Honolulu, Hawaii – -(AmmoLand.com)- On August 4, 2021 attorney Alan Beck filed a lawsuit against the city of Honolulu regarding the city’s history of ignoring state law. The case Roa, et al v. City and County of Honolulu involved plaintiffs Peter Roa and Randall Frankliln. In the initial complaint filed against Honolulu, the following statements were made concerning state law versus practices in Honolulu:
(3) Disorderly conduct is a petty misdemeanor if it is the defendant’s intention to cause substantial harm or serious inconvenience, or if the defendant persists in disorderly conduct after reasonable warning or request to desist. Otherwise disorderly conduct is a violation.
An offense defined by this Code or by any other statute of this State constitutes a violation if it is so designated in this Code or in the law defining the offense or if no other sentence than a fine, or fine and forfeiture or other civil penalty, is authorized upon conviction or if it is defined by a statute other than this Code which provides that the offense shall not constitute a crime. A violation does not constitute a crime, and conviction of a violation shall not give rise to any civil disability based on conviction of a criminal offense.
Honolulu denied Roa and Franklin the ability to own firearms based on prior violations which were non-violent in nature. The statute in the state of Hawaii clearly spells out that such non-violent events do not preclude an individual from exercising their Second Amendment right. From the original complaint:
Hawaii state law does not support criminalizing the possession of firearms by Plaintiffs because neither of their disorderly conduct convictions are for crimes of violence. Thus, categorically criminalizing the possession of firearms by those convicted of H.R.S. § 711-1101(1)(a) is an independent City policy. Defendants’ policy of criminalizing the possession of firearms by Plaintiffs violates their Second Amendment rights. Alternatively, if the City may properly criminalize the ownership, possession and acquisition of firearms based on a conviction for a violation of HRS § 711-1101(1)(a) pursuant to H.R.S. §134-7, then H.R.S. §134-7 is unconstitutional as applied to Plaintiffs.
On August 16th, a fully executed stipulation and order was finalized, delivering a huge victory to attorney Alan Beck and his clients. The stipulation serves as an agreement between the city, plaintiffs, and citizens at large that they will no longer engage in the practice of violating the Second Amendment when it comes to issuance of firearm related paperwork to those who have previously committed non-violent violations. This victory is a large step to normalizing and standardizing the eligibility of a citizen to possess firearms with the Federal standard.
I had a chance to chat with Alan Beck about his win and this is what he had to say about the stipulation:
The City and County of Honolulu was acting outside of what state law allows them to do. I am glad that once we filed this lawsuit, the City was willing to accept that and agreed to enter into this judicially enforceable stipulation with us.
The stipulation order can be read in full below:
Under Hawaiʻi law, nobody convicted of a felony or crime of violence may own or possess a firearm. Hawaiʻi Revised Statutes (HRS) § 134-7(b). On August 8, 2021, Plaintiffs Peter Roa and Randall Chatman Franklin1 filed a complaint against Defendant City and County of Honolulu (“City”) alleging that the Honolulu Police Department (HPD) impermissibly denied them permits to acquire a firearm based on their non-criminal violations of HRS § 711-1101 (“Disorderly Conduct”). Disorderly conduct may be either a petty misdemeanor or a violation. HRS § 711-1101(3). “A violation does not constitute a crime, and conviction of a violation shall not give rise to any civil disability based on conviction of a criminal offense.” HRS § 701-107(5).
The parties agree that a non-criminal violation of HRS § 711-1101 does not disqualify a person from owning or possessing a firearm under HRS § 134-7(b).
Therefore, it is stipulated that the Honolulu Police Department is permanently enjoined from denying a permit to acquire a firearm based on a noncriminal violation of § 711-1101.
Aloha goodbye to this illegal practice.
John Petrolino is a US Merchant Marine Officer, writer, author of Decoding Firearms: An Easy to Read Guide on General Gun Safety & Use and NRA certified pistol, rifle, and shotgun instructor living under and working to change New Jersey’s draconian and unconstitutional gun laws. You can find him on the web at www.johnpetrolino.com on twitter at @johnpetrolino and on instagram @jpetrolinoiii .