Hawaii Man Victorious in Case involving Suitable Persons’ and Carry Permits

So-called “suitable persons” provisions in permitting laws are verboten per several Supreme Court opinions. When an issuing authority makes a subjective decision through their own thought process rather than through objective and definable criterion, it’s unconstitutional. Back in December I wrote about a guy that was denied a carry permit in Hawaii for allegedly being “not of ‘good moral character’ and/or ‘suitable.’” They other day Mr. Blake Day’s case received a stipulation to dismiss his case with prejudice, since he was eventually issued a Hawaii license to carry.

Mr. Day was denied a license to carry in the County of Hawaii for being “not of ‘good moral character’ and/or ‘suitable.’”

Drawing details from the complaint that was filed on the 6th of December, 2023, Mr. Day’s alleged lack of “good moral character” and suitability arises from what the Hawaii County Chief of Police stated was “due to ‘recent violent conduct.’” The so-called “violent conduct” is in reference to an incident where Mr. Day was forced to defend himself – with non-lethal force – while executing his duties as a contractor for a bank. The conflict resulted in no criminal charges.

The non-lethal force Mr. Day used was “a pepper spray air gun, firing it several times in self-defense,” because he was aggressively approached by a resident of a property that was supposed to be vacant. The resident was “yelling obscenities and ‘what are you doing at my house?’” at Mr. Day. Day stated that the resident “appeared to have something in his right hand and [he] believed it was a weapon.”

The stipulation was filed on March 28, 2024 and is as follows:

IT IS HEREBY STIPULATED by and between all parties who have appeared in this action, by their respective counsel, that this action is dismissed with prejudice. Plaintiff BLAKE DAY (“Plaintiff”) was issued a license to carry by Defendant COUNTY OF HAWAIʻI (“Defendant”) on January 2, 2023, which license is valid to January 2, 2025 (“License”). Defendant shall not declare Plaintiff’s License void unless Plaintiff becomes disqualified from ownership, possession, or control of a firearm pursuant to federal law or HRS § 134-7(a), (b),(d), or (f) and shall not revoke Plaintiff’s License except as permitted under federal law or HRS § 134-13 if Plaintiff for any other reason becomes disqualified underHRS § 134-7 from the ownership, possession, or control of a firearm. Defendant COUNTY OF HAWAIʻI further agrees to implement new concealed carry rules consistent with HRS Chapter 134, as amended by Act 52 of 2023.By separate settlement agreement, a resolution of all claims for damages,attorneys’ fees, and costs has been reached. Except as expressly provided in the settlement agreement, the parties are to bear their own attorneys’ fees and costs.There are no remaining parties and/or issues. No answer or motion for summary judgment has been filed. All claims and parties are dismissed.

What happened between the December filing and the January 2nd issuance of a license to carry? I don’t know. What I can say though is I previously reported on how I thought the case would flesh out.

According to the Hawaii District Court’s calendar, there’s a telephonic hearing scheduled for February 5, 2024. I’m doubtful that this case will make it that far. Beck has an impeccable record of dicing up unconstitutional law in short order and I suspect the County will try to settle without litigating. We shall see.

In a statement online, attorney Alan Beck, the lawyer who litigated the case, celebrated the win. “Today I won my most recent lawsuit against the County of Hawaii,” Beck noted. “I sued to compel the Big Island to change their moral character requirements for issuing concealed carry permits on behalf of my client who was denied a carry permit for engaging in self-defense.”

Beck also said that in part of the outcome of the case, “the Big Island agreed to update their CCW procedures and issue my client a permit.” This is a win that all in the county of Hawaii will benefit from.

Jurisdictions across the nation that are still using subjective standards need to be put on notice. Any practice that involves discretionary tactics in weighing the subversion of a civil liberty is unconstitutional. This win for Beck is another slice of freedom that the pro-liberty camp has regained.