Of the 60,757 firearms registered last year, 23,029 were handguns. Hawaii law says you have to pass a safety class before you can buy a pistol or revolver.
"If you think you know everything about guns and that knowledge comes from TV and movies, then you're wrong," Bill Richter said.
Richter teaches gun safety for Lessons in Firearms Education. His weekend sessions at Koko Head shooting range are standing room only.
"We almost always have a wait list. We tell people get in early and sign up early because that's the only way you can guarantee your participation in that class," he said.
It costs $130 for six hours of handgun 101. Students learn how to safely carry and care for a firearm, and how to fire it.
"There's a lot of individuals that are requesting firearms training," Kaneohe Gun Shop owner Daniel Oshima said.
When he teachers gun safety he tells students about the responsibility that comes with gun ownership.
"Probably the most important is to consider themselves an example," he said. "Everything you do, say or are seen to do, someone else will learn from it."
"We've seen an increase in women. We've seen an increase in families taking it. We see things like men buying the class for their wives. We see wives buying the class for their husbands," Richter said.
His classes used to run about 25 shooters a session. Now it's up to 35.
"The folks that don't have any background in shooting come out of the class saying, 'This is a lot more fun than I thought,'" he said.