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Oral Argument Before the Hawaii Supreme Court–SCAP-22-0000561

No. SCAP-22-0000561, Thursday, July 6, 2023, 10 a.m.

STATE OF HAWAIʻI, Plaintiff-Appellant, vs. CHRISTOPHER L. WILSON, Defendant-Appellee.
The above-captioned case has been set for argument on the merits at:

Supreme Court Courtroom
Aliʻiōlani Hale, 2nd Floor
417 South King Street
Honolulu, HI 96813
The oral argument was livestreamed for public viewing via ʻŌlelo Community Television and the Judiciary’s YouTube channel at

Attorney for Appellant State of Hawaiʻi:

Richard B. Rost, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney

Attorney for Appellee Christopher L. Wilson:

Benjamin E. Lowenthal, Deputy Public Defender

NOTE: Order granting Application for Transfer, filed 12/21/22.
NOTE: Order assigning Circuit Court Judges Trish K. Morikawa and Catherine H. Remigio due to vacancies, filed 05/02/23.

NOTE: Certificate of Recusal, by Substitute Justice Catherine H. Remigio, filed 05/09/23.

NOTE: Order assigning Circuit Court Judge Faʻauuga Toʻotoʻo, in place of Substitute Justice Remigio, recused, filed 05/11/23.

COURT: Recktenwald, C.J., McKenna, and Eddins, JJ., Circuit Judge Morikawa, assigned by reason of vacancy, and Circuit Judge Toʻotoʻo, in place of Substitute Justice Remigio, recused

[ Listen to the entire audio recording in mp3 format ]
Brief Description:
After responding to a criminal trespass call, Maui Police officers found Defendant-Appellee Christopher Wilson in possession of a loaded .22 caliber handgun.  The State charged Wilson with firearms-related crimes and criminal trespass.  Wilson moved to dismiss, arguing that based on New York State Rifle & Pistol Ass’n, Inc. v. Bruen, 142 S. Ct. 2111 (2022), the State’s prosecution violated his right to bear arms under the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution and article I, section 17 of the Hawaiʻi Constitution.  The Circuit Court of the Second Circuit granted Wilson’s motion. 

The State appealed and petitioned this court for transfer.  We granted the State’s petition.  The State argues that the circuit court erred in its interpretation and application of Bruen and that Wilson lacked standing to bring his constitutional challenges.  Wilson disagrees, arguing that Bruen applies, and that he has standing to challenge the charges against him.