Can you carry a concealed weapon in Hawaii?
Hawaii is the last state in the union that is essentially “no issue” even though they're legally “may issue”. Why is that? Because according to Hawaii law, the person seeking a concealed carry permit has to demonstrate “justifiable need” due to a clear and present danger. That's problem number 1 for Hawaii.
Hawaii Solicitor General, Girard Lau, has gone on record multiple times saying he does not believe an individual citizen has the right to carry a concealed firearm. It's been entrenched politicians and bureaucrats who have, for the longest time, stood in between Hawaii residents and their Second Amendment rights. That may change with the conclusion of the Baker v. Hawaii.
Baker v. Hawaii
Baker, a Hawaii resident and veteran, was a process server – a job that required him to serve papers such as divorce paperwork, etc. He felt the need to carry a concealed firearm because he was in a line of work that put him in harm's way. Despite having no criminal background, a good record, and military service, he was still denied his request.
He took the case to court. The total fallout from this case has yet to be settled but it should be a beginning for finally allowing concealed carry in Hawaii.
The reality, unfortunately, is that even with this case – we're seeing an increase in incidences in California and other states where typical “anti-gun” legislators and bureaucrats pull out all the stops to prohibit lawful concealed carry. Criminals don't have to worry because criminals don't care. But that doesn't stop these ill-informed political figureheads from gumming up the works every chance they get with bad statistics and bunk anecdotes.
Hawaii will become “shall issue” when residents have had enough. When “business as usual” is no longer good enough, that's when we'll see new political figureheads take office and change that policy. Until then, we have what amounts to an illegal prohibition of a Hawaii citizen's right to carry.
Why It's Important To Push For Gun Rights
There are only a few hold-outs left in the United States where the expression of the Second Amendment is curtailed. Those states are California, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, parts of Massachusetts, and the District of Columbia. In almost every other state there is at least a “shall permit” process which illustrates the road a law-abiding citizen may take to obtain a concealed carry handgun license.
The politicians from those anti-gun states would love nothing more than for citizens who wish to carry legally to give up. If all the people who wanted the right to defend themselves from armed criminals would simply just be quiet and accept illegal restrictions on their rights as citizens, this could all be so easy... For the criminals. That's the thing. When people in New Jersey stop trying to obtain a pistol permit or California residents just throw their hands up and say, “oh I live in Los Angeles county and that's just the way it is,” that's when the real bad guys gain ground.
About The Author
James England (@sir_jim_england) is the contributing editor for Alien Gear Holsters. He is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and private defense contracting in Afghanistan.