New court ruling may trigger change in Hawaii's concealed weapon lawUPDATED 10:43 PM HST Mar 21, 2014Video Transcript
A new court ruling is injecting new life into an old debate here in Hawaii over carrying concealed weapons. Right now, virtually no civilians are allowed to be secretly armed in public - but that could soon change. KITV4's Brenton Awa has the story-- all new at ten. Brenton? Yunji - it comes down to what the 9th circuit calls a mistake. It says the local court did wrong in the Baker vs Kealoha case. Where Christopher Baker filed a lawsuit against HPD after he was denied a license to carry a gun in public for self-defense. Now the federal appeals court is giving Baker another chance to argue his case and that's what's sparking this debate. Hawaii residents can apply for a "conceal carry" permit, to be discretely armed with a handgun and ammunition in public. But for decades -- applying is all residents have been able to do. Because Hawaii's a "may" issue state -- giving the police chief -- the final say on permits, and he's never granted one. Gun advocated say that could soon change, with the 'baker vs kealoha' case, which would take Hawaii from a "may" to a "shall" issue state. 4642 - HARVEY "SHALL ISSUE MEANS THAT IF YOU ARE QUALIFIED IN WHATEVER THOSE QUALIFICATIONS ARE AND YOU MEET THAT QUALIFICATION HE MUST ISSUE YOU A PERMIT TO CARRY." Some want to carry guns in public for personal protection... But others say doing that, would do just the opposite. 4822 - HARVEY "IN ALL THE STATES THAT HAVE THAT, THERE ARE NOT PROBLEMS, THERES NO WILD WEST GUN FIGHTS IN THE STREET, THE CRIME RATE SINKS. IN ALL STATES THAT HAVE ISSUED 3937 - PATTY "BAD JUDGEMENT CAN COME INTO PLAY AND WHEN THAT HAPPENS, TRAGEDY'S OCCUR. CERTAINLY THERES BEEN TIMES AS WE KNOW WHERE IT MIGHT WORKED BUT THERE HAVE BEEN A LOT OF TIMES WHEN IT HASN'T WORKED OUT THE RIGHT WAY." While a change in the law isn't imminent -- gun enthusiasts say now's the time to make their mark, by flooding city with permit requests. 4725 - HARVEY "OUR RECOMMENDA TION IS THAT PEOPLE IMMEDIATELY START APPLYING FOR THEIR CONCEAL CARRY, RIGHT NOW BECAUSE THE LAST TIME THIS CAME UP IN THE LEGISLATURE THE CHIEF SAID, THERES NOBODY INTERESTED IN DOING THAT, WHICH IS NOT AT ALL THE CASE." Meanwhile -- opponents want those enthusiasts to slow their draw -- and think a bit more before shooting. 4330 "I HAVE AN OPEN MIND AS TO HOW THEY FEEL. I HOPE THEY HAVE AN OPEN MIND AS TO HOW I FEEL. I THINK WE'RE A RELATIVELY SAFE STATE COMPARED TO ALL THE OTHER STATES AND WHATS OUT THERE." Christopher Baker originally argued that Hawaii's restrictions on carrying firearms violate his second amendment rights... The appeals court is giving him another chance citing its february opinion in a San Diego case where it concluded that the second amendment provides a responsible law abiding citizen with a right to carry a handgun outside the home.