Firearm permits, registrations reach record highs in 2013

A record total of 22,765 personal or private firearm permit applications were processed statewide during 2013, a 4.6% increase from the year before.

That’s according to the Dept. of the Attorney General, which released its annual report detailing statewide and county firearm registration statistics for calendar year 2013 Thursday.

Of the applications processed in 2013, 94.6% were approved and resulted in issued permits; 4.3% were approved but subsequently voided after the applicants failed to return for their permits within the specified time period; and 1.0% were denied due to one or more disqualifying factors.

The 21,544 permits issued statewide in 2013 cover a total of 60,757 firearms registered in the State, a major 20.6% increase from the previous record of 50,394 firearms registered in 2012. Just over half (30,802, or 50.7%) of the firearms registered during 2013 were imported from out-of-state, with the remainder (29,955, or 49.3%) accounted for by transfers of firearms that were previously registered in Hawaii.

Firearm registration activity increased in 2013, continuing a pattern that has been recorded over the course of the 14 years for which these data have been compiled and reported. From 2000 through 2013, the number of statewide permit applications processed increased 350.8%, the number of firearms registered increased 446.2%, and the number of firearms imported increased 426.1%.

“When you really add it up over the course of 14 years, you see 300, 400, 500% increases, so they’re really major,” said Paul Perrone, chief of research and statistics, Crime Prevention and Justice Assistance Division.

While there has been an increase in firearm registration activity in Hawaii since 2000, the number of firearm-related violent crimes and the proportion of violent crimes involving firearms relative to other weapon types remained low and stable through 2007 and subsequently decreased.

“The people who go through this process are demonstrably the most squeaky clean, law-abiding citizens in our state, and they are engaging in perfectly lawful conduct,” Perrone said.

It is a misdemeanor in the State of Hawaii to provide falsified information on firearm permit applications, unless the falsified information pertains to criminal or mental health histories, in which case it is a felony offense (Hawaii Revised Statutes section 134-17). In 2013, falsified criminal or mental health information or both were provided in 75.4% (175) of the 232 denial cases; falsified information pertaining to anything other than criminal or mental health histories was provided in 0.4% (1) of the cases; and no falsified information was provided in 24.1% (56) of the cases.

The report also provides both categorized and itemized reasons for the denials.

You can read the full report on the Crime Prevention and Justice Assistance Division web site.

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