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Of the numerous challenges to unconstitutional laws across the United States in a post NYSRPA v. Bruen world, National Association for Gun Rights v. Lopez in Hawaii is amongst ’em. NAGR v. Lopez is currently being heard in the United States District Court for the District of Hawaii. The details of the case revolve around Hawaii’s prohibition on the possession of magazines over ten rounds and so-called “assault pistols.”

NAGR, generally known for their efforts as lobbyists, have been launching more lawsuits challenging gun control laws in recent years. The aspect of this case that’s rather unique is the choice of attorney Hawaii’s Attorney General has tapped to defend the state’s statute.

Arguing the case for Hawaii is an attorney associated with Bloomberg-funded Everytown Law.

The complaint was originally filed on September 6, 2022 as National Association for Gun Rights v. Shikada. On March 21, 2023 a pro hac vice motion was filed for attorney William J. Taylor, Jr. requesting that the court admit a lawyer not licensed to practice law in a given jurisdiction for this. With all the unconstitutional gun control laws that Hawaii has, one would think that they’d have their own legal team that’s competent and ready to defend their regulations.

Who is William J. Taylor? Everytown’s page reveals the following . . .

As Deputy Director, Second Amendment Litigation at Everytown Law, Bill supports state attorneys general and city attorneys in Second Amendment cases, helps manage Everytown’s amicus practice, represents municipalities defending their gun laws in court, and speaks publicly at law schools and in other settings about the Second Amendment and the future of gun litigation.

Taylor’s CV is impressive and his bio notes that he’s a former Assistant Attorney General from New York. The page boasts a win that Taylor got for the Empire State in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Cuomo in which a district court upheld the law banning semi-automatic rifles and standard capacity magazines.

The pro hac vice motion states Taylor’s explanation for the application . . .

In January 2020, I and my co-counsel, attorneys at the law firm Kramer, Levin, Naftalis & Frankel LLP, applied for pro hac vice admission to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California in Jones v. Becerra, No. 3:19-cv-01226, for the purpose of moving for leave to file an amicus curiae brief on behalf of Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund. The district court denied the applications for failure to designate local counsel with an office located within the district. We reapplied for pro hac vice admission. The court then denied all motions for leave to file an amicus brief in the case, including Everytown’s motion, and in connection with that denial, denied our pro hac vice applications, which the court also noted were incomplete. In light of the denial of leave to participate as an amicus curiae, we did not resubmit our pro hac vice applications. Since this denial of pro hac vice admission, I have continued to apply for and, without exception, gain admission to the bars of multiple federal courts.

On behalf of Everytown, Taylor has filed amicus briefs in a number of cases over the years. Some of the more high profile include . . .

  • NYSRPA v. The City of New York, Supreme Court of the United States, case 18-280: New York CIty’s handgun transportation prohibition laws. Filed August 12, 2019
  • Young v. Hawaii, United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, case 12-17808: Hawaii’s prohibition on “open carry” in the state. Filed June 4, 2020
  • National Rifle Association v. Swearingen, United State District Court for the Northern District of Florida, Civil Action No. 4:18-cv-137- v. MW-MAF: Florida’s prohibition on the sale of firearms to those under the age of 21. Filed September 10, 2020
  • Antonyuk v. Hochul, United States District Court for the Northern District of New York, Civil Action No. 1:22-cv-0986-GTS-CFH: New York’s post NYSRPA v. Bruen response law limiting carry etc. Filed October 18, 2022

In addition to the Antonyuk case, Taylor also filed a brief for Everytown on the 18th of October, 2022, in the semi-related Goldstein v. Hochul case in the Southern District of New York.

I reached out to Dudley Brown, the President of the National Association for Gun Rights. Brown and I chatted a bit about the situation in Hawaii, and he too found the state’s representation selection peculiar.

I was shocked when the Hawaii Attorney General’s office deputized an Anytown for Gun Control staff attorney to serve as their direct representative. This NYC attorney came with all the Bloomberg talking points.

When asked about so-called “assault weapons” and similar cases and trying to read the tea leaaves here, Brown said . . . 

The federal judge asked which cases had already done a deep dive on the assault weapon and magazine ban issues, to which NAGR attorney Barry Arrington replied that the Benitez California ruling was due any day now, which would surely be a comprehensive ruling. That panicked the Everytown attorney – everyone knows Benitez is almost surely going to eviscerate gun-banners’ arguments.

It’s interesting, to say the least, that the state of Hawaii is utilizing an attorney from a known anti-civil rights organization to carry their gun controlling water here. Is this a big “a ha” moment for the ruling class in the Aloha State?

Hawaii has been handed defeat after defeat when it comes to the draconian limits they’ve put on Second Amendment rights. Is this their last-ditch effort to try and salvage some control that they can continue to exert over their citizens?

A sidebar commentary — this opens the door concerning ethical considerations on a philosophical level. Considering groups like NAGR, the National Rifle Association, the Second Amendment Foundation, et.al. are funded by residents of Hawaii. And those same Hawaii residents who donate to gun rights orgs are having their tax dollars used by the state to argue for preserving civil rights violations in court.

National Association for Gun Rights v. Lopez is likely to put another crack in Hawaii’s crumbling wall of gun control laws. NAGR most recently submitted to the court nine pages listing the number of other cases dealing with similar prohibitions throughout the country.

As mentioned by Brown, another Benitez opinion on the topic will be handed down soon and is likely to deliver another blow to the gun-controllers’ agenda. NAGR is currently waiting for an order and opinion on their motion for a preliminary injunction blocking enforcement of the law, which was argued on April 7, 2023.

Stay tuned.

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32 COMMENTS

  1. Why are you surprised, or maybe you aren’t. The Bloomberg Communist Traitors are actively working for the destruction of the entire Constitution. So far they are losing but they continue to throw money and people at the bulwarks.

      • He was not capitalist, he was cronyist and statist. Since WWII when he jumped right in bed with the Not Zs he had been jumping in bed with every big government statist or politician who has the power to pass laws and regulations favorable to his business.

        Gaming the system does not make one a capitalist.

        • Pirate,

          “He was not a capitalist, he was a cronyist and statist . . .”

          The same could be said for many (most?) billionaires. The number of people who could achieve that level of “success” without bribery, grift, or government sanction, is minimal. The only reason I begrudge them their money is that . . . a whole bunch of it is MY money. The government needs to go back to being King Log, and stop (incompetently) trying to be King Stork.

        • “Since WWII when he jumped right in bed with the Not Zs“

          You know, Bloomberg was three years old when Germany surrendered.

          Well go ahead, enjoy your delusion!

        • soros, gates, zuckerberg, bloomberg and more. They bought the left and converted it to fascism.

          It’s sad to think that thanks to them the conservatives and gop are now left of the fascists like dacian and miner.

          What an upside down world we live in.

        • “You know, Bloomberg was three years old when Germany surrendered.”

          All three year olds are left wing and like left wing’ers they want what they want and don’t care who their whining and crying and temper tantrums affects.

  2. What’s going on with the Benitez ruling? Wasn’t that expected last month?? I’m waiting with baited breath. It seemed a foregone conclusion, but no matter which way he goes, it’s going to make headlines.

    That ruling is going to be important to all of us on the far west coast of Nazi Germany.

    • “What’s going on with the Benitez ruling?”

      Mark Smith of the ‘Four Boxes Diner’ YouTube channel addressed that a few days ago.

      In it, he speculated it will happen soon, but hasn’t yet as a way to impact other cases in the lawsuit pipeline in a more positive way for us.

      Patience, grasshopper… {The sound of a large Asian gong}

  3. A little off topic, but bear with me. Yesterday, I learned that a teenager up the street a ways was a victim of an assault vehicle, and is hospitalized in critical condition. The driver, by the way, who was on both drugs and alcohol, didn’t fare as well. Also, no one in the vehicle was wearing seatbelts, and vehicle was speeding when it went off the road and rolled.
    Why do I say it was an assault vehicle? Well, it was black and must have had the sinister power to make an otherwise rational person become a homicidal/ suicidal maniac…. how else can something like this happen?

    • If a person wants to wear a seat belt that should be up to them. It’s not like in every wreck a flying head kills an innocent bystander.
      Buckle up or get a ticket. It’s a never ending power play.

      • The choice of wearing a seatbelt is gone in newer vehicles unless you can sniff out the bells and whistles and cut the power to them. The old days of the bells going off for 30 seconds and then going quiet are gone. My new car will sound the bell as long as the car is running if you don’t put on the seatbelt.

        • Another consideration–most vehicles nowadays will disable airbags if a malfunction in the restraint system is detected, or if the seat occupant sensor detects an person heavier than 35 lbs (some variability there) but the belt is not buckled.

        • I’ve got a seat belt buckle cut from another car.
          Do seatbelts really save lives, maybe, maybe not. If I’d have had my seat belt on I would have drowned when I flipped my truck in the river.

        • find the screaming mosquito and wring its neck. Then if you want to you can give it a decent burial.

  4. Since Hawaii and Benitez in California fall under the 9th this could wipe out their entire case. I am going to hope that it all gets thrown out along with the California gun extortion errr I mean roster.

    • No. A district court decision is not binding on any other court, including other district courts. Persuasive yes, binding no. Moreover, there is little doubt that the State will appeal any decision by Judge Benitez to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. As all here are likely aware, the Ninth Circuit en banc panel is where favorable gun rights decisions go to die; even when the three judge panel decision is favorable to the plaintiffs. the en banc panel has an unblemished record in reversing all favorable decisions. We are still waiting to see what that Court will do after the Bruen decision, and the reversals of several cases from the Ninth with directions to reconsider. One of those cases was Young v. Hawaii, where the Ninth ruled that there was no right to bear arms away from one’s property, a decision that crushed open carry after it had already ruled in Peruta that there was no right to a CCW. Young was remanded to the trial court, and apparently Mr. Young was issued a carry license, resolving the case.

    • My reply has disappeared while awaiting moderation. The short and sweet is that Judge Benitez’s decision will only be persuasive, not binding, and will undoubtedly be appealed with a stay issued.

  5. Every defendant in every civil and criminal case has a right to be defended by counsel of his own choosing. So it makes sense for Hawaii to select counsel from a huge NY law firm that has extensive experience litigating these issues, as opposed to Hawaii’s AG, who has next to none.

  6. He doesn’t exactly have a stellar history of victories in this arena. The ones that are still pending are ALL likely to go against him, simply on the basis of Heller/Bruen. He is a reliable anti-gun shill, and like most lawyers, he’s a whore. Unfortunately for the Leftist/fascist hoplophobes, he’s an incompetent whore. He failed to learn the most crucial lesson of law school – never believe your own bullshit.

    He is a committed partisan to his cause, that I will grant him. So is MajorLiar . . . look how much good that does him.

    The Leftist/fascists will do whatever they can to pack SCOTUS, and they might even succeed. It would take a Leftist/fascist insurrection overturning the independence of SCOTUS to change this; the language and history of the 2A are undeniable. But they may accomplish that.

    Bring it, bitches.

  7. The left can’t define a woman…there is no way they will be able to define an “assault weapon”.

    • Don’t forget, one of the more famous lines in SCOTUS jurisprudence is “I know it when I see it.” Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

    • zerofoo,

      Of course they will . . . they’ll define them exactly the way they “define” the word woman – whatever our narrative requires it to mean at the time we sue the word. Or, as Humpty Dumpty said in “Through the Looking Glass”, “When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.”

      Don’t fall prey to the sleight-of-hand, they INTENTIONALLY obfuscate the meaning of words. Having precise meanings for words makes it more difficult to lie. Since they are generally very stupid people, they can’t even lie creatively, so they have to pervert language to make their incompetence less obvious.

  8. It’s my concern, what concerns me , and this is germaine, it’s my concern that if, if , it’s my concern that if the hawaiians get to many gunms theyll have to put outriggers on their island to keep it from capsizing

  9. why the pic of a gun with the British flag over it ?
    thought they hired a British company to represent them in court

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