Hawaii statute prohibiting US nationals from owning a firearm — struck down
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A federal judge in Honolulu has struck down the Hawaii Revised Statute 134-2 (HRS 134-2), which prohibits non-citizen US nationals from owning a firearm, paving the way for a current Hawaii resident, who was born in American Samoa, as well as all other US nationals in the state, to apply for a permit to obtain a firearm.
The move came Monday this week after Chief U.S. District Judge J. Michael Seabright of the federal court in Honolulu issued an order approving a joint motion by both the plaintiff — Alanoa Nickel — and the defendants — including Hawaii Attorney General Clare E. Connors — that HRS 134-2’s “citizenship requirement be permanently enjoined as it applies to non-citizen United States nationals.”
As reported yesterday by Samoa News, the plaintiff filed a civil complaint on July 27th against the defendants over the state’s law banning non-citizen U.S. Nationals from applying for a firearm permit in the state. Under federal law, person’s born in American Samoa — such as Nickel — are US Nationals. (See yesterday’s Samoa News edition for details.)
Suit Challenges Hawaii’s Denial of American Samoan’s Right to Own Gun
U.S.A. – -(Ammoland.com)- A July 27 lawsuit, filed by attorney Alan Beck in the United States District Court for the District of Hawaii, seeks declaratory and injunctive relief for Honolulu County resident Alanoa Nickel, denied the ability to apply for a permit to own a handgun by Hawaiian law. The complaint names State Attorney General Clare E. Connors, State Sheriff Division Administrator Al Cummings, and the City and County of Honolulu as defendants.
Hawaii Revised Statute § 134-2 restricts non-citizen U.S. nationals from owning firearms, the memorandum in support of motion for preliminary injunction notes. Nickel is a Samoan, from a U.S. territory.
“American Samoans are the only ones affected by this law because people born in the other territories are considered U.S. citizens,” the memorandum explains. “Plaintiff is a law-abiding U.S. National, a resident of the State of Hawaii and has no disqualifying factor which would prohibit him from legally and safely owning a firearm apart from being a noncitizen U.S. National.”