Hawaii Firearm Permits – Fisher v. Kealoha (2011)
In yesterday’s Fisher v. Kealoha (D. Haw. Apr. 19, 2011), the district court let plaintiff proceed with his Second Amendment claim, in a way that suggests plaintiff might well win. In December 1997, Kirk Fisher pled guilty to two counts of misdemeanor “harassment” of his wife (who is apparently still his wife), and was placed on probation for six months. As part of his probation, he had to surrender his guns, but after the probation was over, the court ordered that the guns be returned, so long as that was consistent with Hawaii law and federal law; and the police department did indeed return them.
But in Fall 2009, Fisher asked for a license to buy another gun — Hawaii requires such a license — but the police department said no, and indeed ordered him to dispose of his current guns. Fisher, the police department reasoned, was forbidden from possessing a gun by Haw. Rev. Stat. § 134-7 and 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(9). Hawaii law forbids gun possession by anyone who has been convicted of “any crime of violence,” including misdemeanors (Hawaii law). Federal law forbids gun possession by anyone who has been convicted of any misdemeanor that “has, as an element, the use or attempted use of physical force, or the threatened use of a deadly weapon” against a spouse, cohabitant, or child.
Read more from Eugene Volokh at the Volokh Conspiracy.