A 72-year-old Vietnam War veteran is asking an appeals court to speed up the processing of a gun permit he first sought 11 years ago, now that the Supreme Court has ruled that Hawaii’s gun-permitting system is unconstitutional.
The Supreme Court determined on June 23 that there's a constitutional right to carry firearms in public for self-defense. On June 30, it found that Hawaii’s burdensome permitting process violates the Second Amendment and ordered the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to review the man’s case. But the appeals court hasn't wrapped up the case, and it's unclear when it will do so.
George K. Young Jr. of Hilo, Hawaii, is represented by attorney Alan Alexander Beck of San Diego.
“Mr. Young’s case has been in litigation for over 10 years,” Beck told The Epoch Times by email. “He deserves to have a quick resolution to his legal claims.”
According to a March 24, 2021, opinion issued by the 9th Circuit, Hawaii’s firearm-licensing law requires residents seeking an open-carry license to prove they have “the urgency or the need” to carry a weapon, be of good moral character, and be “engaged in the protection of life and property.”
Young applied twice for a carry license in 2011, but failed to convince officials of his need for one. He sued in federal district court and lost, then appealed to the circuit court and lost again.
Hawaii officials have apparently not yet decided how to deal with the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling in New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen.
Applicants Have to WaitHonolulu Police Department Chief Arthur Logan told Andrew Namiki Roberts, director of the Hawaii Firearms Coalition, that gun permit applicants will have to wait.
“As of now, these 48 applications are on hold until I get the guidance and direction needed on how to move forward,” Logan said. “The Supreme Court ruling took away the requirement to ask for a why—why do you need a license to carry a gun in public?
Motion for Summary ReversalYoung asked the 9th Circuit to act in a motion for summary reversal (pdf) filed on June 30.
“We filed a motion for the 9th to issue an immediate ruling,” Beck said on July 9. “The state will respond on [July 11]. Seven days later, I will reply, and then, in a few weeks, the 9th Circuit will rule on the motion.
“I am hoping that the 9th Circuit will find that Hawaii’s handgun carry law is unconstitutional pursuant to the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Bruen.”
The motion reads, “Mr. Young should receive his permit post haste. This Court should not delay the relief Mr. Young seeks. Mr. Young has been on appeal in this court since 2012. He is 72 years old.
“Now that Mr. Young’s rights have been vindicated by the Supreme Court of the United States, this Court should immediately grant this Motion and ... order to the Defendants to issue Mr. Young his permit immediately.
“How much longer should he have to wait to have his case adjudicated and obtain his relief? This Court should stand up for people like Mr. Young, someone who fought bravely for his county in Vietnam, has led an exemplary life, and seeks to simply exercise his constitutional rights as guaranteed to him by the Constitution of the United States of America.”
The Epoch Times reached out to Hawaii Attorney General Holly Shikada, a Democrat, for comment but didn't receive a response by press time.