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The steps you need to take to own a firearm in Hawaii

HONOLULU (KHON2) - There's no limit to the amount of firearms you can legally own in Hawaii.

You just need to follow the law, and it's a very strict law.

The Hawaii Constitution mirrors the U.S. Constitution when it comes to the right to bear arms.

If you want to buy a gun in Hawaii, you must be at least 21 years old, and you need a permit.

To get a rifle like an AR, AK, shotgun, or hunting rifle -- or any type of long gun -- you need a permit, which is renewable once a year, and you can purchase as many rifles as you want during that time period.

But after you buy the rifle, you need to register the firearm with the police department in your county. 

For handguns like pistols or revolvers, the process is different, and much more time-consuming. Each individual handgun requires a separate permit in order to buy it.

So you'd go to the gun store, pick the firearm you want to buy, get the serial number, go to the police station, and apply for a permit.

Then, you must wait 14 days while they do a background check, and when you come back after the waiting period, police will issue the permit. Then you'd go back to the store, fill out the federal firearms form, give them a copy of your permit, and the store will complete the transaction.

Then, you need to go back to the police station to register the gun.

On Oahu, that would be at the main Honolulu Police Department station on Beretania Street. The Firearms Unit is located in the Records Division at the front of the building.

Also, in order to buy a handgun in Hawaii, you need a Hunters Education card or a Handgun Safety Training Course affidavit.

In Hawaii, everyone who acquires a firearm as of last year must register with the Rap Back program, and pay a $42 one-time fee.

Rap Back is a federal database of firearms owners, and if you're arrested somewhere on the mainland, the system notifies Hawaii law enforcement of your arrest, and police may be able to seize your firearms.

Police can also take away your firearms if a doctor diagnoses you with a mental health problem and you are deemed a threat to yourself or others. And you also have to turn in your firearms if you have a restraining order taken out against you, or if a judge orders you to surrender your firearms.

Anyone registering guns from out-of-state needs to take their firearms to the police station no later than five days after the guns arrive in Hawaii. That process can also be lengthy.

The bottom line is that Hawaii has very strict laws when it comes to firearms ownership, and one of the lowest gun death rates in the nation, despite a very high number of registered firearms in the state.

Click here for more information from the Honolulu Police Department.


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