Hawaii gun background checks must be performed on an individual applying for a permit, which is required by State law in order to purchase a firearm. In order to receive a permit, the interested party must go to their local county chief of police. The county police department is in charge of fingerprinting and photographing the individual for a criminal background check and gaining access to their medical history. Any mental health issues, history of psychiatric diagnoses, or treatment for substance abuse will prohibit an individual from acquiring a permit. A permit to purchase a handgun is valid for ten (10) days, after which another permit must be obtained to acquire a handgun. Permits to purchase shotguns and rifles are good for one (1) year.

Bill of Sale – Written agreement between a purchaser and seller of a firearm.

Mental Health Waiver – To be completed by applicants of a firearms permit to authorize the release of mental health information.

Medical Information Waiver – To be completed by applicants of a firearms permit to authorize the release of medical health information.

Firearms Information Form – Provides information on an individual’s firearm (if they are applying for a Hawaii State permit and are bringing a firearm in from another state).

License to Carry a Concealed Firearm Form – Application form for concealed weapon permit.

Prohibited From Purchasing: Individuals under the age of twenty-one (21) and individuals that fall under any of the categories labelled under § 134-7.

For Sale of a Gun

Step 1 – A private seller may transfer/sell a firearm to an individual as long as they have an acquired a state permit to purchase or possess firearms. Individuals who have not yet obtained a permit can do so at their county’s police department (Hawaii County PD, Maui County PD, Kauai County PD).

Step 2 – Before applying for a permit, prospective permit-holders must complete a gun safety course or hunter education class conducted by an NRA instructor.

Step 3 – To speed up the application process, applicants can complete and print out the Mental Health Waiver, Medical Information Waiver and Firearms Information Form (if individual is bringing a firearm from another state) prior to visiting their county police department.

Step 4 – Individuals can submit an application to the chief of police for a one-time fee of $42. Applicants must bring the following documents and forms with them:

  • Valid photo ID
  • Information on seller
  • Mental Health Waiver
  • Medical Information Waiver
  • Firearms Information Form
  • $42.00 (cash or credit card)
  • Hunters Education Card or Handgun Safety Training Course Affidavit
  • Proof of U.S. citizenship (individuals born outside the U.S.)

Individuals will be fingerprinted so the police department can conduct a background check. This background check will be done using the Hawaii Criminal Justice Data Center (HCJDC) or the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). There will be a fourteen (14) day waiting period on all permit applications.

Concealed Carry Firearm Permit

Hawaii is, by law, a “May-Issue” State but permits to carry a weapon, openly or concealed, are rarely granted. A county’s chief of police has the authorization to grant individuals with a concealed weapon permit, but this is typically limited to law enforcement and military/security guards. Unusual circumstances, such as a threat to a person’s self or property, may incline a chief of police to accept an individual’s application to carry a concealed firearm.

Step 1 – Applicants for a Concealed Carry Firearm Permit must visit their county police department. Applicants must meet the following prerequisites and provide the following documentation upon arrival:

  • Must have one (1) registered firearm in the State of Hawaii
  • Two (2) passport photos
  • Government issued identification
  • Proof of U.S. citizenship (if born outside U.S.)
  • Valid reasons for acquiring concealed weapon permit
  • Proof of hunting course or firearms safety course

Step 2 – The Application for a License to Carry a Concealed Firearm Form must be completed in person.