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

Walther PDP Pro-E Pistols
Walther PDP Pro-E Pistols

First Look: Walther PDP Pro-E Pistols

These new pistols bridge the gap between the standard PDP and the PDP Pro SD.

SilencerCo Acquires Zev Technologies

SilencerCo will focus on furthering Zev’s brand, as well as bringing additional resources for Zev-specific product launches

First Look: Smith & Wesson Bodyguard 2.0

A new look and a higher magazine capacity is just the tip of the iceberg.

First Shots: Leupold Mark 4HD Riflescopes

Leupold's latest riflescope line is affordable and feature-rich.

First Look: B&T SBRS Suppressors

Slimline design, reduced back pressure and available in a variety of calibers and materials.

First Look: Two New Pistols from Smith & Wesson

Smith & Wesson expands its lineup of polymer-framed, striker-fired pistols. 

Interests



Get the best of Shooting Illustrated delivered to your inbox.