Hawaii isn’t often thought of as a heavy gun-control state, but it has some of the worst Second Amendment laws in the nation. According to this report from freebeacon.com, The Aloha state didn’t issue any carry permits to private citizens in 2016.
The story says that documents submitted by county police to the state’s Department of the Attorney General show that every application by a private citizen for a concealed-carry permit was denied last year. The story says this makes Hawaii the only state in the country not to issue even a single concealed carry permit last year. Even New Jersey and D.C. issued permits.
“All other states have issued permits,” said Dr. John Lott Jr. of the Crime Prevention Research Center, an organization that tracks the number of carry permits issued across the country, as well as other gun-related data. “The next lowest state is New Jersey with about 1,200 permits, but half of those are issued to judges and retired police officers. Even D.C. last year had 74 permits for civilians being able to carry.”
This statistic means more than it appears to on the surface. Hawaii’s concealed carry permit is only valid for a single year, meaning that currently, there are no active concealed-carry permits in the state. Hawaii’s laws, much like New Jersey, require that only in “an exception case” where an individual can show “reason to fear injury to the applicant’s person or property” may a county police chief issue a permit. Those chiefs have the ultimate authority over who does and doesn’t get a permit.
But this isn’t the first time Hawaii has gone a year without issued permits. In fact, it’s been common practice for more than a decade.
The story says the Department of the Attorney General 2015 Firearms Registration report, Hawaii County did not issue a single concealed-carry permit to a private citizen from 2000 through at least 2014.
“According to the Department of the Attorney General’s 2015 Firearms Registration report, Hawaii County did not issue a single concealed-carry permit to a private citizen from 2000 through at least 2014—a not unusual practice in Hawaii. ‘Statewide, there have been a couple/few over the years,’ Paul Perrone, Hawaii’s chief of research and statistics, told the Free Beacon.”
“George Pace, a local gun-rights activist, said the system is impossible to navigate. ‘They do not issue licenses (by the last chief’s own admission, as far as he knew there has never been a license issued in this county), so a person is wasting their time and money going through the ‘process,’’ he said. ‘People have reportedly even been told as they turn in their paperwork to the clerks ‘You will not get a license’ without them even reading the application (i.e., there is no such thing as ‘an exceptional case’, no matter what you write on there), and of course the official records bear that out.’”
Beyond the state’s concealed carry laws, Hawaii requires residents to have a permit to buy any firearm, and requires registration. The state also submits all gun owners to a federal database. The story says gun rights activists are preparing to target the state in federal court to change the laws.