Hawaii Court Favors Firearms Permits for Legal Immigrants

by
posted on October 9, 2014
sinews.jpg (130)

In a little-reported ruling occurring in September, a federal judge overturned Hawaii's law prohibiting legal immigrants from applying for a firearm permit after an Australian citizen and permanent resident living in Honolulu filed for relief from the restrictive state statute. The judgment came in the case of Steve Fotoudis, a permanent U.S. resident who was denied the opportunity to apply for a firearms permit by the Honolulu Police Department after he did not meet the state's standard of being a U.S. citizen.

U.S. District Judge J. Michael Seabright, a 2005 President George W. Bush appointee, issued an injunction against the Honolulu Chief of Police as well as the state of Hawaii, citing the requirement as unconstitutional. Seabright said Fotoudis, a competitive shooter in Australia with extensive safety and firearms training prior to moving to Hawaii, must be allowed to apply for a permit and be evaluated "with no more or less scrutiny than would be applied to a citizen applicant."

"The undisputed facts establish that Fotoudis, as a lawful permanent resident alien of the United States (and resident of Hawaii) was denied the opportunity to apply for a permit to acquire firearms solely because of his alienage," wrote Seabright in his 18-page decision in the case of Fotoudis v City and County of Honolulu, handed down on Sept. 17. "This classification violated the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution."

The ruling marked the latest in a string of court rulings overturning similar laws and protecting individuals who legally and permanently reside in the U.S.

Earlier this year, a federal judge ruled a New Mexico law that only permitted citizens to apply for concealed handgun permits was unconstitutional.This spring, a similar decision was handed down in the case of a man from The Netherlands who had been issued his visa in 1984 but the Arkansas State Police refused to renew his carry permit because he was not a citizen. And in 2013, a federal judge struck down Nebraska's citizenship requirement following a successful suit in the case of a Mexican national who obtained his resident visa in 1991 and resided in the state continually since that time.

Latest

riflescope
riflescope

First Look: Leupold Patrol 6HD 1-6x24 Riflescope

Leupold recently launched its Patrol 6HD 1-6x24, the company’s latest low power variable optic rifle scope.

I Carry: Smith & Wesson M&P9 Pistol with Trijicon SRO Red-Dot Optic

In today's episode of "I Carry," we have a first generation Smith & Wesson M&P9 pistol with a Faxon slide-mounted Trijicon SRO red-dot sight carried in a Tier 1 Concealed IWB holster.

Review: SCCY DVG-1RD Pistol

SCCY Industries looks to continue its remarkable sales pace with the introduction of the DVG-1 and DVG-1RD pistols.

First Look: Sightron S6 1-6x24 mm Riflescope

Sightron's new S6 1-6x24 mm scope offers versions with first- and second-focal-plane options.

Bond Arms Roughneck Marking Compliance Recall

Bond Arms is issuing a recall for certain Roughneck firearms for marking compliance issues.

Product Review: SilencerCo SCO15 Stripped Upper Receiver

SilencerCo recently released its SCO15 stripped upper receiver for the AR-15 rifle.

Interests



Get the best of Shooting Illustrated delivered to your inbox.