Hawaii Folds on American Samoan Gun Ban

With the right attorneys and legal arguments, it is not always necessary to turn to major gun groups to take on cases. (iStock-1055138108)

U.S.A. – -(Ammoland.com)- “I am actually going to settle the case,” attorney Alan Beck informed this correspondent Monday in regards to his client, Alanoa Nickel, a U.S. national American Samoan being denied the ability to apply to purchase a gun in the state of Hawaii. “The law is going to go away per a settlement we sent the judge. He just needs to sign it.”

That happened later that day, as per an August 10 stipulation and order  in the United States District Court for the District of Hawaii signed by J. Michael Seabright, Chief United States District Judge based on an agreement reached with the Acting  Corporation Counsel and Deputies Corporation Counsel Attorneys for Defendants for the  and Beck, the Attorney for the Plaintiff:

“Therefore, it is stipulated that [Hawaii Revised Statute’s] citizenship requirement be permanently enjoined as it applies to non-citizen United States nationals,” the order declares. That means Mr. Nickel’s right to apply for and purchase a firearm is now recognized and the state and county/city may no longer refuse him.

“My thanks to [attorney] Stephen Stamboulieh who helped me with the case,” Beck told AmmoLand Shooting Sports News. “Independent attorneys have litigated virtually all the Second Amendment cases in Hawaii and this case shows you do not need support from the major gun groups in order to win a Second Amendment lawsuit   I plan on using the momentum we’ve gained from this win to assist other citizens who have been wrongfully denied their right to arms.”

There is still far to go in terms of challenging Hawaii’s gun laws, among the strictest in the nation, Giffords Law Center gives the state an “A-“ grade, presumably because it still has not imposed “bulk firearm purchase restrictions … ammunition purchase and sale regulation [and a] 50 caliber [sic] rifle ban.”

Of particular interest now is the case of Young v. Hawaii, challenging Hawaii statutes regulating carry permits – and lack thereof – on Second Amendment grounds. Plaintiff George Young, denied a concealed carry permit, was also denied the right to carry openly. That case, ongoing since 2007, and where Mr. Beck is joined by Stamboulieh, was delayed pending a Supreme Court decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. City of New York. With its ruling that the case is moot, vacating and remanding it to lower courts to decide “whether petitioners may still add a claim for damages in this lawsuit with respect to New York City’s old rule,” Young is now scheduled for an 11-judge Ninth Circuit en banc panel on September 21.

Also of interest to Hawaii gun owners is a settlement Beck and Stamboulieh reached with the City of Honolulu resulting from a lawsuit. That complaint alleged the “requirement to transport a firearm to a police station for registration and Honolulu Police Department policies for the acquisition and registration of firearms is burdensome and unconstitutional.”

“After the lockdown is over, everyone who is in line at HPD’s firearms registration department by 6:30 p.m. on Wednesdays will be served,” Beck explained. “The door used to be closed at 3 p.m. so my clients had to miss work to buy a new firearm. Secondly, HPD will be implementing a new system to email completed permits to acquire to applicants so they don’t have to go back to the station to pick them up.”

There’s another consideration that should be of interest to all gun owners interested in protecting the right to keep and bear arms: These cases show that with the right attorneys and legal arguments, it is not always necessary to turn to major gun groups with massive war chests to fight legal battles. Another case in point, Stamboulieh represented this writer in a complaint against the United States Air Force and succeeded in obtaining a trial report for court-martial proceedings against the killer in the Sutherlands Springs, TX, church shooting.

A final note that all should consider: Some of those major gun groups advocate for the government to “enforce existing gun laws.” That’s the last thing they should call for. It is inconsistent with “shall not be infringed,” and they may as well recommend enforcing existing Intolerable Acts. Were that advice heeded in this case, Mr. Nickel would forever be denied his right to own a gun.

About David Codrea:David Codrea

David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating/defending the RKBA and a long-time gun owner rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament. He blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” is a regularly featured contributor to Firearms News, and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.

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Oh David thank you for this.

It’s about time we had some good news.


Indeed there is so very little of it to go around.


Also many thanks for that last paragraph. If I had a round of 9mm for each time I hear someone call for enforcement of existing infringements, I’d have enough to share.



Me – I’m old-fashioned: .45 for me.


Quite but, I prefer rifles either .223 or .308 would work for me, I’m not picky.

Ryben Flynn

A person still cannot get a carry permit in Hawaii, it is a “may (never) issue” State. AFAIK, no carry permits have been issued in at least 6 years. From Wikipedia: CONCEALED CARRY:May-Issue by statute, but No-Issue in practice. The chief of police may grant a permit “in an exceptional case, when an applicant shows reason to fear injury to the applicant’s person or property.” In practice, Hawaii is “No-Issue,” as issuing authorities rarely or never approve applications for permits. In March 2014, the 9th Circuit US Court of Appeals ruled Hawaii’s restrictive concealed carry policy unconstitutional. An en banc… Read more »


According to the Writers of OUR Constitution, There is only ONE reason an individual can be denied access to weapons in America. This reason is found in the explanatory writings of our FOUNDERS in the Federalist Papers. This reason is: IF a person is WANTON to harm others!!!
Therefore, ALL of the over 25,000 INFRINGEMENT “laws” across America ARE ILLEGAL!


I believe the true number of infringements nationwide is 53,000 to 58,000

Until we have a government and courts that will adhere to the US Constitution, that will never happen.

Time to refresh Jefferson’s Tree of Liberty.


Used to be Tom’s Tree. But now its OURS, and WE are the ones that are bound to do the refreshing.


I note that Hawaii is still coming up a bit short on the Giffords Law Center analysis. They did try to go for extra points by blatant prejudice against Samoans in this case and they lost. With a little more effort they can claim full Jim Crow status. They just have to be more deceptive in how they suppress natural rights for all and specific rights for vilified ethnic minorities. That is how they roll.


Though limited and small, this is STILL great progress.

Let’s keep l=playing “Death by a ThousandCuts” to the tens of thousands of illegal “gun laws” infesting this land.

I can’t help but think, though I try not to get overwhelmed by this thought, that if some 95+% of Americans don’t even have the spine to JUST SAY NO to the stuid mask and “distancing” laws across the country, what hope do we really have of ridding ourselves of all these unconteituional infringements on our right to arms?