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Firearm Registration Increasing Again Statewide

June 17, 2019, 11:33 AM HST · Updated June 18, 10:50 AM
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After a lull in 2017, firearms permits in Hawaiʻi were back on the rise last year according to the latest firearms registration statistical report, released by the Hawaiʻi Department of the Attorney General, Crime Prevention & Justice Assistance Division.

Shooting_range_Glock

A firearms safety course is required before obtaining a handgun permit in the islands. Photo credit Ratha Grimes commons.wikimedia.org

Statewide a total of 18,070 personal/private firearm permit applications were processed in 2018, showing a 9.9 percent increase from the 16,443 applications processed in 2017.

In Maui County there were 2,014 firearms permits processed last year, up from 1,662 permits processed in 2017, for an increase of 21 percent. The firearms registration tally for Maui County was the third highest in the state behind the City and County of Honolulu and Hawaiʻi County.

The study states that “firearms activity increased dramatically over the course of the 19 years (from 2000 to 2018) for which these data have been systematically complied and reported.” There were exceptions in 2010, 2014, 2015 and again in 2017 when firearms registration in the state decreased rather than increased according to Paul Perrone, Chief of Research and Statistics for the division.

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“The increase in 2018 is in relation to a somewhat unusual decrease in 2017, but overall firearm registration activity has continued at a historically high rate over the past decade,” Perrone said.

Looking at firearms permit denials, Maui County residents were denied firearms permits 24 times last year. The reasons for permit denials include abuse of family, alcohol abuse/addiction, assault, endangerment, restraining orders and disqualifying juvenile offenses. The highest number of denials for any one reason were four denials for medical marijuana patients.

Statewide there were 301 permit applications denied last year.

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The City & County of Honolulu had the most firearms permit denials, 166, in 2018. Out of that total a majority of the denials – 101 – were for mental health issues and/or treatment.

Hawaiʻi County had the second highest number of denials with 92, and like Oahu had a majority of its denials involving applicants going through mental health issues and/or treatment.

Kauaʻi County had a total of 19 denials, eight of which involved medical marijuana patients.

The state’s annual study is based upon monthly firearms registration reports submitted by all four county police departments. For a direct link to the report visit https://ag.hawaii.gov/cpja/files/2019/05/Firearm-Registrations-in-Hawaii-2018.pdf.

For more information about firearms permits in Maui County visit https://www.mauicounty.gov/329/Firearms.

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