Guns in paradise: Ruling could undo strict Hawaii carry law

Jun 24, 2022, 9:25 PM | Updated: Jun 25, 2022, 9:40 am
Kainoa Kaku, president of the Hawaii Rifle Association, checks one of his personal firearms as he d...

Kainoa Kaku, president of the Hawaii Rifle Association, checks one of his personal firearms as he discusses the recent U.S. Supreme Court Ruling while at his home, Thursday, June, 23, 2022, in Honolulu. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)

(AP Photo/Marco Garcia)

              Joe Detillio, 26, left, and Katherine Knapp, 24, both from Albany, NY, walk in Waikiki, Thursday, June, 23, 2022 in Honolulu. In a major expansion of gun rights after a series of mass shootings, the Supreme Court said Thursday that Americans have a right to carry firearms in public for self-defense.
            
              Tom Tomimbang, managing partner at the 808 Gun Club, shows off several small handguns inside his shop, Thursday, June, 23, 2022 in Honolulu. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)
            
              Beach goers take to the waves on Waikiki Beach, Thursday, June, 23, 2022 in Honolulu. In a major expansion of gun rights after a series of mass shootings, the Supreme Court said Thursday that Americans have a right to carry firearms in public for self-defense.
            
              Two people take pictures on Waikiki Beach, Thursday, June, 23, 2022 in Honolulu. In a major expansion of gun rights after a series of mass shootings, the Supreme Court said Thursday that Americans have a right to carry firearms in public for self-defense.
            
              People walk past the Waikiki Gun Club, Thursday, June, 23, 2022 in Honolulu. In a major expansion of gun rights after a series of mass shootings, the Supreme Court said Thursday that Americans have a right to carry firearms in public for self-defense.
            
              Two people with surf boards walk on Waikiki Beach, Thursday, June, 23, 2022 in Honolulu. In a major expansion of gun rights after a series of mass shootings, the Supreme Court said Thursday that Americans have a right to carry firearms in public for self-defense.
            
              Surfboards line the Waikiki Beach, Thursday, June, 23, 2022 in Honolulu. In a major expansion of gun rights after a series of mass shootings, the Supreme Court said Thursday that Americans have a right to carry firearms in public for self-defense.
            
              Beach goers take to the waves on Waikiki Beach, Thursday, June, 23, 2022 in Honolulu. In a major expansion of gun rights after a series of mass shootings, the Supreme Court said Thursday that Americans have a right to carry firearms in public for self-defense.
            
              People walk past the Waikiki Gun Club, Thursday, June, 23, 2022 in Honolulu. In a major expansion of gun rights after a series of mass shootings, the Supreme Court said Thursday that Americans have a right to carry firearms in public for self-defense.
            
              A view of Waikiki Beach, Thursday, June, 23, 2022 in Honolulu. In a major expansion of gun rights after a series of mass shootings, the Supreme Court said Thursday that Americans have a right to carry firearms in public for self-defense.
            
              People walk past the Waikiki Gun Club, Thursday, June, 23, 2022 in Honolulu. In a major expansion of gun rights after a series of mass shootings, the Supreme Court said Thursday that Americans have a right to carry firearms in public for self-defense.
            
              Kainoa Kaku, president of the Hawaii Rifle Association, aims his handgun after drawing it from a concealed carry position, Thursday, June, 23, 2022 in Honolulu. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)
            
              Kainoa Kaku, president of the Hawaii Rifle Association, draws his handgun from a concealed carry position, Thursday, June, 23, 2022, in Honolulu. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)
            
              Kainoa Kaku, president of the Hawaii Rifle Association, demonstrates how to conceal carry a handgun that is underneath his shirt, Thursday, June, 23, 2022, in Honolulu. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)
            
              Kainoa Kaku, president of the Hawaii Rifle Association, demonstrates how to conceal carry a handgun that is underneath his shirt, Thursday, June, 23, 2022, in Honolulu. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)
            
              While overlooking several of his personal handguns, Kainoa Kaku, president of the Hawaii Rifle Association, discusses the recent U.S. Supreme Court Ruling while at his home, Thursday, June, 23, 2022, in Honolulu. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)
            
              Kainoa Kaku, president of the Hawaii Rifle Association, discusses the recent U.S. Supreme Court Ruling while at his home, Thursday, June, 23, 2022, in Honolulu. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)
            
              Kainoa Kaku, president of the Hawaii Rifle Association, checks one of his personal firearms as he discusses the recent U.S. Supreme Court Ruling while at his home, Thursday, June, 23, 2022, in Honolulu. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)
            
              Handguns are on displayed at a gun shop, Thursday, June, 23, 2022 in Honolulu. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)

HONOLULU (AP) — Megan Kau takes occasional weeklong hunting trips to the Hawaiian island of Lanai, where she enjoys watching the sunrise and hearing the distant rustle of deer and mouflon sheep in the tropical wilderness, a rifle ready at her side.

As a gun owner, she also goes to shooting ranges several times a year. Those outings are the only times the attorney and Oahu native sees others with guns in this tourist mecca where strict laws make it harder to purchase firearms and restrict carrying loaded guns in public.

Thursday’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling overturning New York’s concealed weapon law will likely change things in Hawaii, too, where it’s now highly unusual to see people carrying loaded weapons in public.

Some say the change will lead to more gun violence in a state that traditionally sees very little. In 2020, Hawaii had the nation’s lowest rate for gun deaths, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“We’re culturally accepting, we’re racially accepting,” Kau said. “But within our culture, we’re fighters. We have passion.”

That passion can boil into physical altercations typically done “up and up” — local lingo for fistfights.

“If you’re born and raised here, you get into a fistfight, you don’t expect there to be a weapon,” Kau said.

Chris Marvin, a Hawaii resident with the gun control group Everytown for Gun Safety, said road rage dustups, clashes over surf spots and other confrontations are a part of life in Hawaii and are rarely fatal. He’s worried that will change.

“When you introduce guns, it’s so often immediately death,” he said. “Guns and aloha don’t mix.”

Under current law, county police chiefs in Hawaii have the discretion to determine whether to issue a carry permit. Without such a permit, people in Hawaii are only allowed to keep firearms in the home and can transport them — unloaded and locked up — to shooting ranges, hunting areas and other limited locations such as for repairs.

The Supreme Court ruling says local governments can’t require those seeking a license to carry a gun in public to demonstrate a particular need, such as a direct threat to their safety. Hawaii and California are among states with such a requirement.

Hawaii police chiefs have issued only four carry permits in the last 22 years, said attorney Alan Beck, who represents George Young, a Big Island man suing to be able to carry a gun for self-defense.

“It’s a huge deal,” Beck said of the ruling. “Not only does it mean Mr. Young’s case will prevail, it also means the door has been opened to challenging numerous aspects of Hawaii firearms law.”

State officials were determining what effect the court’s ruling could have on Hawaii, Gov. David Ige said. However, some believe they know the ultimate outcome.

“Bottom line is, Hawaii is about to become a more dangerous place,” state Sen. Karl Rhoads said. “Hawaii will go from a place where the right to carry in public is the exception to a place where not having the right to carry on the street is an exception.”

The high court ruling does allow local governments to impose certain rules limiting who can have permits to carry and where weapons may be banned, such as parks, stadiums and other places where people gather.

Hawaii lawmakers will look at adding additional background screening, training stipulations and legislating ways to keep guns out of certain public spaces, said state Sen. Chris Lee.

There are already gun-handling training requirements for obtaining a firearm, “but carrying something in a public place is a different matter altogether,” Lee said, so he’d like to see mandated training on how to de-escalate conflicts and enhanced training for law enforcement in dealing with situations where people are armed.

He’d also like to see restrictions on bringing guns into public meetings on emotionally charged issues.

Denise Eby Konan, dean of the College of Social Sciences at the University of Hawaii at Manoa and a member of the state’s Gun Violence and Violent Crimes Commission, said guns in public places like beaches and hiking trails could affect Hawaii’s reputation as a safe tourist destination.

“I think many of our visitors are coming from countries where gun laws are quite strict,” she said.

At least one couple visiting Waikiki on Thursday said looser restrictions wouldn’t deter them from returning.

Rebecca Donahue said she and her husband have concealed carry permits where they live in Titusville, Florida. “I think Hawaii is very laid back and relaxed from what we’ve seen,” she said.

The Hawaii Tourism Authority declined to comment on the court’s ruling and any possible impact on tourism, the economic engine that drives the state’s economy.

Kainoa Kaku, president of the Hawaii Rifle Association, said the decision will help ensure law-abiding people can carry guns — “guys like me who put in a lot of time and effort into training and honing my craft so that I can defend myself and my family and even my community at large if it’s required.”

Joseph Robello, who uses a pistol and a rifle to hunt pigs, said he doesn’t expect Hawaii to turn into the Wild West.

“Most people won’t just carry to carry around, to wear it on your hip and walk around in the store to say, ‘I got a gun, and I can use it,'” he said. “That’s dumb. Ridiculous.”

___

Freelance journalist Marco Garcia contributed to this report.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

murders...
Associated Press

Renton man gets 10 years in prison in drug trafficking case

A federal judge has sentenced a Renton, Washington man to 10 years in prison for his role in a violent drug distribution ring, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Seattle.
19 hours ago
Associated Press

Saturday’s Scores

PREP FOOTBALL= WIAA Playoff= Class 4A= Semifinal= Kennedy 42, Emerald Ridge 28 Class 3A= Semifinal= Yelm 28, Bellevue 27 Class 2B= Semifinal= Napavine 49, Jenkins Jr/Sr High (Chewelah) 6 Okanogan 42, Pe Ell/Willapa Valley 14 Class 1A= Semifinal= Mount Baker 14, Nooksack Valley 13 Class 1B= Semifinal= Liberty Bell 70, Odessa 24 Neah Bay 82, […]
19 hours ago
Associated Press

Police: 1 killed, 3 shot breaking into Georgia home

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. (AP) — An 18-year-old was killed and three others were injured Friday in a shooting after they attempted to break into a DeKalb County home, police said. Officers arrived around 5 p.m. and found three people — a 23-year-old, 18-year-old and 15-year-old — who had been shot, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. All […]
19 hours ago
A crime scene is taped off at New Season Church in Nashville, Tenn., on Saturday, Nov. 26, 2022. Me...
Associated Press

Drive-by shooting injures 2 at funeral at Nashville church

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A drive-by shooting in Nashville on Saturday injured two people as they and others were walking out of church from the funeral of a woman who was fatally shot earlier this month, according to police. Metro Nashville Police Department spokesperson Don Aaron said the afternoon shooting occurred outside New Season Church, […]
19 hours ago
FILE - Nick Fuentes, far-right activist, holds a rally at the Lansing Capitol, in Lansing, Mich., N...
Associated Press

Trump faulted for dinner with white nationalist, rapper Ye

NEW YORK (AP) — Former President Donald Trump is renewing attention to his long history of turning a blind eye to bigotry after dining with a Holocaust-denying white nationalist and the rapper formerly known as Kanye West just days into his third campaign for the White House. Trump had dinner Tuesday at his Mar-a-Lago club […]
19 hours ago
Associated Press

12-year-old dies in Russian Roulette; murder charges brought

A 12-year-old boy is dead after playing Russian Roulette with peers in Jackson, Mississippi, police say. Jackson’s Deputy Police Chief Deric Hearn identified the boy as Markell Noah, according to reports by Mississippi-based WLBT-TV. Following the death officers arrested two juveniles and one adult Friday. Police say the two juveniles are being charged with murder […]
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.
Guns in paradise: Ruling could undo strict Hawaii carry law