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Purchasing a Handgun or Firearm in Hawaii

Purchasing a Firearm in Hawaii

The process for buying a firearm in Hawaii is a very tedious and time consuming effort. Our current legislation and gun laws require that a person obtain a permit to purchase all handguns.   Under §134-2 Permits to Acquire any person purchasing a firearm here will need to get a permit under this section.

Getting these permits is not overly difficult, but it is very time consuming for the average person.  Generally a person will need three separate days or afternoons to obtain their permit.  So here is what happens when you attempt to buy your firearm.

First, a person will go to their local Hawaii gun store or private dealer and locate a firearm that fits their needs.  You then purchase your firearm from the private seller or FFL.  This purchase however, does not allow you to immediately take your firearm home.  While you now own that firearm, you are still not allowed to possess it, until you have your HRS 134-2 Permit to Acquire in hand.  We must now go off to the local police station and file the paper work to obtain this permit.

What is required to apply for a §134-2 Permit?

  • You must be eighteen years of age for a long gun (rifles and shotguns)
  • You must be twenty-one years of age or greater for a handgun (pistols and revolvers)
  • A photo identification
  • 19.25 (in exact change) if you have not previously been (and paid for) fingerprinting.
  • Proof of Hunter Education Course or other authorized Handgun Safety Training. (To purchase handguns)

What information will I give?

The following excerpt is from the HRS (retrieved 1/3/2011):

The permit application form shall include the applicant’s name, address, sex, height, weight, date of birth, place of birth, country of citizenship, social security number, alien or admission number, and information regarding the applicant’s mental health history and shall require the fingerprinting and photographing of the applicant by the police department of the county of registration.

What does this mean?

You will provide the required information in filling out the form, sign a mental health waiver and submit your fingerprints.

What does the mental health waiver mean?

The mental health waiver gives the Chief of Police permission to contact your doctor, if you hold any, and retrieve all information related to your mental well-being.  Adverse psychological effects as documented by the APA can become a conflict to acquiring your permit.

When do I get my permit?

The police will require you to wait 14 days for your permit; you have only ten days to pick up this permit from the police station. This requires your second trip to the station.

After I get my permit, what do I do?

You will take your permit back to the store or person you purchased the firearm from to obtain your purchase.  After obtaining your firearm, you must make yet another trip to the police station!  They want to verify that the permit you were given was utilized to purchase the firearm you said that you purchased!!  This is your third trip to the police station.

You can see, that the process in itself is not difficult per say, but does require lots of time and numerous trips for frivolous documentation.  With a rejection of only 1% (by attorney general statistics), these registration requirements are of little benefit to anyone, including the state, as they provide no increased benefit then that already required NICS check. Registration and its support functions continue to cost the tax payers large amount of tax money with little return of investment.