HONOLULU (KHON2) — A few months after Hawaii passed its sensitive places law for concealed carry, a court ruling is now restricting the state and city from enforcing the rules.
According to court documents, plaintiffs filed a lawsuit against the state for enforcement of certain sensitive places rules for concealed carry in June. In August, the District Court granted the plaintiff’s motion and banned the state from enforcing restrictions for concealed carry in areas including, public parks, beaches, banks or financial institutions, and bars or restaurants serving alcohol.
“They basically made it so that every place was a sensitive place so that you couldn’t use it with your permit,” said Kevin O’Grady, plaintiff’s attorney.
The Department of the Attorney General said in a statement:
“Gun violence is an urgent issue of public health and public safety. The Department of the Attorney General believes that all of the measures adopted by the Legislature in Act 52 are constitutional. Like attorneys general from around the country, the Department profoundly disagrees with the U.S. District Court’s August 8 order, which we are vigorously challenging on appeal.”
Attorneys representing the plaintiffs in the lawsuit said they chose to challenge certain sensitive places for specific reasons.
“The areas that we chose beaches, restaurants, parks, that there was no regulation back in colonial times of being able to bar everyone from being able to carry a weapon to defend themselves,” O’Grady said.
“We don’t want to give the sense that people can just bring their firearms wherever,” said Tina Yamaki, Retail Merchants of Hawaii President. “We want to be sure that whether they’re coming to our shopping centers or store whether it’s in the parking lot or in the stores, not only are customers, but employees feel very safe there.”
The city, which also has sensitive places law similar to the state’s, posted an update on its website about how the city’s ordinance is impacted.
“It’s always find the balance between making sure that we’re keeping our communities safe, but I also want to respect the Constitution and make sure that we have our second amendment rights that are preserved,” said Val Okimoto, Honolulu City Councilmember.
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A court date for the appeal has not been set at this time.