Hawaii suit over gun rights could be shaped by another case before US Supreme Court

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Updated: Apr. 26, 2021 at 11:57 AM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hawaii’s strict gun laws could be put to the test at the U.S. Supreme Court.

On Monday, justices agreed to hear a case from New York over the right to carry a firearm in public for self-defense. Hawaii is one of eight states with restrictive laws in place that are relevant to the case.

The review of the case comes amid a federal push to tighten gun laws under the Biden administration in light of recent mass shootings across the mainland. The court previously turned down reviewing the issue in June, prior to the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. It will now be heard in the fall.

[Read a related report: Supreme Court to take up right to carry gun for self-defense]

A similar gun rights case from Hawaii is also making its way toward the high court.

George Young, of Hilo, sued Hawaii County after being denied a license to carry a handgun in public. He said he wanted to carry the firearm for self-defense, and not being able to do so is a civil rights violation.

Young appealed the decision to reject his permit. Three federal appeals court judges later ruled in his favor, but the state asked more judges to hear the case.

That 11-judge panel on the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said “the Second Amendment does not guarantee an unfettered, general right to openly carry arms in public for individual self-defense. Accordingly, Hawai’i’s firearms-carry scheme is lawful.”

Young’s attorney told Hawaii News Now on Monday he thinks the Supreme Court will review his case, but will wait until the outcome of the New York case.

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