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What are the Gun Laws in Hawaii?

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Caution: This summary is meant for general purposes only. Firearm laws frequently change and the following answers may not reflect changes in the laws.


Child Access Prevention Law? Yes
Juvenile Possession Law? Yes
Juvenile Sale/Transfer Law? Yes

State Requirements

Rifles and Shotguns
  • Permit to purchase rifles and shotguns? Yes
  • Registration of rifles and shotguns? Yes
  • Licensing of owners of rifles and shotguns? No
  • Permit to carry rifles and shotguns? No
Handguns
  • Permit to purchase handgun? Yes
  • Registration of handguns? Yes
  • Licensing of owners of handguns? No
  • Permit to carry handguns? Yes.

Purchase:

No person shall acquire the ownership of a firearm1, either by purchase, gift, inheritance, bequest, or in any other manner, until he has first procured from the chief of police of the county of his place of business, residence, or sojourn a permit to acquire.

  • Each chief of police may issue permits within his jurisdiction to citizens of the U.S. who are at least 21 and to duly accredited official representatives of foreign nations.

  • No permit shall be issued to an applicant earlier than 14 calendar days after the date of application.

  • No permit shall be issued to an applicant earlier than 14 calendar days after the date of application.

  • Permits to acquire a pistol or revolver require a separate application and permit for each transaction.

  • Permits issued to purchase any rifle or shotgun entitles the permittee to make subsequent purchases of rifles or shotguns for a period of one year from the date of issue and does not require a separate application and permit for each transaction.

  • No person shall be issued a permit for the acquisition of a pistol or revolver unless the person has completed a firearms safety training course.
  • The permit shall be void unless used within 10 days after the date of issue.

  • In all cases where possession of a firearm is acquired from another person in Hawaii, the permit shall be signed by its holder and shall be delivered to the person who is transferring title to the firearm.

  • The transferor is required to provide information on the permit including the name of the person to whom the firearm, rifle or shotgun was transferred and a description of the firearm, and then bring or send the permit by registered mail to the chief of police within 48 hours.
  • If the firearm is obtained from sources outside Hawaii, the person to whom the permit has been issued is required to fill out and deliver or mail the permit by registered mail to the chief of police within 48 hours after taking possession of the handgun.

  • A health care provider or public health authority shall disclose required health information to the appropriate county chief of police provided that this Information shall be used solely to evaluate the persons fitness to acquire or own a firearm and he has signed a waiver permitting release of the information.
  • Any person acquiring a firearm under the permit is required to register it within five days of acquisition.

  • A rifle or shotgun whether usable or unusable, serviceable or unserviceable, modern or antique, registered or unregistered, may not be transferred to any person under 18.

Registration

All firearms and ammunition must be registered with the chief of police of the county of one’s place of business, one’s residence, or one’s place of sojourn. This includes firearms of any description, whether usable or unusable, serviceable or unserviceable, modern or antique, or ammunition of any type and description.

Exempt from this registration are all unserviceable firearms and destructive devices registered with the Director, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

Every person arriving in the state is required to register their firearms within three days after arrival of the person or of the firearm, whichever arrives later.

Exemptions:

  • Any device that is designed to fire loose black powder or that is a firearm manufactured before 1899.

  • Any device not designed to fire or made incapable of being readily restored to a firing condition.
  • All unserviceable firearms and destructive devices registered with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms.


Note: There is no registration fee. The Department of the Attorney General receives duplicate copies of all registrations.

Possession

It is unlawful for a person to own, possess or control any firearm or ammunition if:
  • He is a fugitive from justice or has been convicted of a felony or of the illegal use, possession or sale of any drug.

  • Any person who is less than 25 and has been adjudicated by the family court to have committed a felony, two or more crimes of violence, or illegal sale of drugs.
  • Addicted to alcohol, committed to a mental institution or has been diagnosed as having mental disorders unless the person has been medically documented to be no longer adversely affected by the addiction, abuse, dependence or mental illness.

Carrying:

The possession of all firearms and ammunition is restricted to the possessor’s place of business, residence, or sojourn, but it is lawful to carry firearms and ammunition in an enclosed container three or other suitable container from the place of purchase to the purchaser’s home, place of business, or place of sojourn, or between these places when moving, or between these places and a place of repair or a target range.

It is unlawful to possess or carry a loaded firearm on any public highway without a permit to carry.

Exemptions:

  • Law enforcement officers, mail carriers, and members of military forces.

  • Persons employed by the state, its subdivisions, or the U.S. whose duties require being armed while they are performing those duties or going to and from their respective places of duty.

  • Regularly enrolled members of any organization duly authorized to purchase or receive the firearms from the U.S. or from the state, provided they are at, or going to or from their places of assembly or target practice.

In an exceptional case, when the applicant shows reason to fear injury to his person or property, the respective chief of police may grant a license to carry a concealed firearm on his person within the county where the license is granted to a U.S. citizen or duly accredited official representative of a foreign nation age 21 or older.

Where the urgency of the need has been sufficiently indicated to the respective chief of police, he may grant to an applicant of good moral character who is a citizen of the U S. of the age of 21 or older, who is engaged in the protection of life and property, a license to carry a handgun unconcealed on his person within the county where the license is granted. Licenses to carry are valid for one year.

All permits and licenses may be revoked for good cause by the issuing authority or by the judge of any court. The Attorney General receives a report of all permits and licenses issued.

See Also:
National Rifle Association of America, Institute for Legislative Action

Firearm Laws in Hawaii

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