New sites, new fees could end long lines for gun permits

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For those on Oahu who had to register or get a gun permit in recent months, it’s been a test of patience.

“I’ve tried coming before and I just wound up leaving, the line’s ridiculous,” Kailua resident Cody Kamakana said.

The state attorney general says gun registrations are up 342 percent over the past decade.

HPD headquarters is the only Oahu location to take care of the paperwork and that takes three visits — first to apply for the permit, then to get the permit two weeks later, and a third visit to register the firearm. Each one could take several hours of waiting.

“People are getting there at two in the morning to be able to get in early and they aren’t the first ones there,” said Harvey Gerwig, Hawaii Rifle Association.

So the City Council is looking at the Kapolei and Kaneohe police stations as additional sites. They also want to make forms available online to speed up the process.

HPD says it doesn’t have the money or the staff to do that. Right now, it costs $16.50 to register a firearm.

Will people pay more to shorten the wait?

“As long as it’s reasonable sure I don’t mind. I’m not sure what that would be, how high that would be, but yeah,” Maili resident Lee Peer said.

“I would pay anything as long as it’s quick and fast,” Kamakana said.

The Hawaii Rifle Association says it will fight any additional fees because it undermines the second amendment, the right to bear arms.

“It’s $5 a gun now, it’s $20 next year, it’s $100 the year after that. We won’t stand for that, that’s not gonna happen,” Gerwig said.

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