Hawaii could soon create database listing gun permit applicants

Local News

When it comes to gun laws and gun violence, Hawaii is often described as one of the safest states.

Soon, there could be a database listing everyone in Hawaii who’s applied for a firearms permit. No other state has it.

At the Honolulu Police Department, people wait in line for about an hour to get a permit or registration for their firearms. The wait for a permit is two weeks.

“Something to take out to the range on a Sunday on Koko Head and utilize your Second Amendment rights,” said Mililani resident Emilio Hernandez.

In order to get a permit to own a gun or rifle in Hawaii, you need a valid ID, and pass fingerprint, medical and background checks.

There are a few differences in permits for firearms. For example, for a handgun, people need to go through a six-hour class. That isn’t required for rifles.

Experts say other states have requirements that are much more lenient.

“Vermont, for instance, you don’t need anything to get a gun. You don’t need anything to carry a gun. It’s called constitutional carry,” said Harvey Gerwig with the Hawaii Rifle Association.

Some lawmakers and local law enforcement are trying to create new gun laws. This past legislative session, lawmakers passed a bill that is now waiting for the governor’s signature.

“It forces everyone applying for a firearms permit to be placed on a federal firearms database, and this has never been used anywhere in the country for firearms,” Gerwig said.

“In terms of violent crime, (Hawaii is) one of the safest. In terms of gun violence, we rank as number one in terms of being safe (with) the least amount of gun violence in any major city,” said Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell.

But many believe it’s not just about strict laws. It’s also about responsible people.

“If there’s any hiccups along the way, either someone’s going to jail or someone’s going to lose their life, and it’s not something to be taken lightly,” Hernandez said.

A permit or registration can get turned down for a number of reasons. For example, if your doctor doesn’t sign off on your application or if you have a temporary restraining order against you.

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