LIHUE, Hawaii — Andrew Roberts, a citizen of the United Kingdom living in Hawaii is suing the state over laws preventing him from obtaining a firearm licence.
In documents filed Sunday, Roberts says that Hawaii statutes restricting gun ownership on the basis of citizenship are unconstitutional denials of equal protection under the Fourteenth Amendment.
“The law is clearly in violation of the Constitution,” Roberts said. “This is just the process we have to go through in order to change it.”
Roberts, a director for the Hawaii Firearms Coalition, established legal residency after moving there from England 12 years ago. Since then, he’s filed three gun rights lawsuits in Hawaii.
In 2015 his federal lawsuit led the Honolulu Police Department to eliminate their policy requiring non-citizen residents applying for a gun-ownership license to provide additional documentation from their country of origin. And then in 2018, he filed a lawsuit challenging Hawaii laws banning civilians from owning stun guns. This case is still pending.
Hawaii has some of the nation’s strictest gun control laws and is the only state that requires firearms to be registered at a statewide level. Hawaii permits allow firearm purchase and transport to limited places such as shooting ranges or gunsmiths, and for hunting. Prior to 2014, Hawaii only granted ownership permits to U.S. citizens until a federal judge ruled that statute unconstitutional, the newspaper reported.