David Simon Tips Cap to Hawaii Supreme Court’s Use of ‘The Wire’ in Landmark Guns Case

“Slim Charles was a sagacious motherf–ker,” the HBO show’s creator says of the character and his line quoted in Wednesday’s ruling

David Simon, creator of "The Wire" (Getty Images)

“The Wire” creator David Simon expressed approval for the Hawaii Supreme Court’s use of a Slim Charles quote in its landmark decision regarding the Second Amendment.

The Supreme Court of the island state ruled that a man can be prosecuted for possession of a gun in public without a state permit, which overturns a lower court ruling that such charges would violate his Second Amendment rights.

“As the world turns, it makes no sense for contemporary society to pledge allegiance to the founding era’s culture, realities, laws, and understanding of the Constitution,” the ruling reads, followed by a quote from “The Wire” character Slim Charles: “‘The thing about the old days, they the old days.’”

Simon responded to a tweet with the clip of the character, played by Anwan Glover, reciting the famous line.

“Slim Charles was a sagacious motherf–ker,” Simon wrote on X.

Christopher Wilson was charged for keeping a firearm in an improper place in addition to keeping ammunition in an improper place. He was arrested on Dec. 7, 2017, in the West Maui Mountains, where he was found in possession of a loaded handgun, which he said was for self-defense. He did not have a permit, as is required by Hawaii state law.

Wilson’s lawyers sought a dismissal of the charges with the argument that they violated his Second Amendment rights. His attorneys cited a 2022 Supreme Court ruling in “New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen.” Hawaii’s Circuit Court of the Second Circuit granted the motion, which was then appealed to the state’s Supreme Court.

“We reject Wilson’s constitutional challenges,” the Hawaii Supreme Court concluded. “Conventional interpretive modalities and Hawaiʻi’s historical tradition of firearm regulation rule out an individual right to keep and bear arms under the Hawaiʻi Constitution. In Hawaiʻi, there is no state constitutional right to carry a firearm in public.”

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