Hawaii Gun Laws

Learn about gun control laws, gun permit requirements, and penalties in Hawaii.

In Hawaii, you must obtain a permit to purchase firearms and a license and carry them (openly or concealed). (Hi. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 134-9.) For more information, see Open and Concealed Gun Carrying Laws in Hawaii.

How to Obtain a Permit to Purchase a Handgun in Hawaii

To buy a handgun in Hawaii, you must first obtain a permit from the chief of police in the county where your business is located or where you reside. You must:

  • be at least 21 years old
  • be a U.S. citizen
  • provide fingerprints
  • provide a photograph of yourself
  • provide a signed waiver allowing the chief of police to access records bearing on your mental health
  • pass a criminal background check, and
  • complete an approved hunter education or firearms safety training course.

There is a minimum 14 to 20 day waiting period to receive a permit, and a separate permit is required for each handgun. Once a firearm is acquired, you must register it with the chief of police within 5 days (firearms brought from out of state must be registered within 3 days of arrival).

(Hi. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 134-2.)

How to Obtain a Carry License in Hawaii

To obtain a handgun carry license, you must apply with the chief of police in the county where you reside. In the application you must demonstrate you have a reason to fear injury to your person or property. To qualify to openlycarry a weapon, you must:

  • be at least 21 years old
  • be a U.S. citizen
  • be of good moral character, and
  • pass a criminal background check.

To carry a concealed weapon, you must additionally:

  • be qualified to use a firearm in a safe manner
  • appear to be a suitable person to be licensed, and
  • not have been adjudged or appear to currently be mentally deranged.

(Hi. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 134-9.)

In addition, for either open or concealed carry you must not be:

  • a fugitive from justice
  • under indictment for or convicted of a felony
  • under treatment or in counseling for addiction or abuse of drugs or alcohol
  • a person who has been acquitted of a crime on the grounds of a mental disease, disorder, or deficit; or have been diagnosed with having a significant behavioral, emotional, or mental disorder
  • someone convicted of specified juvenile crimes, or
  • subject to certain restraining orders having to do with domestic disputes or violence.

( Hi. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 134-7.)

Does Hawaii Recognize Handgun Licenses From Other States?

No. Hawaii does not recognize out-of-state licenses.

Penalties for Failing to Obtain a Concealed Handgun License

It is a misdemeanor to carry a handgun in Hawaii without a carry permit. (Hi. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 134-51.) Penalties include a fine of up to $2,000, up to one year in jail, or both.

Getting Legal Help

If you have any questions about whether you are allowed to carry a gun in Hawaii, or if you are facing charges for a gun permit violation, consult a qualified criminal defense lawyer.

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