Hawaii is a may-issue state, which means the county chief of police may grant a person a permit. Hence, in purchasing firearms, a necessary background check and registration are compulsory. All firearms and ammunition MUST be registered to the chief of police of the county. A person could apply for a permit if he/she is at least 21-years-old. Unlike other states, Hawaii imposes tight restrictions when it comes to carrying a firearm -- both openly and concealed. Hence, carrying a firearm without a permit is considered a class B felony. Further, Hawaii reciprocity does not honor CCW Licenses from any other state. All permits are valid in the issuing county only.
Hawaii is a Castle Doctrine state, which grants a person immunity from criminal and civil law once proven that the use of deadly force is necessary to protect his/her self from possible death, injury, kidnapping, rape, or forcible sodomy. There's NO duty to retreat inside's a person's home or place of business; however, necessary outside those locations.
Hawaii CCW License Process
- The applicant must be at least 21-years-old to apply for a permit.
- The applicant must be a lawful resident of Hawaii.
- The applicant must be able to show reason to fear injury to your person or property.
- The applicant must be able to possess a firearm under Hawaii law.
- The applicant must not have been judged to be insane or incapacitated under Hawaii law.
- The applicant must be qualified to use a firearm.
For applications, please contact your county chief of police and provide the reason you fear injury to person or property.
No permits have ever been renewed.
- Individual Application: $10
- Fingerprinting Fees: $16.50
Hawaii CCW Laws: Facts To Know
Must Notify Officer
Yes - You Must Notify Officer
Anyone in Hawaii must notify or disclose to an officer that he/she is carrying a concealed firearm.
No Weapons Allowed
Red Flag Law
Yes - Hawaii has a red flag law
A law enforcement officer, family or household member, medical professional, educator, or colleague, may file a petition. If granted, the respondent shall not own, purchase, possess, receive, transfer ownership of, or have in the respondent's custody or control, or attempt to purchase, receive, or transfer ownership of, any firearm or ammunition while the order is in effect.
Hawaii Gun Forms & Supporting Documentation
Purchase and Possession
A permit to acquire a firearm1 must be obtained from the chief of police in the county in which the permittee resides or has his/her place of business. This applies to firearms that are purchased, inherited, gifted, or in any other manner obtained, whether in Hawaii or by import.
A permit for a firearm may be issued by the chief of police in his/her jurisdiction to any U.S. citizen who is 21 years of age or older, and to official representatives of foreign nations who are accredited to possess a firearm in the United States. A period of 14 calendar days must pass from the date of application to the issuance of a permit for firearms. A separate application and permit to acquire a pistol or revolver must be obtained for every firearm. An initial permit to acquire any rifle or shotgun allows the permittee to obtain subsequent rifles or shotguns under the same permit for a period of up to one year. A permit to acquire a pistol or revolver must be used within 10 days of issuance and will not be granted until the applicant has completed a firearms safety-training course.
When possession of a firearm is transferred from one individual to another, the permit must be signed by the new permittee and delivered to the individual transferring the firearms title.
Within 48 hours of the firearms transfer the transferor must include the following information on the permit: the recipient’s name, description of the firearm, and the serial number of the firearm. This information must be sent by registered mail to the chief of police within the 48-hour period.
If the firearm originates from a source outside of the state of Hawaii, the recipient of the firearm to whom the permit has been issued must fill out the permit and send it to the chief of police, by registered mail within 48 hours after taking possession. The chief of police shall receive information from a health care provider or public health authority relating to the mental health history of the firearms recipient. The individual must sign a waiver permitting the release of personal health information understanding that it will be used solely for the purpose of determining his/her fitness to own a firearm.
The person obtaining a firearm in connection with the permit must pay a fee of $24.00 ($19.75 at the Honolulu PD), to cover a one time fingerprinting charge, payable by cash or certified check. He/she must also register the firearm within five days of acquiring it.
Any person, under the age of 18, may not lawfully have transferred to him/her a firearm whether rifle or shotgun, usable or unusable, antique or modern, unregistered or registered, serviceable or unserviceable.
It is illegal for any person to possess, own, or control any firearm or ammunition under the following conditions:
If he/she is a convicted felon, or a fugitive from justice, or has been convicted of any crime involving the use, possession, or illegal sale of any drug, is an alcoholic, has been committed to a mental health facility, or has been diagnosed with a mental disorder, unless he/she has received documentation that he/she is fully rehabilitated from alcohol or drug abuse/dependence and that no mental illness is present so as to adversely effect the possession of a firearm. Firearms possession is not permitted by any person under the age of 25 that has committed a felony according to the family court, or two or more violent crimes, or any person under a restraining order issued by the courts. An individual who is denied a firearms permit for any of the above reasons must surrender the firearm and ammunition within 30 days, or provide proof that the information which prohibits his/her use of firearms is invalid.
While it is illegal for any person under the age of 18 to take possession of a rifle or shotgun, it is lawful for a person 16 years or older, and any person under the age of 16 while under the supervision of an adult, who possess a hunting license, to legally obtain a shotgun or rifle and ammunition suitable for the firearm while engaged in the activity of hunting or travelling to and from the location, or while engaged in the activity of target shooting at a shooting range.
A person may not legally possess a handgun that is owned by another individual, without a permit. A handgun that is owned by another individual and is in his/her lawful possession may be loaned to another person, even if he/she is a minor, if it is loaned at a target range only for the duration of time spent at the target range for shooting practice. A shotgun and rifle can be loaned to individuals authorized for use, for up to a period of two weeks.
It is prohibited to manufacture, possess, trade, barter, transfer, gift, sell or acquire any ammunition magazines that have a capacity over ten rounds for any pistol.
It is illegal to bring or cause to be brought, any assault pistol into the state of Hawaii after July 1, 1992. An assault pistol cannot be sold or transferred on or after July 1, 1992, to any person within the state of Hawaii, unless to a licensed dealer of the state, or the chief of police of any county. Any individual who inherits or obtains title to an assault pistol through interstate succession that is registered within the state of Hawaii must render the weapon either permanently inoperable, sell or transfer the firearm to a licensed dealer or the chief of police, or remove the weapon from the state within 90 days. The term, “Assault Pistol” refers to any semiautomatic pistol that can accept a detachable magazine and possesses two or more of the following characteristics: a threaded barrel that can accept a barrel extender, a flash suppressor, a silencer, a forward hand grip, a shroud that encircles the barrel that prevents the user from burns, an ammunition magazine that attaches to the pistol outside of the pistol grip, a manufactured weight of 50 ounces or more unloaded, a centerfire pistol with an overall length of 12 inches or more; or is a semiautomatic version of an automatic firearm.
Carrying a Firearm
It is legal to possess a firearm and ammunition in one’s residence, place of business or temporary residence. A firearm may be legally transported in an enclosed container 3 or any other container that is suitable, from the location of purchase to the residence, place of business, or temporary residence, or between such places if moving, or between any of the above places and a firearms repair establishment or target range.
Any person carrying a loaded firearm on a public highway must possess a permit to carry.
Exemptions to this regulation include:
• Members of the armed forces 4, law enforcement officers, mail carriers.
• Any individual whose occupation requires the carrying of firearms in the course of his/her duties while employed by the armed forces, state of Hawaii, its subdivisions, or the U.S., or traveling to and from those locations.
• Any person who is regularly enrolled in an organization where they are authorized to receive or purchase firearms from the U.S. or from the state, while in transit to or from target practice and their place of assembly.
The chief of police may make an exception to carrying a concealed firearm on a person, if the individual can demonstrate that he/she fears injury to himself/herself or property. The chief of police may grant the concealed carry permit to an applicant within the county of his jurisdiction if the applicant is a U.S. citizen or an official representative accredited from a foreign nation at least 21 years of age. 5
A chief of police may, after determining sufficient urgency, grant a license to carry a handgun unconcealed on the body, to an individual 21 years or older, of good moral character, and a U.S. citizen.
The license to carry is valid for a period of one year and costs $10.00. A license will only be issued to a person who may legally own or possess a firearm, and is of sound mind and judged to be “suitable for licensure”.
The judge of any court or the issuing authority of firearms may revoke a permit or license for good cause. A report of all permits and licenses issued shall be made to the Attorney General.
Antiques & Replicas
Any firearm that is designed to fire loose black powder does not require registration. All other firearms whether antiques or replicas must follow guidelines set forth for all firearms.
No person may lawfully possess, manufacture, sell, barter, trade, gift, transfer, or acquire any machine gun in the state of Hawaii. Persons exempt from this provision include, law enforcement officers, mail carriers, members of the armed forces, persons employed by the state of Hawaii, its subdivisions, or the U.S. whose occupation requires that he/she carry a machine gun as part of their duties or while in transit to or from those duties. These provisions also apply to rifles with barrels under 16 inches in length and shotguns with barrels under 18 inches in length.
It is illegal to willingly remove, obliterate or alter the serial number, name of the make, model, or other identifying information of any firearm or ammunition. There is a legal presumption that the possessor of such a firearm is guilty of the illegal act.
The governor of Hawaii may suspend or cancel any license to sell or manufacture firearms and can seize such weapons in the course of a national emergency or crisis, until such time as the crisis has passed or the U.S. government or the government of Hawaii and the licensee has agreed upon a method of firearms disposition. The penalty for violation of the provisions pertaining to any automatic firearm, assault pistol, sawed off shotgun or rifle shall be imprisonment for a term of not less than two years or more than five years without probation.
It is illegal for any person to carry on his person, or possess on any public highway, a firearm, either loaded or unloaded without a license to carry.
It is illegal to store a firearm or to keep a firearm on the premises with the knowledge that a minor under the age of 16 could likely gain access to the weapon without permission from a parent or guardian, unless the firearm is locked in a secured container or lock box, or in a location that is believed to be secure; or where the firearm is carried on the person or in close proximity so that the person could retrieve the firearm readily and use it as if it were carried on his person. Permits of this type are extremely difficult to obtain. (County Police departments will not approve a license of this nature for any reason according to the most recent information).
It is illegal to manufacture, possess, sell, transfer, or acquire an ammunition magazine that is detachable and has a capacity of more than 10 rounds and can be used with a pistol.
It is legal to possess a handgun and ammunition while traveling to or from one’s residence, place of business or temporary residence, target range, or hunting location if transported in an enclosed container 3 or other container that is suitable. While lawfully engaged in hunting game mammals, a person may carry a pistol or revolver in the open.