Hawaiian Dad Hopes to Keep a Promise to His Late Daughter by Fighting State's Gun Laws Up to SCOTUS

| AUG 8, 2018 | 8:01 PM

During a conversation with his late daughter, Vietnam War veteran George Young explained the importance of the Second Amendment.

However, his daughter, Tim, was shocked to find out that her father could not carry a handgun in the state of Hawaii.

“I made the promise that they cannot take your Second Amendment away,” Young said in an interview with Reuters. “So to prove it to her, that's when I started.”

After his daughter died in a car crash in 2004, Young decided to keep his promise and began a journey to fight the state's gun laws that may end at the Supreme Court.

At first, it did not seem like Young's case would even be considered. He was representing himself and lost each case in 2008, 2010, and 2012.

“I went around the state of Hawaii and contacted about 17 attorneys and all of them turned me down,” Young said. “They said I would only lose. I want to see it through to the end, which is the U.S. Supreme Court.”

Young now has some extra help with his case and is being represented pro bono by Alan Beck, who is an attorney based in California.

Lynn Viale/Reuters

With Beck's help, Young won the most recent case on July 24. In a 2-1 ruling, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals found that it was unconstitutional that Young was not allowed to carry a handgun.

The Hawaii courts see it very differently, claiming that other Supreme Court rulings do not pertain to carrying outside of the home.

“Heller was not intended to extend the protections found in the Second Amendment to any area outside the home,” a 2013 court filing said. 

The state of Hawaii has until September 14 to ask for the case to be reheard by the same panel or a larger panel of judges. At least four Supreme Court justices have to agree to hear the case.