Hawaii Gun Laws

Gun Control Laws in Hawaii

Hawaii’s gun laws are in place to govern the sale, use, ownership, and transfer of firearms in the state. These laws also pertain to ammunition. Hawaii’s gun laws are regulated at the county level, not the state. Hawaii is a “May Issue” state, but only issues permits rarely when absolutely necessary. Since 2000, only four permits have been issued. The state of Hawaii prioritizes permits for retired or active military personnel, law enforcement or court employees. By 2014, only 168 active handgun permits existed. Many court cases aim to change the gun laws in Hawaii, but so far, they remain pretty limited. Even to purchase a gun in Hawaii, you have to first apply for a permit. There is also a twenty-day waiting period to buy a handgun in the state. The police chief of each county issues permits. You need a license for every gun you own. If you move to Hawaii and bring weapons with you, you will need to register them with the police chief within three days.

State CCW Quick Facts

  • May Issue State gun policy
  • No Open Carry Permitted
  • No Constitutional Carry
  • No Carry In Vehicle
  • Residents License issued to
  • 21 Minimum age for license permit

Hawaii’s policy is May Issue in practice and its license is issued to residents. You can carry a handgun in: road side rest areas (not in buildings).

Hawaii CCW Reciprocity Map

The states that do offer Hawaii reciprocity and honor Hawaii’s gun permits are Vermont, Virginia, North Carolina, Mississippi, Alabama, Kentucky, Tennessee, Indiana, Ohio, Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Idaho, Utah, and Arizona. The states that do not honor Hawaii’s gun permits are Alaska, Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, Illinois, Minnesota, North Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Washington, Oregon, Nevada and California.

  • Permit honored
  • Permit not honored
  • Issuing state

Hawaii Concealed Carry Permit and Laws

Hawaii’s concealed carry and permit laws are incredibly restrictive. Hardly any permits are ever approved within the state and only then with very good reason. Hawaii is technically a “May Issue” state, and if someone is granted a permit, it is only good for their county. It is illegal to open carry a loaded weapon, concealed carry or carry in your vehicle and if you do, you will be slapped with a Class B felony. If you have an unloaded gun locked in a case, you can, in some instances, with a permit take it from home to work and back, to a gun dealership or a shooting range. If when transferring a firearm, you happen to come in contact with an officer, you must notify them that you are carrying and produce a permit. No weapon signs are strictly enforced in Hawaii, and you cannot carry in your vehicle, state parks or open carry. However, with a permit, you can enter a restaurant.

CCW Eligibility: Qualify or Pre-Qualify?

The process for obtaining a gun permit in Hawaii is pretty extensive. First, you must apply and agree to a background check, fingerprinting and you must provide access to your medical records and provide a medical affidavit proving you do not have any mental illness. You also need to complete a handgun safety course. You must be at least 21 years old to apply. You also have to prove that you are a permanent resident of Hawaii. To get a permit, you have to show “fear of injury to your person or property.” You must also comply with all federal gun statues and cannot be a convicted felon or suffer from alcohol or drug abuse or any mental illness.

Hawaii Gun Background Check

Hawaii is a point of sale state meaning that background checks can be handled by local law enforcement. When purchasing a gun in Hawaii, the buyer must first obtain a permit through the process above. Each handgun purchase requires a license, and they expire within ten days. Along with the background check, you must also sign a waiver to release your medical and mental health records to ensure that you are physically and mentally fit to handle a gun. Hawaii law requires the police chief to report anyone who fails the background check or permit application to the U.S. Attorney General, the Director of Public Safety and the D.A. for the county where the permit was denied. This is called the “lie and try” law.

  • Permits
  • Handguns
  • Long Guns
  • Total

HI CCW and Pistol Permit Information

State Concealed Carry Requirements

  • Must be at least 21 years old
  • Must be a lawful resident of Hawaii
  • Must be able to show reason to fear injury to your person or property.
  • Able to possess a firearm under Hawaii law.
  • Not have been judged to be insane or incapacitated under Hawaii law.
  • Qualified to use a firearm.

Gun CCW Permit Application

  1. Complete a handgun safety training course. Contact the police department in your county of residence to ensure the course you take is approved.
  2. If you can show valid reason to fear injury to yourself or to your property, go to the police department in your county of residence. If you cannot, per Hawaii law HRS 134-9, you won’t even be considered for a concealed carry permit. Bring the following items to the police department: a. Present your HI state issued I.D. or driver’s license. b. Present a U.S. birth certificate, U.S. Passport, Alien Registration number (with 90-day proof of residency), or other legal documentation that proves you are lawfully in the United States. c. Proof you’ve completed an approved handgun safety training course.
  3. Get a complete set of fingerprints taken. The department you’re applying to should provide this service.
  4. Submit to a criminal background investigation through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. This will be conducted by your county police department.

CCW Renewal

  • No permits have ever been renewed.

HI Concealed Carry License Fee information

Permit typeFees when getting a new permitRenewalCurrent license amendmentFingerprint scan feeFee for firearm classesAdditional state fees
Permit to acquire (handguns and long guns)$42.00No Renewal FeesEffective January 1, 2017, all firearms permit applicants (including prior firearms applicants, out-of-state firearms applicants, and law enforcement officers with personal firearms), will be assessed a $42 one-time fee. No fee will be charged for subsequent permits to acquire a firearm, but even those who previously paid a fingerprint fee prior to January 1, 2017, will be assessed the $42 fee for the first registration after January 1, 2017. Payment must be made by Money Order or Cashier’s Check only, payable to Hawaiʻi Criminal Justice Data Center.Up to $195
License to carry (handguns)$10.00$10.00Up to $195

Places Where You Can & Can’t Carry a Gun in Hawaii

Road Side Rest Areas (Not in buildings)State Parks
State/National Forests
State WMA’s

Hawaii CCW Contact

Hawaii Bureau of Firearms


Monday – Friday:N/A


Address:Hawaiʻi Police Department
349 Kapiʻolani Street
City:Hilo, Hawaiʻi 96720
Phone:East Hawaiʻi: (808) 961-2239
West Hawaiʻi: (808) 326-4646, Ext. 254

Reference Links

Counties in Hawaii