Hawaii Complaint Rights Wrongful Disarmament Determination by Police

“Thank you, sir, may we have another?” (Hawaii Police Department/Facebook)

U.S.A. – -(Ammoland.com)- “[I]t is stipulated that County is permanently enjoined from denying an applicant’s permit to acquire a firearm due to being convicted of a crime of violence … unless the conviction meets the definition of ‘crime of violence,” a Friday order from Judge Derrick K. Watson in the United States District Court for the District of Hawaii mandates.  What that means is that Lance Choda, a Hawaii man denied a permit to acquire a firearm and ordered to dispose of any firearms he already owned, has won his case, for himself and for others similarly wrongfully denied.

AmmoLand Shooting Sports News first reported on Choda’s complaint against the County of Hawaii in September, relating how police had declared him prohibited from possessing a firearm after he’d gotten into a heated – but non-violent – argument with a neighbor. Arrested, Choda pled no contest and was found guilty of harassment and disorderly conduct.

The Hawaii County Police Department wrongfully treated that as “a crime of violence,” denied Choda’s subsequent gun permit application, and further ordered:

“Any firearms and ammunition presently in your possession must be disposed of by September 15, 2021. Failure to do so may result in seizure of the firearms and ammunition and criminal prosecution under Chapter 134 of the Hawaii Revised Statutes.”

Attorneys Alan Beck and Kevin O’Grady obtained a temporary restraining order to stop that mandate from taking effect and to protect Choda from arrest for noncompliance until five days after the litigation was resolved. Friday’s order settles that, with the County agreeing Choda’s convictions were not for crimes of violence but for petty misdemeanors,  and that Hawaii law “only prohibits persons who are under indictment for, have been bound over to the circuit court for, or have been convicted of having committed a felony, or any crime of violence, or an illegal sale of any drug, from owning, possessing, or controlling any firearm or ammunition.”

The stipulation and injunction resolve all claims and the complaint will be dismissed after payment of Choda’s attorney fees and costs by the County.

“I am happy to restore Mr. Choda’s rights,” attorney Beck tells AmmoLand. “And I am also thrilled that our stipulation restores the rights of all of the County of Hawaii’s residents who are similarly situated.”

The order is below:

About 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.

David Codrea

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“[I]t is stipulated that County is permanently enjoined from denying an applicant’s permit to acquire a firearm due to being convicted of a crime of violence … unless the conviction meets the definition of ‘crime of violence,” Anyone else think its funny that a judge has to tell enforcers that you can’t deny a “civilian” a permit due to being convicted of a crime of violence unless the person has been convicted of a crime of violence? People like TStheDeplorable don’t understand that qualified immunity is really not-so-qualified immunity. The enforcers who tried to violate Lance Choda’s rights should lose… Read more »


i agree on qualified immunity. it must be stricken down as unconstitutional. as a medical professional, i had to purchase professional liability in the event i was in error and injured someone. why don’t leo’s have to do the same and not hide behind the taxpayers who foot the bill for them doing, in many cases something illegal and unconstitutional? a couple of other aspects of police reform are a nationwide database to prevent bad leo’s from ever getting another job with another agency; and civilian oversight of leo complaints. you should not be able to investigate yourself. keep the… Read more »


LEOs should be the ones pushing for a significant revision to the way not-so-qualified immunity has been being used.

The “good apples” know that “bad apples” have been violating the rights of “civilians” and almost never have to pay. If a payment is made, it is made by other “civilians.”

The problem will get fixed and the right way to fix it is with legislation and the court system.


Not-so-qualified immunity allows these vindictive “bad apples” to retaliate using their perceived power to force their way into a “civilian’s” residence without a warrant and stay as long as they want:



until they are forced to RESPECT and serve thugs wil be the predominate group policing

The other Jim

Yes, and Choda should have been awarded some money for his time and duress, not $1; a money award at least as much as the tally of all that the police officers earned violating his rights. More and more jurisdictions are breaking out from the “County Tax” on the Property Tax Bills a line for police expenditures as “County Police Tax” so that the people know how much the police are costing them, but the court awards are wrapped in with the “County Police Tax” misleading the people. It should go further and fairly break out the true costs as… Read more »


I agree that Choda should have received compensation from the people who violated his rights.

The other Jim

I know what you are saying. Most of the Police Reform this past year they failed to institute Civilian Review Boards. Many departments ordered to present reform plans circumvented any true meaning of reform relying and getting away with the old “internal affairs will investigate it”. I’ve seen Internal Affairs turn the investigation on the complainant and investigate the complainant only, and right from the beginning. It would have been nice to see true reform as in Civilian Review Boards with investigative and legal skills who had the authority to assess whether the officer’s violations were so brazen and egregious… Read more »


Thank you.

It’s difficult to undertand why people would be against this type of reform.


the people are not. The issue is the string pullers and powerbrokers all with vested interests in maintaining the status quo, or worse.


There are people who post here who are against those types of reforms.


Praise God that we are taking some part of the 2A back!


well this is a gentle spal on the wrists of the tyrannical pit-headed local coppers. WHO will take them down a few pegs for wrongfully denying his rights? And how long will it take for these obvious tyrants to strike again, only just enough differently that it scoots past this decosion and order?
Those dirty coppers need discipliend for their overreach. As does the local court that upheld the dirty coppers.


* ?


Thanks, muy bueno resources for things besides gun rights, like covid tyranny. Puts me in mind of school board meetings like the one a month or so ago when the member shouted down every concerned parent with “YOU’RE DONE!”, followed by Quantum Meruitless USAG Garland gearing up to have moms arrested who don’t like it.

But what did you mean by replying to me with nothing but an asterisk before?


In my review of all the comments here, the only one posting lone asterisks and question marks is you, no one else.


Patriot Solutions did it elsewhere and I’m trying to find out what he meant. Butt out.