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Hawaii Gun Control Laws

Hawaii, with some of the nation’s toughest gun-related laws, keeps a tight rein on gun ownership, registration and use. Hawaii prosecutors report that gun crime levels in the state are relatively low. Hawaii's gun control laws are very similar to federal gun laws. Indeed, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence ranks Hawaii’s gun laws as sixth-best in the country.

Hawaii residents cannot purchase a firearm without first getting a permit to acquire the gun. People apply for those permits through the police department, and the department first checks local, state and national databases to see if the applicant has been convicted of a felony or a violent crime, including misdemeanor assaults or domestic violence charges.

See the table below for a quick summary of Hawaii's gun control laws, while a more descriptive version follows. For more general, national information see Gun Laws in FindLaw's Accidents and Injuries section to learn more.

Code Section 134-1, et seq.
Illegal Arms Automatic firearms; rifles with barrel length less than 16 inches; shotguns with barrels less than 18 inches; cannons; mufflers/silencers; hand grenades; assault pistol; any ammunition coated with Teflon or designed to explode/segment upon impact
Waiting Period 14 days generally
Who May Not Own 1. Fugitive from justice; 2. Under indictment or convicted of felony or crime of violence or illegal sale of drug; 3. Under treatment for addiction to dangerous, harmful, or detrimental drug; or intoxicating liquor; 4. Diagnosed with significant behavioral, emotional, or mental disorder or acquitted of a crime on grounds of mental disease/disorder or committed to institution for persons with developmental disorder or mental retardation; 5. Anyone under 25 yrs. and has been adjudicated by family court to have committed a felony, two or more crimes of violence or illegal sale of drugs; 6. Minors who are under treatment for addiction to drugs/alcohol, fugitives from justice or determined not to be responsible for a criminal act or who has been committed to an institution on account of mental disease/defect/disorder
Law Prohibiting Firearms On or Near School Grounds None

Prohibited guns, according to state law, include the following:

  • assault pistols;
  • fully automatic firearms;
  • rifles with barrel lengths less than 16 inches;
  • shotguns with barrel lengths less than 18 inches;
  • cannons;
  • mufflers, silencers or devices for deadening or muffling the sound of discharged firearms;
  • hand grenades, dynamite, blasting caps, bombs or bombshells, or other explosives;
  • or any type of ammunition or any projectile component coated with Teflon or any other similar coating designed primarily to enhance its capability to penetrate metal or pierce protective armor;
  • any type of ammunition or any projectile component thereof designed or intended to explode or segment upon impact with its target.

Converting a firearm to an automatic firearm is a crime. Ammunition magazines with a capacity of more than 10 rounds for a pistol are also prohibited. (Remember that state laws are constantly changing, so be sure to conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.)

If you would like to know more about firearm ownership, and help determining which firearms are legal to own, there are many attorneys throughout Hawaii with criminal law experience who may be able to help.

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