Hawaii Firearm Permits at Record High Level in 2011

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REPORT FROM THE ATTORNEY GENERAL’S OFFICE – The Department of the Attorney General has released its annual report detailing state firearm registration statistics for calendar year 2011. 

A record high total of 15,375 personal/private firearm permit applications were processed statewide during 2011, marking a substantial 20.1% increase from the previous record high of 12,801 applications processed in 2010. Of the applications processed in 2011, 94.0% were approved and resulted in issued permits; 4.5% were approved but subsequently voided after the applicants failed to return for their permits within a specified time period; and 1.5% were rejected due to one or more disqualifying factors. 
The 14,460 permits issued statewide in 2011 cover a record high total of 36,804 firearms registered, marking a 17.2% increase from the 31,390 firearms registered in 2010. Just under half, 48.8% (17,949) of the firearms registered during 2011 were imported from out-of-state, with the remainder 51.2% (18,855) accounted for by in-state transfers (i.e., firearms that were already in Hawaii).

Firearm registration activity increased dramatically over the course of the twelve years for which these data have been systematically compiled and reported.  From 2000 through 2011, the number of permit applications processed annually climbed 136.9%, the number of firearms registered soared 170.3%, and the number of firearms imported surged 148.3%.


The vast majority of rejections in Hawaii during 2011 were for longarm (e.g., rifles and shotguns) 88.7% (204) rather than handgun 11.3% (26) permit applications. Following a trend since this annual report was first published, longarm permit applications in 2011 were rejected at a rate that is several times higher than the rejection rate for handgun permit applications (2.3% for longarm permit applications versus 0.4% for handgun permit applications).

It is a felony in the State of Hawaii to provide falsified information on firearm permit applications, unless the falsified information does not pertain to criminal or mental health histories, in which case it is a misdemeanor offense.  In 2011, falsified criminal and/or mental health information was provided in 74.8% (172) of the 230 rejection cases; falsified information pertaining to anything other than criminal or mental health histories was provided in 3.5% (8) of the cases; both types of falsified information were provided in 0.4% (1) of the cases; and no falsified information was provided in 21.3% (49) of the cases.

The full report can be downloaded from the Crime Prevention and Justice Assistance Division web site at www.hawaii.gov/ag/cpja.