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After high court’s decision, gun owners line up outside HPD for permits to carry weapons

Under current Hawaii law, gun owners must keep firearms in their home but can transport them to firing ranges if they are unloaded and locked up.
Published: Jun. 23, 2022 at 5:30 PM HST|Updated: Jun. 23, 2022 at 5:32 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The ink was barely dry on a Supreme Court ruling striking down a New York gun law and expanding gun rights across the country as gun owners lined up outside HPD headquarters Thursday for permits to carry weapons.

Lawyers for gun enthusiasts say the ruling will eventually force the state and counties to issue concealed-weapons permits.

Lawmakers worry that more gun violence will follow.

Andrew Namiki Roberts and Jon Abbott, of the Hawaii Firearms Coalition, were the fourth and fifth people Thursday morning to apply for a concealed weapon permit at the Honolulu Police Department’s downtown headquarters.

Roberts says the state and counties aren’t currently issuing permits but will have to under the Supreme Court ruling.

“So we’re glad. We’re super excited,” Roberts said.

“We know that we’re going to get concealed carry permits. We know that we’re going to get open carry permits. We know that the law is going to change. Law-abiding citizens in Hawaii will be able to carry a firearm.”

But gun control advocates worry the ruling will lead to more gun deaths.

“Gun violence has gotten horrifically pandemic in this country,” said John Bickel, president of Americans for Democratic Action.

“And at this time, when gun violence and mass gun violence is going up, we somehow have the idiocy to reduce our gun laws. And from policy perspective, it doesn’t make any sense.”

Under current Hawaii law, gun owners must keep firearms in their home but can transport them to firing ranges if they are unloaded and locked up. After the Supreme Court decision, those rules are likely to be overturned.

For now, the HPD says its permitting for firearms is unchanged.

But lawyers for gun owners say that could change as early as next week.

The Supreme Court is expected rule on a separate lawsuit by Big Island resident George Young Jr. that seeks to overturn Hawaii’s restrictions on concealed weapons.

“I don’t think we can maintain the status quo,” said state Rep. Karl Rhoads.

“Unfortunately, you know, it’s like, the status quo has served us very well. And I’m afraid in this respect, we’re going to become more like continental states where murder gun murder rates are higher.”

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