion of the case, he did not note that the time limits he mentions apply only to hand guns. A rifle purchase permit is good for a whole year, if I recall correctly.

    • Ah, yes. California and ‘may issue’ CCWs. It’s now been two months since my mandatory interview with the LASD and I’ve heard absolutely nothing. Total of ten months so far since I submitted my application last year.

      But, as I’ve mentioned before, my check for the $30 application fee cleared by bank within only three days of me dropping it off at my local Sheriff station. LASD sure acts quickly when it comes to taking money, but not so much when it comes to performing the service for which that payment was rendered.

      And the wait continues…

      • In Shasta it is shall issue unless you blow the interview. Take the class before the interview, and bring your gun(s) to the interview. They issue licenses pretty quickly after that.

      • @Haz

        Thank you for the update. I am grateful that I’m following, not participating, in your travails with the idjits in Los Angeles County (I can only imagine your level of frustration). I’ve not asked and no one has volunteered the following information…just guessing that you are prohibited from obtaining a permit from a neighboring county…it HAS to be your County of Residence?

        It appears that California’s mandated timelines are only enforced when they work against the petitioner…otherwise, hurry up and wait!

        • Correct OGIM. You must be a resident of the specific County in which you apply. The interviewing Deputy required me to bring my U.S. Passport, current proof of address to show residency in L.A. County, photo I.D. (CDL), current paystub to show proof of employment (yes, you read that correctly), a letter from my church confirming my membership (yes, you read that correctly as well), evidence of my CCW class training, additional evidence of the 250 hours of training I’ve received at Front Sight, my Nevada CCW permit, and a couple other things. I was informed that my application would be processed after the interview only if I had all these items available.

          Then I was told the standard waiting period after the interview is another 90 days, but to contact the Dept after 90 days to request a status because the workload is very heavy (L.A. is the most populous County in the nation) and they won’t likely be able to make a decision on my application by that timeframe.

          Remember, the Dept’s own policy is to complete all applications fully within 90 days, and it took them a full eight months just to contact me for the interview.

        • Wait, WHAT? Proof of employment? Retirees need not apply? Unlawful. Proof of church membership? (I guess to show “good moral character.”) Nonbelievers/ nonchurch going/ Athiests need not apply? Unlawful. Nevada CCW? Irrelevant and information not required by the application, if I recall correctly, and therefore not required. Passport? What if you didn’t have one? People who don’t travel outside the country need not apply? Unlawful. Evidence of additional training? Additional training beyond the minimum 8 hour class is not required. Unlawful.

          But what are you gonna do when they’ve got you by the balls?

        • Mark,

          The topics were briefly touched upon during the telephone pre-interview (that I have an existing permit issued by another State, I serve in a volunteer security capacity at my church, I’m in a position of authority at my place of employment). Supportive documentation was added on as additional requirements during the course of the short call, and I was told that my application would be passed to the person(s) who make the final decisions only after I brought it in. Believe me, I was a bit befuddled myself at how many hoops one apparently has to jump through here.

        • Wow, @Haz, I read correctly well, IMHO.

          Did you also have to supply evidence of oral performance on said authorities?

        • Mark,

          I just went back to my original pre-interview appointment email received from LASD. This is what I was specifically instructed to bring, before the additional documentation was tacked on:

          * Valid California driver’s license or ID
          * Birth certificate or Passport
          * Utility bill such as gas, electric, water, or vehicle registration
          * Employment verification documents (ID, paystub, and employee evaluation)
          * IF BUSINESS OWNER – Business License, State Licensing (Articles of Incorporation/LLC), or a Fictitious Business Name or D.B.A, bank statements, and photos.

          These are the default standard requirements stated by LASD’s CCW Unit. If an applicant does not provide these upon arriving for the in-person interview, the interview is immediately canceled.

  6. It will be interesting to see the artificial barriers that will be erected after the SCotUS forces states like Hawaii and California to respect the right to armed self-defense in public.

    If St. Thomas is the author, I hope he has the votes for strict scrutiny, as he has seen what the Leftist Scum ™ will do to the 2A, dis-respecting it…

    • I anticipate such, and that Thomas will author a strong opinion that he has been chomping at the bit to write for a decade. Another Ninth Circuit case with a pending cert application, Young v. Hawaii, holding that there is no right to carry outside the home, should fall with that decision.

      • I’m thinking Thomas is going to write it. Thomas was the senior Justice in the majority for Dobbs. He could have written that historic decision that will be studied for decades. Instead, his passed it to Alito. I’m thinking he spread the wealth and kept NYRPA for himself, which also means it would be 5-4 with Robert’s possibly writing a more limited concurrence.

  7. Don’t expect anything good from this. Hawaii is the worst state for gun rights, and the Ninth Circus is where gun rights go to die.

    I wonder what Hawaii would be like if it wasn’t a US-hating Japanese colony.

    • From reading appellate briefs, I believe that Hawaii’s history as a gun banning territory goes back to when it became a US territory (1898), i.e., before it became a Japanese colony. Don’t know why exactly. Racist gun control imposed by the imperial–I mean territorial–authorities to keep the locals from rebelling?

  8. WHY HAWAI‘I HAS AMERICA’S LOWEST RATES OF GUN VIOLENCE

    Hawai‘i is the only state that requires all firearms to be registered—both rifles and handguns. All police departments are required to run background checks on anyone trying to purchase a gun. The law does not limit the number of guns that may be purchased at one time, but it does require all purchasers of firearms to register for a license. Buyers with a history of mental illness, drug or domestic violence convictions, certain sexual offenders, and anyone with a restraining order are disqualified.

    Put this all together, and Hawai‘i is the state with the seventh-strongest gun laws, according to grades from The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. In 2017 Guns & Ammo magazine ranked it as the 47th-worst state for gun owners, in part because it has a de facto ban on concealed carry weapons permits. The result of these regulations is that, by most measures, Hawai‘i has one of the lowest gun ownership rates in the nation. One recent study estimates that about one-quarter of households own guns, compared to a national average of 57 percent and a high of nearly 77 percent in Mississippi.

    The scholarly research on firearm policy is complex, but most studies support one conclusion: states with more guns have more gun-related deaths and violence. It is no coincidence that Alaska, which has the highest rate of gun fatalities in the United States, also has one of the highest rates of gun ownership.

    https://www.zocalopublicsquare.org/2018/07/31/hawaii-americas-lowest-rates-gun-violence/ideas/essay/

    • States with more cars have more car related deaths. States with more lakes, rivers and swimming pools have more drowning deaths. The list is endless and just as meaningless.

      Brady Campaign? Of course you fascists support gun control.

        • “It’s science.”

          Are you sure it isn’t racist sharks? 🙂

        • yeh dem ol sharks be raycist sharks alright. Day is RACIN to da place where da blood is in de water. Yup Dey be racist sharks alright

      • Comparing Hawaii (low gun ownership) with Alaska (high gun ownership) proves that when you have more guns you have more crime and homicides but this way over you head Jethro, way over your head.

        • You don’t have the education herr dacian to do anything but parrot your fascist masters propaganda.

          I’ll bet more people in Alaska die from bear attacks than do folks from hawaii.

        • Alaska has a homicide rate significantly lower than the national average. Put that in your causation correlation and smoke it.

        • Correlation is not causation.

          More firearms in circulation today than ever. Criminal activity to include murder and unjustifiable homocide is still lower than it was in the 90s. If correlation was causation then more guns have made us less murderous.

          Try again

        • dacian said ” I like to toy with peoples minds”
          I’ll never forget that comment.

        • possum,

          He’s GOT to toy with other people’s minds . . . he hasn’t got one of his own. dacian is a typical Leftist/fascist – his certainty about the rectitude of his opinions is in inverse proportion to his actual knowledge of the subject at hand. And since his knowledge base is effectively non-existent, he has VERY firm opinions about everything. And they are all dead wrong, and idiotic.

    • Hawaii’s residents have a different mindset and nearby recreational opportunities that enhance their mental health as opposed to the projects in Chicago and like cities. Has nothing to do with the rate of ownership.

      • “Hawaii’s residents have a different mindset and nearby recreational opportunities that enhance their mental health as opposed to the projects in Chicago and like cities.”

        A drive-by in Hawaii –

        “Aloha. Blam! Blam! Blam! Blam! Blam! Blam!”

        (Sorry, ex-Hawiian resident here, I couldn’t help it… 🙂 )

        • Edit –

          Should have been – “Aloha. 🙂 Blam! Blam! Blam! Blam! Blam! Blam! Aloha. 🙂 )”…

    • Hawaii has low gun violence due to A. The people who reside there and B. The people who don’t reside there. It’s primarily Asian and they have low gun crime issues to begin with. As someone who was stationed there there are plenty of guns and plenty of guns being brought in illegally and carried.

      You and this study have no idea why this is because the real reason is “racist” but you idiots can Pat yourself on the back saying; see it worked! When in reality the demographics made it so it never was an issue.

      • Let’s look at the 2020 FBI UCR. Hawaii had 41 murders total in 2020, including stabbing, strangulation, beatings, drownings, child abuse, etc. They had 254 violent crimes per 100k, which includes rape, assault, mugging, etc. Idaho also had 41 total murders in 2020, and 243 violent crimes per 100k. Idaho has some of the freest gun laws, including no permit CCW and possession by a minor if they have a parents’ note. The two states have similar population sizes, yet Idaho has lower murder and violent crime rates, despite being awash in guns. Who was better than Idaho? Vermont, Maine, and New Hampshire. Vermont and Maine are a little more restrictive than Idaho (red flag, magazine limits, private sale background checks), and New Hampshire is about equivalent. All of them have permitless carry. Logically, if Hawaii wanted to be safer, it should adopt the policies of these safer states and remove their firearms restrictions.

      • “Rational” and “dacian” is a Venn diagram that has no overlap. Likewise “educated”, “literate”, “articulate”, “logical” . . . I could go on for days, but I suspect you get the point.

  9. Funny how their citizens are manipulated on permit to buy and subsequent inspection. Tourists can bring a pistol, register it with the local police, and no further issues.

  10. The Leftist/fascist gun-grabbers are fond of saying that knowing other people are carrying “makes them ‘feel’ unsafe”. Gee, not being allowed to carry a gun makes ME ‘feel unsafe’. Why are their feelings more important than mine. dacian the stupid, if you don’t want to carry a gun, feel free not to (in fact, knowing that you DIDN’T carry a gun would make ME ‘feel’ safer!!!). I promise I will not interfere with your right NOT to keep and bear arms. In fact, in your case, I recommend it.

  11. It’s not even close to being impossible. I have guns that my Cali family can’t own.

    That’s not the procedure to own a handgun. If moving here you register guns you already own. Unless they’re not allowed here like NFA items

    1 Hunters Education card or an original Handgun Safety Training Course Affidavit
    2 buy gun and get its info
    3 apply for permit
    4 pickup permit 2 weeks later (7 day window to pickup)
    5 pickup gun (5 day window that starts when you pickup permit)
    6 register gun (2 day window that starts when you pickup gun)

    Cumbersome but definitely worth it

    • There are efforts there being made to get rid of the gun registration and no NFA bullshit.

      If we get a good ruling from the SCotUS real soon, there will be more ammunition for that fight… 🙂

    • Yeah when I PCSed the first thing I did was go register my guns and on Base as well. Please note: this is sarcasm. Shot a lot was never asked about permits or registration. But I’m also White and Military so the locals more or less leave you alone unless you are doing something really stupid.

  12. when these screaming eedjits making all the noise about my SAAAAAFETY are willing to walk alongside me everywhere I go, unarmed like they demand I be, perhaps then they might have some input about what is “safe” right here and now. Until they walk in MY shoes they cannot tell ME what is/is not safe.

    Its not about safety. Its about YOU do what WE tell you to do. ANd nohting more

  13. An interesting posting, however….

    I seriously doubt this: “If free speech or the free exercise of religion were treated similarly, subjected to arbitrary government regulation, there would be national outrage.”

    Religious organizations were overall silent when “safety” from Covid resulted in government dictate that gathering for religious purposes was illegal, and punishable. The only further infringement on religious freedom would be to ban it outright. And the nation slept.

    A more suitable comparison would be the SC ruling that abortion matters were the sole perview of the individual states.

  14. I questioned the brightly colored holsters I’ve been seeing online, the patriot versions have been sedate enought for OC but they’d be obvious in a brilliantly neon selection.

    But this works. Match the holster to the shirt if possible. I could see a gun shirt maker offering a skin to cling on a black kydex. Gun shirts for $89 deserve some kind of incentive. Even a swatch of fabric and you supply the spray contact adhesive would be nice.

    Of course, pattern matching would be nice for the “mine’s better than yours” crowd.

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