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Aiea man gets 2nd chance to make case for toting gun in public

By Jennifer Sinco Kelleher

Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 12:56 p.m. HST, Mar 21, 2014

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

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 and we are in the process of reviewing it," said Honolulu 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 criminal 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."

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GoldenRule wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on March 20,2014 | 02:32PM
copperwire9 wrote:
And I hope that the NRA shrivels up and floats away. Any organization that seems to think that the Constitution is comprised of only one amendment - the 2nd - doesn't deserve any respect.
on March 20,2014 | 02:45PM
Kalaheo1 wrote:
If the ACLU defended the 2nd amendment as fiercely as it does the rest of the amendments, there wouldn't be a need for the the NRA.
on March 21,2014 | 01:57AM
ellinaskyrt wrote:
Here's what Chris Baker looks like. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P2THk3u2D40
on March 21,2014 | 08:40AM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
Hottie of the Week, Emi Sklar....is the best I've seen so far. Outstanding. ;)
on March 20,2014 | 03:21PM
Morimoto wrote:
I think you need to see an optometrist.
on March 20,2014 | 04:06PM
ponowai wrote:
Yah Emi deserves the title hottie of the week, can't say that for all of um.
on March 20,2014 | 04:17PM
PCWarrior wrote:
Yeah she was asking for your number desperado.
on March 20,2014 | 04:28PM
kekelaward wrote:
This story is about guns, but not that kind.
on March 20,2014 | 04:54PM
konag43 wrote:
we don't want gun toting people walking around honolulu who does he think he is. look at the mainland with their liberal gun laws.. he is probably from the mainland and like all mainlanders want to change hawaii the way they want it to be not how we want it to be.
on March 20,2014 | 03:54PM
Morimoto wrote:
Typical knee jerk reaction. First off, not all of the mainland has liberal gun policies, secondly studies are inconclusive as to whether liberal gun laws contribute or are even a factor regarding crime rates, thirdly you certainly don't speak for all Hawaii residents just like this guys doesn't represent the entire mainland.
on March 20,2014 | 04:13PM
kekelaward wrote:
Bad news. Criminals are doing that as we speak.
on March 20,2014 | 04:50PM
eoe wrote:
We have one of the lowest gun crime rates in the country. So sorry, that dog don't hunt.
on March 20,2014 | 05:49PM
hawaiikone wrote:
Due to ridgid gun laws. Maybe that's why we're so high above the national average in property crimes...
on March 20,2014 | 08:10PM
pcman wrote:
IRT eoe. But we have one of the largest property crime rates, including bank robbery, car jacking and burglary. Many show weapons or say they have guns. Such criminals need to be threatened that the person or organization they try to hit will have a potential to shoot back. That would be sooo cool.
on March 20,2014 | 09:21PM
livinginhawaii wrote:
So does Tuscon Arizona where everyone can carry a firearm. Oh yeah they also have one of the lowest crime rates in the country for virtually every type of crime. I believe we have one of the highest knife crime rates too - why are we not banning those things?
on March 21,2014 | 08:50AM
blkdrgn wrote:
Nobody is going to be gun toting like you believe. Stop believing movies. This is about concealed carry which is hidden from view. Only licensed and trained people will be allowed and this is after a background check. And BTW, he is not changing the law. Hawaii already has a law that legally allows the citizens to conceal carry. They just not issuing it and this is what it is about.
on March 21,2014 | 09:03AM
ponowai wrote:
Hey Baker, you can carry a gun all you want just pack your bags and move to a state that allows it legally.
on March 20,2014 | 04:12PM
ellinaskyrt wrote:
Yes, please.
on March 21,2014 | 08:36AM
blkdrgn wrote:
Um, we are in a State that allows us to conceal carry legally. The Police just doesn't want to issue them. Last I checked it was less than 10 people who have the CCW license and most of them are connected to the system or high profile. That is what this is about. So if you don't have connections or rich, good luck protecting yourself.
on March 21,2014 | 08:57AM
Barefootie wrote:
The Wild, Wild West died out, but it seems that there still are fools out there who want to bring it back into fashion, when it was never in fashion! Unless this person can come up with a serously persuasive arguement to carry a concealed firearm in the State of Hawaii; he already had one shot at arguing for a concealed arms license and was denied. Carrying a concealed firearm, is not a constitutional guarantee or right; it only promulgates the notion that 'guns make people safe, when in actuality, they do not make anyone safer, when carrying a concealed weapon, it just raises the chances of something going seriously wrong!
on March 20,2014 | 07:43PM
blkdrgn wrote:
Then why do the Police have guns? Why not pass a law to have them carry batons like Japan. Sounds silly? Give me a good reason why Police should carry and not citizens? BTW, CCW licensed holders are also not Wild, Wild West. They are licensed and trained along with a background check.
on March 21,2014 | 09:36AM
Big C wrote:
If Mr. Baker wants to carry a gun in public, then he should move to a state that allows it. With more individual's legally carrying guns, there will be more gun thief, thus the end result will be more illegal guns on the streets. Keep Hawaii Gun Laws as it is. However the C&C and State should provide more gun ranges!
on March 21,2014 | 07:23AM
HD36 wrote:
What are the chances : You'll be around a mass shooting incident, that someone with a deadly weapon will attack you in public, that someone much bigger, younger, stronger will start a fight and pummell you to death,; that a gang will attack you, or any other possibiltiy where a gun is the only way to defend your life or the life of someone? Very small right now. What's the chance that someone that has a concealed weapons permit will shoot someone by accident? Very small also. Why do you buy catastrophic insurance? Just in case.
on March 21,2014 | 07:47AM
blkdrgn wrote:
Do you even read the local news? Do you ever think about dying in a car wreck? Small chance you will so why do you wear your seatbelt? Now what if the Government told you that only special people can wear seatbelts and you cannot? I was never a victim of violence and I hope I never will. However it is my Right to be able to defend myself, my family, my friends, and strangers if need be. People are not created equal. They could be old, small women or men, etc. There are people that are not physically capable of defending themselves by a younger and/or bigger opponent(s). Why do you think MMA or boxing has weight categories? A firearm is called an equalizer. Something they can use defend themselves vs. a close range knife which BTW is legal to carry.
on March 21,2014 | 09:28AM
ellinaskyrt wrote:
Bad analogy. A seat belt is a protective, non-aggressive device.
on March 21,2014 | 10:53AM
blkdrgn wrote:
Can you not use a car to kill someone? Of course you can just like a gun and also like a gun/car, it will not automatically kill anyone without you controlling it. What makes you not drive your car and run people over? What makes you not purchase a gun and go on a killing rampage? The answer is you are not crazy. Crazy people will do crazy things no matter what laws you make.
on March 21,2014 | 02:20PM
Anonymous wrote:
Do what you gotta do to protect your love ones !! Sure hate to try something on a person who may be armed !!
on March 21,2014 | 08:45AM
pakaeboi wrote:
yeah baby ... SLAVES DON'T NEED NO GUNS !!!!
on March 21,2014 | 09:00AM
saveparadise wrote:
Neither do sheeple. They just bend over and give the crooks whatever they want.
on March 21,2014 | 09:33AM
blkdrgn wrote:
FYI, Hawaii IS a State that legally allows you to conceal carry a firearm. The Police is just not issuing them unless it is an "exceptional" case. So unless you are connected to the system or rich, you ain't getting one. Only they are qualified to protect themselves while the rest of us are defenseless. Just ask anyone who was a victim of violence, robbery, burgulary, murdered (whoops, they can't speak anymore), etc. if they wished they had a way to protect themselves instead of being a victim. Nobody ever thinks about being a victim but it could happen to you one day. Just read the news daily.
on March 21,2014 | 09:14AM
blkdrgn wrote:
The link provided shows a log of the armed crimes in Hawaii. Not every event is listed as a lot are not in the news. https://2ahawaii.com/index.php?topic=842.0
on March 21,2014 | 09:42AM
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