“Gun registration leads to gun confiscation.”
How many times have you heard that? Probably a lot. I know I’ve written it or some variation a few million times or so between here, social media, and the odd bathroom wall.
What I’ve heard just as many times is how that’s nonsense. These folks claim that gun registration has been around for a while and there’s been no confiscation.
I’m sure a gentleman in Hawaii who is in trouble over a loud verbal argument will feel much better.
The case is Lance S. Choda v. County of Hawaii, and the complaint was filed on September 14 by attorneys Alan Beck and Kevin O’Grady in the United States District Court for the District of Hawaii.
Hawaii is especially strict when it comes to guns and violence, not just the domestic kind, and not just in the state, but everywhere, in Everytown. Per state law:
“No person who is under indictment for, or has waived indictment for, or has been bound over to the circuit court for, or has been convicted in this State or elsewhere of having committed a felony, or any crime of violence, or an illegal sale of any drug shall own, possess, or control any firearm or ammunition therefor.”
And “thanks” to that law, which requires the registration of all firearms, they know who’s got what, at least among the “law-abiding.” So when the police order you to give up your guns by a certain date, you know if you don’t you can expect a visit by heavily armed enforcers conditioned to view armed citizens as an anomaly and a threat.
That’s what Lance Choda is facing, and to make matters worse, he committed no act of violence. Per the complaint, he just shouted back at a neighbor who was shouting at him. From the “Statement of Facts”:
“On December 19, 2020, Choda started his vehicle’s engine at night. Choda’s neighbor yelled at him to be quiet. Choda yelled at his neighbor. Profanity was used. Choda and his neighbor yelled at each other. Police were called. While police were present Choda yelled at his neighbor using profanity. Choda and his neighbor were on their own properties separated by a fence. No threats were made. No physical contact occurred between Choda and his neighbor. Choda was arrested for disorderly conduct;”
Choda pled no contest to charges of harassment and disorderly conduct. There’s no word about any charges against the neighbor who, arguably, started the confrontation.
Anyway, believing it was over, Choda applied for a license to buy a gun. That’s where things got interesting.
Not only did they deny him the license, but they also demanded he turn over any firearms he already had. This was due to their interpretation of state law.
The problem is, this wasn’t a violent crime in any way, shape, or form. It was an argument, as is plain as day in the Statement of Facts. Further, the charges are consistent with a case that was loud and annoying, but not really violent.
Should that prohibit Choda from being able to own firearms? Hardly.
Of course, part of the problem is the incredibly vague wording of the law is part of the problem. The phrase “any crime of violence” can include a lot of things that aren’t really violent as you and I think of it. Arguments are only part of it. Someone grabbing another’s arm as they try to walk away during an argument is considered assault, but is someone who does that and has no other offense someone we should keep from exercising their Second Amendment rights? Of course not, yet that’s what the law states.
Luckily, Choda is taking this to court, which will likely move up the ladder and may well end up before the Supreme Court. With luck, though, he’ll have this settled far sooner. After all, it’s ridiculous this is even a thing.