Hawaiʻi Firearm Permits and Registrations Increased in 2016

May 3, 2017, 4:09 PM HST · Updated May 3, 4:11 PM
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The Department of the Attorney General released its annual report detailing statewide and county firearm registration statistics for calendar year 2016 today.

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A firearms safety course is required before obtaining a handgun permit in the islands.

A total of 21,408 personal firearm permit applications were processed statewide during 2016, marking an 8.4% increase from the tally in 2015. Of the applications processed in 2016, 95.7% (20,488) were approved and resulted in issued permits; 2.8% (592) were approved but subsequently voided after the applicants failed to return for their permits within the specified time period; and 1.5% (328) were denied due to one or more disqualifying factors.

The 20,488 permits issued statewide in 2016 cover a total of 53,400 firearms registered during the year, resulting in a 14.1% increase from the tally of firearms registered throughout 2015. About half (26,616 or 49.8%) of the firearms registered during 2016 were imported from out-of-state, with the remainder accounted for by transfers of firearms that were previously registered in Hawaiʻi.

Firearm registration activity increased dramatically over the course of the 17 years for which these data have been systematically compiled and reported. Statewide from 2000 through 2016, the annual number of statewide permit applications processed climbed 341.1%, the annual number of firearms registered soared 392.2%, and the annual number of firearms imported surged 368.2%. For 2016, Kauaʻi County reported record high tallies for all three categories.

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It is a misdemeanor in the State of Hawaiʻi to provide falsified information on firearm permit applications, unless the falsified information pertains to criminal or mental health histories, in which case it is a felony offense. In 2016, falsified criminal or mental health information or both were provided in 60.1% (197) of the 328 denial cases; falsified information pertaining to anything other than criminal or mental health histories was provided in 1.5% (5) of the cases; and no falsified information was provided in 38.4% (126) of the cases.

Persons with documented mental health histories; those who within one year of their applications were medical marijuana patients; and those with documented alcohol and/or substance abuse treatment histories were, respectively, the top three types of applicants whose permit applications were denied in 2016.

Firearm Registrations in Hawaiʻi, 2016 provides a range of additional statistics and analyses focused on firearm permits/licenses, registrations, and denials in the State of Hawaii and its four counties. The full report can be downloaded from the Department of the Attorney General’s Research and Statistics Branch website.


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