Hawaii permits open and concealed carry in the state for everyone that has a license to carry.

The state also has strong policies for the possession of firearms, and every gun in the state must be in the police record.

To open carry in the state, you must familiarize yourself with all the gun laws.

Hawaii Gun Law Summary

Hawaii issues a license to carry for the possession of a firearm within the state territory.

However, a person must have a probable cause to use a firearm before applying for the license to carry.

The county chief or a local police office is in charge of processing the application, and since Hawaii is a May-issue state, they have the discretion to either accept or reject a permit.

To buy a firearm in Hawaii, you must obtain a purchase permit, and this is different from the state’s license to carry.

You must also complete a criminal record background check, and you will only get your permit if the test comes out clean.

Firearms and ammunition in the state must undergo registration under the county chief closest to a home or place of business.

The age requirement to apply for both a license to carry and a purchase permit is twenty-one years old, the same age for open and concealed carry in Hawaii.

Is Open Carry Legal In Hawaii?

Yes. You can open carry in Hawaii if you have the state’s license to carry. This license is valid for both open and concealed carry in the state.

Hawaii has location restrictions for open carry and firearm possession. Since there are no pre-emption laws, you have to be familiar with local regulations as well.

Open Carry Laws In Hawaii

Hawaii is a licensed open carry state, and you must obtain the state license to carry before you are permitted to do so.

Hawaii also has restrictions on the possession of firearms in the state.

The state prohibits the manufacturing, buying, and selling of machine guns and other semi-automatic firearms.

This also includes rifles and guns that are less than sixteen inches and also shotguns with less than eighteen inches’ barrel length.

The only exemptions to this are officers of the law, members of the united states armed forces, and other employees of the state that have requirements to be armed while carrying out their duties.

Hawaii Open Gun Law Quickview

Law/PolicyLong GunsHandgunsComments
State permit for open carry.YesYesYou must obtain a Hawaii license to carry before you open carry in the state.
Firearm registrations for open carry.YesYesRegistration of firearms is compulsory in Hawaii, and upon purchasing a gun, you must register in not more than three days.
Assault weapon for open carry.YesNoHawaii restricts long assault weapons in the state, but this does not include pistols that are more than sixteen inches.
Magazine limitYesYesThe magazine limit for firearms in the state is ten rounds, and no gun meant for open carry in the state must exceed this.
License for the owner of a firearm.Not requiredNot requiredThere are no requirements to own a license for a firearm in the state. However, every new gun must undergo registration before usage.
Red flag lawYesYesHawaii has a red flag law for the prohibition of a firearm for anyone considered to be a threat. Only a law court can approve this petition.
Castle doctrine lawYesYesHawaii is a castle doctrine state, and you can stand your ground in your home of residence and your business.
Background check for private dealersYesYesEvery dealer in the state must complete a criminal record background check before the purchase of a firearm. Private dealers can only sell to those who have purchase permits in the state.
Pre-emptionNoNoHawaii does not have pre-emption laws; therefore, local governments can enact laws for the regulation of open carry and possession of firearms within their territory in the state.
Concealed carry permit.YesYesYou can conceal carry with your Hawaii license to carry. Same permit for open carry in the state.
Concealed carry in personal vehicleYesYesYou can conceal carry in your vehicle as long as you are with your license
Open carry in SchoolsNoNoOpen carry is not allowed in schools, colleges, universities, and technical institutions in the state.

Where Is It Legal To Open Carry In Hawaii

There is no restriction to possess or carry firearms in the following places:

  • Restaurants and Bars: You can possess your firearm in restaurants and bar ventures, except there is a prohibition to do so.
  • Personal vehicles: You can possess a firearm in your car as long as you have a Hawaii license to carry.
  • Roadsides areas: You can open carry in roadside areas if you have your license with you.
  • Places of worship: Hawaii gun laws do not restrict the possession of firearms in places of worship. However, those in charge of the building can prohibit the possession of weapons.

Where Is It Illegal To Possess Firearms In Hawaii?

State laws in Hawaii prohibit the possession of firearms in the following places:

  • Airports: You cannot carry or possess your firearm in secured zones of airports.
  • Schools: You cannot open carry in schools, colleges, universities, technical institutions, and locations for vocational training.
  • State government buildings: You cannot open carry in a building owned by the government of the state, either in municipalities, counties, or districts.

FAQs About Open Carry Hawaii

Here are some frequently asked questions you should know about open carry in Hawaii.

Is It Compulsory That I Get A Permit Before Open Carry In Hawaii?

Yes. Open carry in Hawaii is only legal if you have the state license to carry.

Is Concealed Carry Permit The Same As Open Carry Permit In Hawaii?

Yes. Hawaii’s license to carry is both for open carry and concealed carry in the state.

What Is Hawaii Age Requirement For Open And Concealed Carry?

Twenty-one years old is the minimum age requirement for concealed and open carry in Hawaii.

At What Age Can I Apply For License To Carry In Hawaii?

You must be at least twenty-one years old before you apply for Hawaii’s license to carry.

Is There A Red Flag Law In Hawaii?

Yes. Hawaii has a red flag law to suspend a person’s right to buy, sell, or handle firearms in the state if that person is a threat to himself and his or her community.

Can A Non-resident Apply For Hawaii’s License To Carry?

No. Hawaii does not issue a license to non-residents of the state.

However, if you are a resident from a state that Hawaii has reciprocity with, you can carry within Hawaii’s territory.

Also, non-residents can obtain hunter’s licenses for a shooting invitation in the state.

Is Hawaii A Constitutional Carry State?

No. Hawaii does not recognize constitutional carry.

Can I Open Carry Knives In Hawaii?

Hawaii bans the open carry of butterfly knives and switchblades. However, you can open carry other types of knives in the state.

Are There Firearm Restrictions For Hawaii Open Carry?

Yes. You cannot possess machine guns and automatic firearms in Hawaii.

Does Hawaii Issue A Purchase Permit To Buy Firearms In The State?

Yes. You must obtain a purchase permit before you buy firearms in Hawaii.

Is Criminal Record Background Check Compulsory For Firearm Purchase In Hawaii?

Yes. You must complete a mandatory NICS criminal record background check in Hawaii before purchasing a firearm in the state.

This is also compulsory for private sales and the transfer of firearms from one person to another.

For How Long Is Hawaii License To Carry Valid In The State?

Hawaii’s license to carry is valid for one year, after which you must apply for a renewal.

Do I Have A Duty To Inform Law Enforcement Officers About My Possession Of Firearms In Hawaii?

Yes. According to the Hawaii statute, you must notify a law enforcement officer if you are in possession of a firearm.

Is Hawaii A Castle Doctrine State?

Hawaii is a castle doctrine state, and you have no duty to retreat if you are in your home of residence or place of business.

Is The Use Of Deadly Force Permitted In Hawaii?

Yes, a court of law will grant you immunity against civil liability if your use of deadly or excessive force is for self-defense in a situation that can lead to severe bodily harm or imminent death.

Is Firearm Training A Requirement For Open Carry In Hawaii?

Yes, you must complete a compulsory firearm training class before you can conceal carry in Hawaii.

The training must be state-approved and conducted by a certified instructor.

Is Registration Of Firearms A Requirement For Concealed Carry In Hawaii?

Yes. Every firearm in the state must be registered not more than seventy-two after purchase.

Relevant Open Carry Law And Legislature In Hawaii

Here are some relevant open carry laws in Hawaii that you need to know.

Magazine Limits For The Possession Of Firearms

In Hawaii, your handgun must not have more than ten rounds of ammunition, and you must abide by this at all times.

Firearm Restrictions

You cannot make use of assault weapons in the state and their devices.

This includes semi-automatic guns, armor-piercing firearms, and Teflon-coated ammunition.

Making Use Of No Weapon Signs

Hawaii statutes make it compulsory that you respect a post or signage that prohibits the possession of weapons on a particular building or property.

Violating these laws is a crime of second degree in the state.

Pre-emption Law

There are no pre-emption laws in Hawaii; therefore, local government areas can adopt other open carry policies that best work for them.

This includes the regulation of firearms and the requirements provided before issuing a Hawaii license to carry in the state.

Red Flag Law

According to section one hundred and thirty-four of the Hawaii statute, a law court can petition an individual right to possess a firearm.

After the law court grants this, such a person will not be able to buy, sell, possess, receive or handle any type of firearm in the state.

Those that can submit such a petition against a person include officers of the law, family members, medical practitioners, educational teacher or guardian, and work colleagues.

Brandishing Of Firearms

Hawaii gun law prohibits the brandishing of a firearm at another person illegally.

A person who does this by handling a firearm in a rather disrespectful manner in such a way that threatens the life of another person or causes a hazardous situation, when the action is not authorized legally, will face prosecution.

Miscellaneous Law

In Hawaii, it is illegal to change, remove or alter the model, identification mark, or the serial number of a firearm.

Anybody with such a firearm leaves room for investigation of a crime or illegal act.

Also, drug addicts, convicts, and mentally impaired individuals must not possess a firearm in the state except they get a pardon from the governor.

Open Carry While Hunting In Hawaii

Open carry is allowed for hunting activities in the state, except for bow hunting. You are also not allowed to conceal carry while hunting in Hawaii.

Just like most states in the USA, Hawaii has harassment laws to protect hunting activity in the country. They consist of the following:

  • Nobody should deliberately prevent or disrupt any legal hunting activity by being in a hunting location where his or her presence can have an impact on the game or the ability of a hunter to take the game successfully.
  • Nobody should perform any form of stimuli in a hunting location such that it affects the behavior of the game or the wildlife.
  • Nobody should perform any activity on a property or wildlife for hunting, in such a way that it will affect the lives of animals in the wildlife.
  • Nobody should prevent access or limit the movement of hunters in areas where they are performing a legal hunting activity.
  • Nobody should, in a bid to violate this law, enter a state or private wildlife area or water body without permission from those in charge. 

Additional Resources

Hawaii Gun Laws
Hawaii Concealed Carry Laws
Hawaii Gun Permit Laws

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