The Hawaii Supreme Court referenced dialogue from the television show “The Wire” while delivering their decision on gun rights.

On February 9, 2024 at 6:21 AM EST, the U.S. Supreme Court made a decision to strike down a New York law. This ruling was prompted by a case in Hawaii, where a man was found carrying a gun in public without a permit. The Hawaii Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the man could be prosecuted for this offense, citing the popular TV series “The Wire” and invoking the “spirit of Aloha” as a rebuke to a previous U.S. Supreme Court decision that expanded gun rights nationwide.

The ruling, written by Justice Todd Eddins, states that it is important for society to move away from the culture and laws of the past and adapt to the realities of contemporary life. The court even references a quote from “The Wire” to emphasize this point. The ruling goes on to say that the “spirit of Aloha” clashes with the idea of allowing citizens to carry deadly weapons in their day-to-day activities, as mandated by federal law.

The case in question involved Christopher Wilson, who was found to be carrying a loaded pistol without a permit in Maui. Wilson had purchased the gun legally in Florida in 2013, but it was unregistered in Hawaii. His first motion to dismiss the charges was denied, as it was argued that it violated his Second Amendment right to bear arms. However, in 2022, a U.S. Supreme Court decision known as New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen changed the landscape of gun laws nationwide, including in Hawaii. Wilson then filed a second motion to dismiss, which was granted by a judge, leading to the state’s appeal.

Wilson’s attorney, Ben Lowenthal, stated that they are considering their options, including seeking review from the U.S. Supreme Court. Wilson maintained his innocence, claiming that he and his friends were hiking to look at the moon and Native Hawaiian plants on the night in question.

Hawaii Attorney General Anne Lopez praised the ruling as a “landmark decision” that upholds the constitutionality of important gun safety legislation. She also noted that the ruling reflects a resistance to change in Hawaii’s culture and a government that is hesitant to adapt.  

Share This Article
Leave a comment