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Wolford v. Lopez


Defending Hawai‘i’s sensitive places and private-property restrictions.

Court: Ninth Circuit

Issue at Stake: Sensitive places

Summary: Wolford v. Lopez is a Second Amendment challenge to Hawai‘i’s law that (1) prohibits carrying firearms at designated sensitive places, including but not limited to government buildings, parks, and beaches, as well as adjacent parking lots; and (2) prohibits carrying firearms on others’ private property without permission.  

Everytown filed an amicus brief in the Ninth Circuit, arguing that Hawai‘i’s restrictions are constitutional under the approach to Second Amendment cases set out in New York Rifle & Pistol Ass’n v. Bruen. First, the brief explains that the court should center its historical analysis on 1868 as opposed to 1791, and should also consider later laws. Second, the brief urges the court against dismissing Hawai‘i’s historical analogues as insufficiently “representative,” because even a small number of laws can be sufficient to establish a tradition of firearm regulation under Bruen. Third, the brief argues that the court should consider the historical context within which states and localities choose to legislate (or not to legislate) when evaluating the historical record. 

Decision: This case was argued before the Ninth Circuit on April 11, 2024 and is pending decision.

Case Documents