The paradise state of Hawaii strictly regulates the ownership, carrying and sale of all firearms. This state has some of the most restrictive and difficult to navigate laws in the entire country. Additionally, legislation is being discussed that would further restrict gun rights in the state of Hawaii.
If you live in Hawaii here are some guidelines to help you navigate your gun rights.
State Gun Laws
Gun laws in Hawaii are very restrictive. State law prohibits fully automatic firearms, shotguns with barrels less than 18 inches and rifles with barrels less than 16 inches. Additionally, all machine guns, high capacity magazines and silencers/suppressors are prohibited for the average citizen.
To acquire a firearm (that does not fall in the above categories) within the state requires a permit and all firearms must be registered with the chief of police within 5 days of possession.
It is a Class-A felony to carry a loaded firearm anywhere in the state of Hawaii. Unloaded firearms may be transported with a permit but must be unloaded and secured in a gun case. Transport is only allowed between the owner’s residence or business and select locations such as a gun shop for repair, a firearms show or exhibit, training center, or a police station.
Acquiring a firearm in Hawaii requires a “Permit to Acquire” and each firearm requires its own permit although a long gun permit can be used for any number of rifles or shotguns within a one-year period. The application to acquire a firearm in Hawaii requires passing a criminal background check, submitting an affidavit of mental health and release of medical records. First time applicants will be fingerprinted and must complete a handgun safety course or possess a hunter’s education card. Once all the application requirements are met there is a 14-20 day waiting period before the permit will be issued.
Concealed Weapons Permits
Hawaii is a “may issue” state for concealed carry permits. Any applicant must show reason to fear injury to person or property that a concealed weapons permit is needed to protect themselves. The Chief of Police then reviews the application and determines if there is exceptional need. The general consensus in Hawaii is that the cases where a permit is granted are few and far between. Even once all the requirements have been met and you prove exceptional need it is unlikely that you will be granted a permit.
If despite these odds you still want to try to obtain a permit you will need to follow these steps. The first requirement is to obtain the handgun “Permit to Acquire” then secondly you will need to demonstrate “exceptional need to protect person or property.” There are no set guidelines as to what “exceptional need” is and in most cases is left up to the discretion of the Chief of Police.
CCW in Hawaii is about as unlikely as being handed the keys to a Ferrari.
Reciprocity allows permit holders in one state who have a concealed weapons permit to legally carry in another state. There are currently 14 states that honor Hawaii’s Concealed Weapon Permit. These states include Alaska, Arizona, Utah, Idaho, South Dakota, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Missouri, Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Vermont. Hawaii does not recognize any concealed carry permits from any state.
There is one glimmer of hope in all this, while Hawaii will not honor the permit we offer, you can take our course and apply to Arizona for their Non-Resident Permit that will provide reciprocity if you travel to any of the 29 states that honors it. At least in those states you will be able carry concealed and in many cases openly due to the less restrictive gun laws.
Gun law information in Hawaii: http://www.honolulupd.org/information/index.php?page=gunmain
Hawaii License to Carry Information: http://hawaiiccw.com/hawaii-gun-firearm-laws/hawaii-county-application-license-carry-firearms-weapons/