Hawaii Supreme Court Declares Second Amendment Infringes on the ‘Spirit of Aloha’

Hawaii’s Supreme Court, in an opinion published on Wednesday, refused to follow U.S. Supreme Court precedence on gun rights, declaring “the spirit Aloha clashes with” the Second Amendment which guarantees Americans a right to bear arms.

Declaratory rulings were made in a decision that a man who was charged in 2017 with carrying a gun without a permit could still face criminal charges for this infraction despite a Supreme Court decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Bruen that ruled New York’s concealed carry application system unconstitutional.

The Court’s decision was based upon its interpretation of Article I Section 17 of Hawaii Constitution, which “mirrors” the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution.

We read these words differently than the United States Supreme Court. The Court stated at the beginning of its opinion that there was no constitutional right in Hawaii to carry a gun in public. It then went on to say that the “spirit of Aloha” clashed with the federally mandated lifestyle which allows citizens to walk around with deadly firearms during their daily activities.

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Continued:

Hawaiian history does not show a society in which armed individuals roam the island to combat the potentially deadly goals of others.

Hawai’i’s peace and tranquility have been preserved by the Government’s desire to reduce firearms violence. The right to openly carry firearms in public is detrimental to other constitutional rights.

Right to Life, Liberty, and Pursuit of Happiness includes a right to move freely in peace and safety. The laws that regulate firearms in the public space preserve order and promote these rights.

Article I, Section 17 does not grant an individual the right to bear arms. There is no constitutional right for a person to carry a gun in public as if it were aimed at self-defense.

The Court has not clarified what legal principle it is referring to when it refers to “the spirit of Aloha”.