Hawaii Gun Laws are based on the State Constitutional Provision that says, “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”
Hawaii Gun Laws are one of the strictest in the nation. A permit is needed prior to the purchase or possession of guns. Then, a registration is also required by the state for owners of rifles, shotguns and handguns. In addition, a permit to carry is required for individuals who carry their handguns with them in certain areas specified by the law. However, the licensing of gun owners is not mandated by Hawaii Gun Laws. More of these shall be discussed in the next section of this article.
Rules and Restrictions Under Hawaii Gun Laws
Here is a quick run on the requirements and restrictions provided by Hawaii Gun Laws:
1. A “permit to acquire” issued by the chief of police of the applicant’s county is needed prior to the ownership of a firearm. This rule covers acquisitions through donation, gift, inheritance, purchase or all other means of firearm transfer.
2. To be eligible for a permit to acquire, the applicant must be at least 21 years old and a resident of the county where he is applying. However, foreigners can still acquire a permit if they are accredited representatives of foreign countries.
3. A permit for the acquisition of a handgun is separate from the permit to acquire a shotgun or a rifle. Unlike the permits issued for ownership of long arms that can be used for multiple purchases, the permit for handgun ownership is only good for one handgun purchase. A person planning on purchasing two or more handguns must secure a permit for each transaction.
4. A handgun permit will not be issued to individuals who will not pass a firearm safety training course.
5. Prior to the transfer of a firearm, the transferor must furnish the chief of police within 48 hours the permit containing information regarding the transaction which includes the name of the recipient and the serial number of the gun.
6. For a person acquiring a firearm from a source outside Hawaii, he must fill up the permit and mail it to the chief of police within 48 hours from the date of the possession of the gun.
7. The chief of police may deny an application based on grounds pertaining to the applicant’s mental health.
8. A person who just acquired a firearm must register it within five days to the chief of police of his county. Exempted from this are unserviceable firearms and explosive devices registered under the director of the ATF.
9. A person arriving with a firearm in the state must register the weapon within three days.
10. Transferring a shotgun or rifle to anyone under 18 years of age is illegal except when the person over 16 years of age is within adult supervision, has a hunting license and there are no legal impediments involved in the turnover.
11. An individual who has been classified as a fugitive, convicted felon, guilty of possesion or sale of illegal drugs, adjudicated delinquent with an act that would constitute felony if committed as an adult, identified as abuser of a controlled substance or mentally incapable is not allowed to possess a gun.
12. A person or foreign delegate who can present a proof to the chief of police that he or his property is in imminent danger from injury can be granted a concealled carry permit that will allow him to possess a handgun anywhere within the county where his permit was issued. It should be noted though that this can only be permitted if the person is at least 21 years old, he can furnish the documents plus fees legally required by Hawaii Gun Laws and there are no legal impediments that can prevent him from owning a gun.
13. A permit to carry is good only for one year.
14. Magazines that can hold more than 10 rounds are prohibited.
15. It is illegal to possess an assault pistol, machine gun, rifles with less than 16 inches of barrel length or shotguns with less than 18 inches of barrel length. But policemen, members of the Armed Forces and other persons authorized by federal and Hawaii Gun Laws are exemptions to this.
16. The possession of firearm should only be within the legal dwelling place, business establishment or property of the owner. Transporting the firearm to and from these places, gun repair shop or a shooting range is allowed as long as it is unloaded and stored in a secure container.
17. Having a firearm that has altered or removed identification marks like model name and serial number is prohibited.
States that Recognize Hawaii Gun Laws
Currently, there are only a few states that recognize permits provided by Hawaii Gun Laws. These are:
- North Carolina
- South Dakota
On the other hand, Hawaii Gun Laws do not honor permits issued from other states.