HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
THIRTIETH LEGISLATURE, 2020
STATE OF HAWAII
A BILL FOR AN ACT
relating to firearms.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:
SECTION 1. The legislature finds that Hawaii has one of the most stringent license to carry firearms laws in the nation. However, Hawaii's law has come under scrutiny by a recent federal appeals court decision. While this decision is currently under review, it has highlighted a concern in the application of Hawaii's law.
This concern involves the approval of licenses to carry firearms. Hawaii's law grants some latitude to the county chiefs of police with respect to the approval of these licenses. Additionally, a license to carry a firearm is only valid within the county in which the license is granted. This latitude may create a situation in which each county uses differing standards for the granting of licenses to carry firearms within that respective county. As licenses to carry firearms are not valid statewide, there is no single statewide authority that oversees the granting of these licenses.
The legislature believes that addressing this lack of statewide oversight by authorizing the attorney general to grant licenses at the state level would help to strengthen Hawaii's license-to-carry-firearms law. Establishing a state-level authority would also result in a consistent standard that applies to all applicants and provide a mechanism for these licenses to be valid statewide. However, licenses granted by the respective county chiefs of police to applicants who are employed by a private guard agency would continue to be valid only within the county that granted the license.
Accordingly, the purpose of this Act is to:
(1) Establish the state attorney general's authority to grant, in exceptional cases, licenses to carry concealed or unconcealed firearms;
(2) Clarify that the authority of the respective county chiefs of police to grant licenses to carry unconcealed firearms is limited to applicants who are engaged in the protection of life and property while employed and on duty with a guard agency and who are in compliance with the requirements of section 463‑10.5, Hawaii Revised Statutes;
(3) Specify the training requirements for license applicants; and
(4) Amend the fee from a per-license to a per-application basis, and increase the fee to more accurately reflect the time and resources spent on application processing.
SECTION 2. Section 134-9, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:
"§134-9 Licenses to carry.
In an exceptional case, when an applicant shows reason to fear injury to
the applicant's person or property, and is not prohibited under section
134-7 from the ownership or possession of a firearm, the [
police of the appropriate county] attorney general may grant a
license to an applicant who is a citizen of the United States of the age of
twenty-one years or more or to a duly accredited official representative of a
foreign nation of the age of twenty-one years or more to carry a pistol or
revolver and ammunition therefor concealed or unconcealed on the person
within the [ county where the license is granted.] State.
Where the urgency or the need has been sufficiently
indicated, the respective chief of police may grant to an applicant of good
moral character who is a citizen of the United States of the age of twenty-one
years or more, is engaged in the protection of life and property[
employed and on duty with a guard agency as defined in section 463-1, is in
compliance with the requirements of section 463-10.5, and is not prohibited
under section 134-7 from the ownership or possession of a firearm, a license to
carry a pistol or revolver and ammunition therefor unconcealed on the person
within the county where the license is granted.
(c) The chief of police of the appropriate county, the attorney general, or the chief's or attorney general's designated representative, shall perform an inquiry on an applicant by using the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, to include a check of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement databases where the applicant is not a citizen of the United States, before any determination to grant a license is made. Unless renewed, the license shall expire one year from the date of issue.
(b)] (d) The chief of police of each county and the
attorney general shall adopt procedures to require that any person granted
a license to carry a concealed or unconcealed weapon on the person
qualified to use the firearm in a safe manner[
;] by having completed,
no more than one hundred eighty days prior to applying for a license, a firearms
safety or training course that is described in section 134‑2(g)(2), (3), or
(2) Appear to be a suitable person to be so licensed;
(3) Not be prohibited under section 134-7 from the ownership or possession of a firearm; and
(4) Not have been adjudged insane or not appear to be mentally deranged.
(c)] (e) No person shall carry concealed or
unconcealed on the person a pistol or revolver without being licensed to do so
under this section or in compliance with sections 134‑5(c) or 134-25.
(d)] (f) A fee of [ $10] $100 shall be
charged for each license application and shall be deposited in the
treasury of the [ county in which the license is granted.] State."
SECTION 3. This Act does not affect rights and duties that matured, penalties that were incurred, and proceedings that were begun before its effective date.
SECTION 4. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.
SECTION 5. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.
Honolulu Police Department Package; Firearms; Licenses to Carry; Fees
Establishes the Attorney General's authority, and clarifies the respective county police chiefs' existing authority, to grant licenses to carry concealed or unconcealed firearms. Specifies training requirements for license applicants. Amends the fee from a per-license to a per-application basis and increases the fee.
The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.