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Brady Campaign: Don't Change Hawaii's Strong Gun Laws

WASHINGTON -- The Brady Center filed a brief Monday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii urging the court to dismiss a challenge to Hawaii’s strong gun laws restricting the carrying of loaded guns in public.

“Hawaii’s strong gun laws protect families from the severe danger of loaded guns in public,” said Jonathan Lowy, Director of the Brady Center’s Legal Action Project.  “We urge the court to follow more than a dozen other courts around the nation in recognizing that there is no right to carry loaded guns in our streets, parks, and playgrounds.”

The lawsuit, Baker v. Kealoha, challenges Hawaii gun laws limiting public carrying of loaded guns to “exceptional case[s]” because of the severe risks posed by guns in public.  The Brady Center’s brief urges the court to dismiss the lawsuit, citing legal rulings from around the nation that the Second Amendment is limited to a narrow right to possess guns in the home for self-defense and does not grant a right to carry loaded guns in public. 

The Brady Center’s brief cites studies showing that guns in public expose all members of society to great risks, as guns are used far more often to kill and wound innocent victims than to kill and wound criminals, and guns are also used far more often to intimidate and threaten than they are used to thwart crimes. 

The Brady Center’s brief also cites data showing that Hawaii’s strong gun laws have helped Hawaii achieve the lowest gun death rate in the nation, less than a third the national average.

The Brady Center is being represented by attorneys with the Brady Center’s Legal Action Project; Mark M. Murakami of Damon Key Leong Kupchak Hastert in Honolulu and; Jonathan Diesenhaus from Hogan Lovells in Washington, D.C.


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