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Hawaii Gun Laws

Hawaii Gun Laws



Over the past ten years, Hawaii’s gun laws have evolved to reflect the state’s dedication to stringent firearm regulations and public safety. From background checks to open carry restrictions, these developments have aimed to strike a balance between Second Amendment rights and community well-being. This article provides a comprehensive overview of the key advancements in Hawaii’s gun laws and regulations from 2013 to 2023, organized in bullet points:

2013 – Firearm Registration and Permit Requirement:

   – Hawaii enforces strict firearm registration and permit requirements for all firearm acquisitions, including long guns and handguns.

2014 – Ammunition Purchase Restrictions:

   – Legislation is introduced to regulate ammunition sales, requiring a permit for purchasing ammunition and enhancing background checks.

2015 – Mandatory Firearm Safety Course:

   – Hawaii mandates completion of a state-approved firearm safety course as a prerequisite for obtaining a firearm permit.

2016 – Background Checks for All Firearm Sales:

   – The state enhances background checks by requiring them for all firearm sales, including private transactions.

2017 – “Red Flag” Law Implementation:

   – Hawaii introduces Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPO), allowing law enforcement and family members to seek temporary firearm removal for individuals deemed a risk.

2018 – Enhanced Reporting of Mental Health Records:

   – The state improves the reporting of mental health records to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) to prevent firearm access by individuals deemed ineligible.

2019 – Open Carry Restrictions:

   – Hawaii enacts laws tightening open carry regulations, requiring applicants to demonstrate a justifiable need to carry a firearm.

2020 – Age Requirement for Firearm Purchases Raised:

   – The minimum age for purchasing firearms, including long guns and handguns, is raised from 18 to 21 years old.

2021 – Firearm Storage Requirements:

   – Hawaii introduces regulations mandating safe firearm storage to prevent unauthorized access, particularly in homes with minors.

2022 – Background Check Expansions:

    – The state considers expanding background checks to include private sales, raising discussions about closing potential loopholes.

2022 – Enhanced Training for Concealed Carry:

    – Legislation aims to strengthen training requirements for concealed carry permit applicants, focusing on responsible gun ownership and firearm handling skills.

2023 – “Red Flag” Law Amendments:

    – Hawaii revisits its “red flag” law, exploring potential enhancements to streamline the process for seeking temporary firearm removal.

2023 – Reporting Lost or Stolen Firearms and Ammunition:

    – Proposed legislation aims to require reporting lost or stolen firearms and ammunition to law enforcement, helping prevent the diversion of firearms to illegal markets.

2023 – Firearm Storage Inspections:

    – Hawaii considers introducing firearm storage inspections to ensure compliance with safe storage requirements and prevent unauthorized access.

Hawaii’s gun laws have undergone significant transformation over the past decade, reflecting the state’s commitment to robust firearm regulations and public safety. From stringent registration and background checks to discussions on “red flag” law amendments and enhanced firearm training, these changes underscore Hawaii’s proactive approach to firearm regulation. As the state continues to adapt its laws to meet evolving challenges, it remains essential for stakeholders, policymakers, and citizens to engage in informed discussions that prioritize both individual freedoms and community security.

Hawaii gun law, unlike many of the states in the United States, requires any person wishing to purchase or obtain a firearm to apply for a Hawaii gun permit that allows the transaction of firearms. The Hawaii gun permit to purchase extends to shotguns, rifle, and handguns. An individual must first apply for the permit to the chief of police pertaining to the county that the applicant resides in or place of business is located. The applicant must be at least 21 years of age and citizen of the United States.

There is a fourteen-day waiting period for the Hawaii gun permit to purchase firearms after the application is submitted. The permits themselves are delegated with specific restrictions depending of the type of firearm being purchased or transferred. In the case of rifles or shotguns, a permit is valid for a period of one year, and the permit holder can make subsequent purchases of shotguns or rifles within that time period. In the case of handguns, a separate application and permit is required for each purchase.

Furthermore, a permit to purchase a handgun is contingent to applicant having completed a firearms safety course. The chief of police issuing the gun permit is required to assess the health of the applicant to evaluate the person’s ability to be able to own and operate a firearm. For other transactions of firearms, Hawaii law requires further steps to be taken for the transaction to be considered lawful. In a transaction where a firearm is bought and sold between two people, the permit must be signed by the purchaser and the provider of the firearm must include the purchaser’s information as well as the make and model of the firearm and a brief description.

For transactions that occur outside of the islands of Hawaii, the purchaser is required to mail the necessary information within 48 hours after the purchase of the weapon. Hawaii gun laws require that all firearms, working and none-working as well as ammunition, be registered with the appropriate chief of police. Firearms being brought in to the island are required to be registered within three days of weapons arrival, or of the owner’s arrival, which ever occurs last.

Hawaii gun law restricts firearm possession only to individuals that are free of felony convictions or drug-related convictions. Individuals under the age of 25 that have committed acts of violence or involved in the illegal trade of drugs are also prohibited. Also, anyone having any kind of history with mental disorders or illness is also considered unable to possess firearms; the exception lies if the person has been medically cleared as no longer being affected by such illnesses or disorders.

The possession of firearms is allowed only on the licensed-owner’s place of residence, business, or while traveling between these two locations, to get the firearm serviced, or while traveling to and from a location where the lawful use of firearms is permitted.

The license to carry a concealed firearm is available and may be applied for. However, it is not often granted by the chiefs of police unless there is an outstanding reason the applicant must carry a concealed weapon. Valid applicants must at least 12 years of age and a citizen of the United States, and if the application is approved, the license to carry a concealed weapon is restricted to the borders of the applicant’s place of residence or business.

Generally speaking, it is illegal to carry a loaded firearm in public without a proper permit as allowed by Hawaii gun laws. The only people exempt are law enforcement, military, and mail carriers, as well as other individuals employed by the state that requires the use or possession of a firearm.