§134-2 Permits to acquire. (a) No person shall acquire the ownership of a firearm, whether usable or unusable, serviceable or unserviceable, modern or antique, registered under prior law or by a prior owner or unregistered, either by purchase, gift, inheritance, bequest, or in any other manner, whether procured in the State or imported by mail, express, freight, or otherwise, until the person has first procured from the chief of police of the county of the person's place of business or, if there is no place of business, the person's residence or, if there is neither place of business nor residence, the person's place of sojourn, a permit to acquire the ownership of a firearm as prescribed in this section. When title to any firearm is acquired by inheritance or bequest, the foregoing permit shall be obtained before taking possession of a firearm; provided that upon presentation of a copy of the death certificate of the owner making the bequest, any heir or legatee may transfer the inherited or bequested firearm directly to a dealer licensed under section 134-31 or licensed by the United States Department of Justice without complying with the requirements of this section.
(b) The permit application form shall include the applicant's name, address, sex, height, weight, date of birth, place of birth, country of citizenship, social security number, alien or admission number, and information regarding the applicant's mental health history and shall require the fingerprinting and photographing of the applicant by the police department of the county of registration; provided that where fingerprints and a photograph are already on file with the department, these may be waived.
(c) An applicant for a permit shall sign a waiver at the time of application, allowing the chief of police of the county issuing the permit access to any records that have a bearing on the mental health of the applicant. The permit application form and the waiver form shall be prescribed by the attorney general and shall be uniform throughout the State.
(d) The chief of police of the respective counties may issue permits to acquire firearms to citizens of the United States of the age of twenty-one years or more, or duly accredited official representatives of foreign nations, or duly commissioned law enforcement officers of the State who are aliens; provided that any law enforcement officer who is the owner of a firearm and who is an alien shall transfer ownership of the firearm within forty-eight hours after termination of employment from a law enforcement agency. The chief of police of each county may issue permits to aliens of the age of eighteen years or more for use of rifles and shotguns for a period not exceeding sixty days, upon a showing that the alien has first procured a hunting license under chapter 183D, part II. The chief of police of each county may issue permits to aliens of the age of twenty-one years or more for use of firearms for a period not exceeding six months, upon a showing that the alien is in training for a specific organized sport-shooting contest to be held within the permit period. The attorney general shall adopt rules, pursuant to chapter 91, as to what constitutes sufficient evidence that an alien is in training for a sport-shooting contest. Notwithstanding any law to the contrary and upon joint application, the chief of police may issue permits to acquire firearms jointly to spouses who otherwise qualify to obtain permits under this section.
(e) The permit application form shall be signed by the applicant and by the issuing authority. One copy of the permit shall be retained by the issuing authority as a permanent official record. Except for sales to dealers licensed under section 134-31, or dealers licensed by the United States Department of Justice, or law enforcement officers, or where a license is granted under section 134-9, or where any firearm is registered pursuant to section 134-3(a), no permit shall be issued to an applicant earlier than fourteen calendar days after the date of the application; provided that a permit shall be issued or the application denied before the twentieth day from the date of application. Permits issued to acquire any pistol or revolver shall be void unless used within ten days after the date of issue. Permits to acquire a pistol or revolver shall require a separate application and permit for each transaction. Permits issued to acquire any rifle or shotgun shall entitle the permittee to make subsequent purchases of rifles or shotguns for a period of one year from the date of issue without a separate application and permit for each acquisition, subject to the disqualifications under section 134-7 and subject to revocation under section 134-13; provided that if a permittee is arrested for committing a felony or any crime of violence or for the illegal sale of any drug, the permit shall be impounded and shall be surrendered to the issuing authority. The issuing authority shall perform an inquiry on an applicant by using the International Justice and Public Safety Network, including the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement query, the National Crime Information Center, and the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, pursuant to section 846-2.7 before any determination to issue a permit or to deny an application is made.
(f) In all cases where a pistol or revolver is acquired from another person within the State, the permit shall be signed in ink by the person to whom title to the pistol or revolver is transferred and shall be delivered to the person who is transferring title to the firearm, who shall verify that the person to whom the firearm is to be transferred is the person named in the permit and enter on the permit in the space provided the following information: name of the person to whom the title to the firearm was transferred; names of the manufacturer and importer; model; type of action; caliber or gauge; and serial number, as applicable. The person who is transferring title to the firearm shall sign the permit in ink and cause the permit to be delivered or sent by registered mail to the issuing authority within forty-eight hours after transferring the firearm.
In all cases where receipt of a firearm is had by mail, express, freight, or otherwise from sources without the State, the person to whom the permit has been issued shall make the prescribed entries on the permit, sign the permit in ink, and cause the permit to be delivered or sent by registered mail to the issuing authority within forty-eight hours after taking possession of the firearm.
In all cases where a rifle or shotgun is acquired from another person within the State, the person who is transferring title to the rifle or shotgun shall submit, within forty-eight hours after transferring the firearm, to the authority that issued the permit to acquire, the following information, in writing: name of the person who transferred the firearm, name of the person to whom the title to the firearm was transferred; names of the manufacturer and importer; model; type of action; caliber or gauge; and serial number, as applicable.
(g) Effective July 1, 1995, no person shall be issued a permit under this section for the acquisition of a pistol or revolver unless the person, at any time prior to the issuance of the permit, has completed:
(1) An approved hunter education course as authorized under section 183D-28;
(2) A firearms safety or training course or class available to the general public offered by a law enforcement agency of the State or of any county;
(3) A firearms safety or training course offered to law enforcement officers, security guards, investigators, deputy sheriffs, or any division or subdivision of law enforcement or security enforcement by a state or county law enforcement agency; or
(4) A firearms training or safety course or class conducted by a state certified or National Rifle Association certified firearms instructor or a certified military firearms instructor that provides, at a minimum, a total of at least two hours of firing training at a firing range and a total of at least four hours of classroom instruction, which may include a video, that focuses on:
(A) The safe use, handling, and storage of firearms and firearm safety in the home; and
(B) Education on the firearm laws of the State.
An affidavit signed by the certified firearms instructor who conducted or taught the course, providing the name, address, and phone number of the instructor and attesting to the successful completion of the course by the applicant shall constitute evidence of certified successful completion under this paragraph.
(h) No person shall sell, give, lend, or deliver into the possession of another any firearm except in accordance with this chapter.
(i) No fee shall be charged for permits, or applications for permits, under this section, except for a single fee chargeable by and payable to the issuing county, for individuals applying for their first permit, in an amount equal to the fee charged by the Hawaii criminal justice data center pursuant to section 846-2.7. In the case of a joint application, the fee provided for in this section may be charged to each person to whom no previous permit has been issued.
(j) In all cases where a permit application under this section is denied because an applicant is prohibited from owning, possessing, receiving, or controlling firearms under federal or state law, the chief of police of the applicable county shall, within ten business days from the date of denial, send written notice of the denial including the identity of the applicant and the reasons for the denial to the:
(1) Prosecuting attorney in the county where the permit was denied;
(2) Attorney general;
(3) United States Attorney for the District of Hawaii; and
(4) Director of public safety.
If the permit to acquire was denied because the applicant is subject to an order described in section 134-7(f), the chief of police shall, within three business days from the date of denial, send written notice of the denial to the court that issued the order.
When the director of public safety receives notice that an applicant has been denied a permit because of a prior criminal conviction, the director of public safety shall determine whether the applicant is currently serving a term of probation or parole, and if the applicant is serving such a term, send written notice of the denial to the applicant's probation or parole officer. [L 1988, c 275, pt of §2; am L 1992, c 287, §2; am L 1994, c 204, §3; am L 1995, c 11, §1; am L 1996, c 200, §§2, 3; am L 1997, c 53, §2 and c 278, §1; am L 2006, c 27, §1; am L 2007, c 9, §6; am L 2016, c 108, §2; am L 2017, c 63, §1]
Plaintiff firearm permit applicant's allegations that: (1) plaintiff was deprived of plaintiff's fundamental constitutional right to bear operational firearms and ammunition as guaranteed by the Second Amendment; and (2) plaintiff was wrongfully denied a permit under this section without being afforded minimal due process protection such as a meaningful opportunity to be heard and to have the decision reviewed, were sufficient to state a 42 U.S.C. §1983 claim for denial of procedural due process under the Fourteenth Amendment. 869 F. Supp. 2d 1203 (2012).
Interpreting subsection (d) to deny plaintiff the opportunity to apply for and to obtain, if otherwise qualified, a permit to acquire firearms solely because plaintiff was not a United States citizen, violated the Second Amendment. Assuming that subsection (d)'s general permit requirement implemented an important government objective (intermediate scrutiny), or a compelling state interest (strict scrutiny), it was neither substantially related nor narrowly tailored to such interests. 54 F. Supp. 3d 1136 (2014).
Under subsection (d), plaintiff, a lawful permanent resident alien of the United States and a resident of the State, was denied the opportunity to apply for a permit to acquire firearms based solely upon plaintiff's alienage; the classification violated the equal protection clause. Thus, subsection (d) was unconstitutional as applied to plaintiff and other lawful permanent resident aliens. 54 F. Supp. 3d 1136 (2014).