Carrying concealed weapon difficult under Hawaii laws - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Carrying concealed weapon difficult under Hawaii laws

James Hayden James Hayden
Maj. Kurt Kendro Maj. Kurt Kendro
Brian Takaba Brian Takaba

By Tim Sakahara - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Arizona's gun laws allow citizens to carry a firearm with them in public and are among the more relaxed states in the country, whereas Hawaii's gun laws are actually among the strictest in the country.

James Hayden is among the many who owns a gun in Hawaii.  He's an Army security guard and says Hawaii's guns laws are strict compared to his home state of Kentucky.

"You can buy a gun at Wal-mart and walk out with it if you want," said James Hayden.

To own a gun in Hawaii there's a 14 day waiting period and you have to have a mental health and medical waiver, a background check free of felonies or violence and must pass a firearms training course.

"We all want to make sure the people who own firearms are legally able to own firearms as well as psychologically fit to own a firearm," said Maj. Kurt Kendro, Honolulu Police Department.

As for getting a license to carry a concealed weapon you can apply but it must be approved by the chief of police and is rarely granted.

"It's kind of discouraging to hear that everyone who applies doesn't get it," said Brian Takaba, Magnum Firearms & Range.

At Magnum Firearms hearing of people who were granted a permit to carry a concealed weapon is like talking about an urban myth.

"They say you can get a permit but they don't give them out so actually you can't carry a gun here in public to protect yourself," said Takaba.

The shop sells everything from tiny guns that can fit in a pocket to huge military style weapons capable of hitting a target 2,000 yards away.

"Every time something evil happens with a gun they always blame the gun never the people that pull the trigger. There are no evil guns just evil individuals with evil intentions," said Takaba.

While gun advocates would like to see Hawaii's laws relax it's less likely after shootings like Arizona's.

"Firearms violence in Hawaii is actually the lowest in the 50 states. Could it happen sure we have had firearm violence here in the state but it's so low it doesn't occur that often thankfully," said Maj. Kendro. "It was a horrible tragedy in Arizona and we hope it never happens here."

Nearly 19,900 rifles and handguns were registered in Hawaii last year.  That's actually 1,800 fewer than 2009.  There has been a steady increase in gun registrations from 2005 when there were a total of 10,700.

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