Two Hawaii Gun Regulations Struck Down
From Yukutake v. Conners, decided today by Judge J. Michael Seabright (D. Haw.):
Hawaii Revised Statutes … § 134-2(e), requires, in relevant part, that individuals purchase a handgun (i.e., a pistol or revolver) within 10 days of obtaining a permit to acquire…. HRS § 134-3(c), requires, in relevant part, that individuals physically bring their firearm to the police department for in-person inspection and registration within five days of acquiring it….
The challenged provisions in both HRS § 134-2(e) and HRS § 134- 3(c) are not longstanding and impose only a moderate burden on the right to bear arms. As such, both provisions are subject to intermediate scrutiny. And because the Government has entirely failed to demonstrate how each law effectuates its asserted interest in public safety, neither law can pass constitutional muster under this standard of review.
The nature and quantity of the showing required by the government [under intermediate scrutiny] “will vary up or down with the novelty and plausibility of the justification raised.” To meet its burden, the government may resort to a wide range of sources, including “legislative text and history, empirical evidence, case law, and common sense, as circumstances and context require.” But “the government must present more than anecdote and supposition.” Courts owe substantial deference to a legislature’s policy judgments; their “sole obligation is to assure that, in formulating its judgments, [the legislature] has drawn reasonable inferences based on substantial evidence.”
The Government has not met its burden here. Defendant states that the 10-day permit use period furthers the “important government interest” of public safety “in that such requirements provide more effective supervision and control over the sale, transfer, and possession of firearms.” It is “self-evident” that public safety is a substantial and important government interest. But Defendant has failed to demonstrate how the 10-day permit use period furthers that interest.
To begin, the Government does not show that the legislature considered any evidence—let alone substantial evidence—prior to enacting the law. The Government cites only to legislative history that pronounces the public safety purpose of gun regulation generally, but provides no legislative history addressing why HRS § 134-2(e)’s 10-day permit use period, in particular, was enacted. The Government also fails to provide any legislative history addressing what evidence the legislature considered prior to enacting
Article from Latest – Reason.com