ONLINE FIRST: Attorney argues Hawaii law is a ban on carrying guns

HONOLULU — A challenge to Hawaii’s strict gun laws was back before a federal appeals court Thursday, where an attorney representing the state tried to defend a law that allowed officials to deny George Young a permit to carry a loaded gun in public. Young’s attorney, Alan Beck, said the law is a de-facto ban on guns outside the home. Young wants to carry a gun for self-defense and says that not being able to do so violates his rights. His 2012 lawsuit was dismissed, with a judge siding with officials who said the Second Amendment only applied to guns kept in homes. It was Young’s third lawsuit seeking a carry permit to be dismissed. He appealed. Three federal appeals court judges later ruled in his favor but the state asked for a fuller panel of judges to hear the case. Hawaii County hasn’t issued a carry permit in 20 years, Young’s attorney, Alan Beck, argued. “We do not take lightly the problem of gun violence, which the State of Hawaii ‘has understandably sought to fight,’” Judge Diarmuid O’Scannlain wrote in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals’ 2-1 ruling in 2018. “But, for better or for worse, the Second Amendment does protect a right to carry a firearm in public for self-defense.” If the ruling stands, it could lead to more guns in public in the few Western states under 9th Circuit jurisdiction where they are currently restricted. O’Scannlain was among the 11 randomly selected judges who heard […]

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