Hawaii firearm permits increase by 70%

Long line for gun permits
Long line for gun permits

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A record high total of 21,864 personal and private firearm permit applications were processed statewide during 2012, marking a major, 70.3 percent increase from the previous record high of 15,375 applications processed in 2011, according to the Department of the Attorney General's annual report detailing statewide and county firearm registration statistics for calendar year 2012.

Of the applications processed in 2012, 94.1 percent were approved and resulted in issued permits; 4.9% were approved but subsequently voided after the applicants failed to return for their permits within a specified time period; and 1.0% were denied due to one or more disqualifying factors.

The 20,572 permits issued statewide in 2012 cover a record high total of 50,394 firearms registered, marking a 73.0 percent increase from the previous record high of 36,804 firearms registered in 2011. Nearly half (23,548, or 46.7 percent) of the firearms registered during 2012 were imported from out-of-state, with the remainder (26,846, or 53.3 percent) accounted for by transfers of firearms that were previously registered in Hawaii.

Firearm registration activity increased dramatically over the course of the 13 years for which these data have been systematically compiled and reported. From 2000 through 2012, the number of statewide permit applications processed annually climbed 336.9 percent, the number of firearms registered soared 370.1%, and the number of firearms imported surged 325.8 percent. Roughly equivalent increases were reported for all four of Hawaii's counties.

While there has been a tremendous increase in firearm registration activity in Hawaii since 2000, the annual trends for both the number of firearm-related violent crimes and the proportion of violent crimes involving firearms relative to other weapon types remained stable within a low and narrow range through 2007, and decreased substantially from 2008 through 2012, during which time registration activity increased the most sharply.

It is a misdemeanor in the State of Hawaii to provide falsified information on firearm permit applications, unless the falsified information pertains to criminal or mental health histories, in which case it is a felony offense (Hawaii Revised Statutes section 134-17). In 2012, falsified criminal or mental health information or both were provided in 69.2 percent (157) of the 227 denial cases; falsified information pertaining to anything other than criminal or mental health histories was provided in 4.0 percent (9) of the cases; and no falsified information was provided in 26.9 percent (61) of the cases. The report also provides both categorized and itemized reasons for the denials.

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