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Man's suit over carrying gun in public is sent back to court

The 9th Circuit cites its opinion in a San Diego case in making the Hawaii ruling

By Associated Press

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 12:13 p.m. HST, Mar 23, 2014


A federal appeals court is giving a Hawaii man another chance to argue that he should be allowed to carry a gun in public — a privilege rarely given to people in the state.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion Thursday sending Christopher Baker's motion for a preliminary injunction back to District Court. Baker filed a lawsuit in 2011 against the Honolulu Police Department after he was denied a license to carry a gun in public for self-defense.

The appeals court said the lower court erred when it ruled that Baker couldn't prove Hawaii's restrictions on carrying firearms violate the Second Amendment.

Baker's attorney, Richard Holcomb, said the decision has broad ramifications for Hawaii, where state law says licenses to carry guns are only given in "exceptional" cases.

"We believe they have validated our position there's a right to carry a firearm outside the home for the purpose of self-defense," he said. "Every citizen has a right to defend themselves."

A Honolulu police spokeswoman said the department won't comment on pending litigation.

"We received the 9th Circuit ruling today (Thursday) and we are in the process of reviewing it," said city Corporation Counsel Donna Leong.

The appeals court cited its February opinion in a San Diego case where "we concluded that the Second Amendment provides a responsible, law-abiding citizen with a right to carry an operable handgun outside the home for the purpose of self-defense."

In light of that ruling, the three-judge panel said, "The district court made an error of law when it concluded that the Hawaii statutes did not implicate protected Second Amendment activity." One judge dissented, noting that Baker argued he needed a weapon to defend himself in his job as a process server, but he was no longer in that business.

The 9th Circuit's ruling means "Baker has a claim and he can challenge Hawaii's statute as being unconstitutional," said University of Hawaii law professor Kenneth Lawson. "I think if people are under the impression they don't have a right to carry a weapon … it could have an impact."

Baker's lawsuit originally named the state and Gov. Neil Abercrombie as defendants. But a judge dismissed them from the case, because even though it's a state statute, county chiefs of police make the decision to approve licenses to carry guns, said Deputy Attorney General Kendall Moser.

The 9th Circuit ruling gives the state an opportunity to intervene, and Moser said he expects the Attorney General's Office will do so.

He said it's too early to tell what impact the decision will have.

"This is a good step for the plaintiff, but we're not quite there yet."

Jennifer Sinco Kelleher, Associated Press






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Grimbold wrote:
To the police department "exceptional circumstances" to carry a gun means NEVER. It is practically an unconstitutional ban through the back door.
on March 23,2014 | 06:32AM
kanuman wrote:
"noting that Baker argued he needed a weapon to defend himself in his job as a process server, but he was no longer in that business." There you go, NRA picked up on this one and guess whose paying all the legal bills. Aloha also means good bye Mr Baker, Texas will glady let you carry your firearms, just in case you have to protect yourself from invading armies of liberals.
on March 23,2014 | 07:05AM
st1d wrote:
"We believe they have validated our position there's a right to carry a firearm outside the home for the purpose of self-defense," he said. "Every citizen has a right to defend themselves."

it is the duty of the citizen to protect himself and family from harm from other individuals.

the police have no duty to protect individuals from harm from another individual. this has been the findings of several supreme court rulings in cases where police departments themselves argued for the findings.


on March 23,2014 | 07:06AM
sailfish1 wrote:
You say "the police have no duty to protect individuals from harm from another individual". Is that true? If so, I guess everyone should have a right to carry weapons.
on March 24,2014 | 12:18AM
st1d wrote:
you can do your own search of the internet. supreme court, police, duty to protect, for starters.
on March 24,2014 | 12:29AM
Bdpapa wrote:
I've lived here all my life. Never owned a gun, and know only a handful of people who have one. These would be hunters and marksmen. Ownership is one thing, but carrying one in public opens up a lot of issues.
on March 23,2014 | 07:22AM
pandadaddy wrote:
Like lowering the crime rate? That would be a tragedy. Perhaps you're a defense attorney?
on March 23,2014 | 07:25PM
Alohapatty wrote:
Oh yeah? What's our rate of gun violence compared to other states?
on March 23,2014 | 08:42PM
residenttaxpayer wrote:
The state law gives the county police chiefs to arbitrarily decide who can carry without any uniform guide lines to approve or deny any application without any appeal process based upon solely the police chief's individual decision. This is another example of government knowing what's best for its citizens.......
on March 23,2014 | 08:08AM
false wrote:
If a citizen passes a federal background check (just like police) and takes the required safety training (just like the police) and passes the proficiency testing (just like the police) and passes the knowledge of the law test (just like the police) and passes a mental screaming (just like the police)and is photographed, fingerprinted, and registers the firearm… why shouldn't they be allowed to carry a firearm?
on March 23,2014 | 08:11AM
residenttaxpayer wrote:
The last time I checked 33 states allowed private citizens to carry concealed weapons after background checks and some type of proficency training and test...I believe hawaii's law which give the police chief sole descretion will probably be found unconstitutional...
on March 23,2014 | 08:36AM
cojef wrote:
Am hobbyist and own many handguns, shotguns and rifles.(15 totally) Actually fabricated a 45 Colt by purchasing the frame, slide, 38 Special and 45 colt barrels and parts which enable it to fire 2 different calibers. Was also a hand-loader.
on March 23,2014 | 02:30PM
aomohoa wrote:
Your point. or are you just bragging about your arsenal?
on March 23,2014 | 07:26PM
MizuInOz wrote:
I think it is the mental screaming that is holding alot of this back. Doncha think! ;) Question: If it is no longer necessary for his work, why is he still pressing for the license? I guess many people have been offended by his tactics in service of processes that he feels his life is constantly threatened while he is out in public. As an example, in Safeway or Longs or at the movie. Never can tell. If you don't have a gun, you can't kill anyone with it. And by the way, I support the right to bare arms. I wear a t-shirt most of the time. Too old to wear a singlet. ;) I think it is a good thing that people in Hawai'i aren't like folks in say Texas or Arizona where carrying is legal and in some places encouraged. We don't some bozo with a gun have it removed rom his person and then used to shoot someone. We have enough killing and crime. Please don't let this bozo carry. He even admits there is no reason now.
on March 23,2014 | 07:48PM
Bully wrote:
Eventually this person will succeed because Hawaii's law are not consistent with the constitution. I dont think its going to be a good thing for Hawaii.
on March 23,2014 | 10:04AM
kekelaward wrote:
Why not? Criminals already carry guns in public.
on March 23,2014 | 11:12AM
mayihavesumor wrote:
The 2nd Amendment states the right of citizens to "bear arms". What else could the writers of the Constitution mean except to carry around a firearm? I don't think it would be good thing to have lots of people walking around with guns. Probably a lot more accidental shootings at the very least, but it sounds like that's what the Constitution allows.
on March 23,2014 | 12:54PM
sailfish1 wrote:
During the "wild wild West" lots of people carried guns in plain sight. Is that what the constitution guarantees?
on March 24,2014 | 12:21AM
daniwitz13 wrote:
My thoughts for what it's worth is that the Constitution says that each one has a Right to bear arms. That Right is to have it, but gives no Rights to use it, without consequences for using it. A "gun" is an invention on the open market. It need not be purchased, but gained possession of though various means. It becomes an injustice for one to have it and use on the other person that does not have it, for various reasons, to his detriment. For one person to have this invention that he intends to use to "defend" himself, must pay a price for "saving" himself. What is his Life worth? Your Life? If you saved it, then pay what your Life is worth or don't use it. Also to be considered is, what is the value of the Life of the one you took, to "save" yourself? If an owner of a "gun" was to understand that he must 'pay' a price to take anothers' Life, he might not shoot at all. That it is "saving' and not "defending" oneself. Many lives could be saved. Pity
on March 23,2014 | 01:41PM
sak wrote:
Priceless!
on March 23,2014 | 02:55PM
RandolphW wrote:
By the time law enforcement, or even the private holder of a firearm, tried to think through the logic on this one, it would be far too late to have used a gun in the first place. So is it about carrying the firearm in the very first place, or firing the gun?
on March 23,2014 | 04:30PM
sailfish1 wrote:
What's the use carrying a gun if you can't fire it when you need to?
on March 24,2014 | 12:22AM
Kuihao wrote:
now I want to shoot myself
on March 24,2014 | 12:12AM
SOLID3 wrote:
Good Luck Chris, hope you win this for all to carry. Took my gun safety class from Chris and I’ve got to say he is first class in what he teaches. He does have it right in that we should be able to carry in public. All those who go against conceal carry don’t get the constitution as it was written. The police Chief is bias in his opinion because they want to be the only ones with guns on the streets, we as gun owmers are responsible citizens who have passed all the requirements to own a hand gun.I'ts not a privilege, it's our RIGHT!
on March 23,2014 | 03:13PM
Mythman wrote:
Remand to local circuit court is a joke because our local judicial system is an insiders club but we all know that don't we. What's interesting about this story is that Kenneth Lawson should have been Neil's pick for the Supreme Court vacancy based on his being an expert on the constitution. But he wasn't even considered because he isn't an expert on who you know and whose back are you going to protect when you make a ruling.
on March 23,2014 | 04:35PM
gmejk wrote:
Then there's situations that arise when EVERYONE gets to carry a gun wherever they want---like the retired police officer in the movie theater and the texting. What could have been resolved through talking it out is now taken care of with a gun. There are many many consequences with opening this door that should be seriously considered.
on March 23,2014 | 05:10PM
ehrhornp wrote:
Wingnuts want to engage in their red dawn delusions fine they bought a supreme court that overturned a 100 years of law to satisfy their corporate owners. A modest suggestion for gun owners. Full and unlimited liability on the weapons. "forget" about it and take it somewhere it is posted against and legally barred automatic $20,000 fine 2 years in jail felony conviction. No parole, no time off for any reason, no prosecution or enforcement discretion allowed. Full liability for injury and damages. Insurance coverage for any victims would be mandatory Weapon "accidentally" discharges $50,000 fine 5 years in prison Automatically. No parole, no time off for any reason, no prosecution or enforcement discretion allowed. Full liability for injury and damages. Insurance coverage for any victims would be mandatory If some one is injured in any way an extra $50,000 and 5 more years automatically No parole, no time off for any reason, no prosecution or enforcement discretion allowed. Full liability for injury and damages. Insurance coverage for any victims would be mandatory Lose control of the weapon $20,000 fine and 2 years hard time No parole, no time off for any reason, no prosecution or enforcement discretion allowed. Full liability for injury and damages. Insurance coverage for any victims would be mandatory Lose control of weapon and it is used in a crime $100,000 fine 10 years hard time. No parole, no time off for any reason, no prosecution or enforcement discretion allowed. Full liability for injury and damages. Insurance coverage for any victims would be mandatory If some one claims to be a "responsible" weapons owner they should have no problem with living with laws that reinforce the motivation to actually be responsible. How could any "responsible" weapon owners argue with these commonsense laws. Unless they are zimmerman wannabe's looking for a way to boost their frail little egos by pretending that a deadly weapon will make up for their intellectual, mental and physical shortcoming
on March 23,2014 | 09:15PM
boshio wrote:
Agreed. I very much feel that there should be a law that every gun needs to be registered by a responsible person, and that every weapon is required to have liability insurance to cover any mis-use, death, property damage, lost or stolen weapons, and that which covers the victims. Same as every registered vehical needs insurance. In some states carrying a gun in public is also a license to get away with murder, just ask Zimmerman.
on March 24,2014 | 03:31PM
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