Crime Statistics

Maui Firearm Permit Applications Soar to Near Record Levels in 2020

By Wendy Osher
March 24, 2021, 9:57 AM HST
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A record high total of 26,122 personal/private firearm permit applications were processed statewide during 2020, marking a 62.3 percent increase from 16,098 applications processed in 2019. The findings were compiled in an annual firearm registration report released by the state Department of the Attorney General. 

Here on Maui, a total of 2,874 firearm permit applications were processed in 2020, marking a 79.6 percent increase from the 1,600 applications processed in 2019. Maui also reported a record high number of imported firearms, with 3,628 in 2020, up more than 96 percent from the 1,849 imported the previous year. Meantime, the number of firearms registered in Maui County increased to 7,464, up 59.9 percent over the previous year.

“Firearm registration activity increased dramatically over the course of the 21 years for which these data have been systematically compiled and reported,” according to the Attorney General’s office.

Over the two decade period between 2000 and 2020, the annual number of permits processed in Maui County increased 261.4 percent, the number of firearms annually registered soared 409.1 percent, and the tally of firearms annually imported was up 466 percent.

Statewide , from 2000 through 2020, the number of permit applications annually processed increased by 302.5 percent, the number of firearms annually registered climbed 292.8 percent, and the number of firearms annually imported rose 269.5 percent.

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Statewide, nearly 96 percent of the applications processed in 2020 were approved and resulted in issued permits. The report indicates that 1.4 percent were approved but subsequently voided after the applicants failed to return for their permits within the specified time period; and a record high proportion of 2.8 percent were denied due to disqualifying factors.

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Here on Maui, 2,722 applications were approved out of the 2,874 processed. The report indicates that 35 Maui applications were approved, but voided; and 99 applications were denied for a 3.4 percent denial rate.

The AG reports that the 25,024 permits issued statewide in 2020 cover a total of 53,481 firearms registered throughout the year, resulting in a 35.5 percent increase from the 39,467 firearms registered during 2019.  Just under half (26,708) of the firearms registered during 2020 were imported from out-of-state, with the balance accounted for by transfers of firearms that were previously registered in Hawaiʻi.  

Rifles comprised 45.1 percent (24,126) and shotguns represented 10.6 percent (5,673) of total registrations. The remaining 44.3 percent (23,682) of firearms registered throughout 2020 were handguns.

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The report, entitled Firearm Registrations in Hawaii, 2020, also indicates that statewide in 2020, 123 employees of private security firms applied for and were issued carry licenses, and one (0.8 percent) was denied. A total of 23 private citizens applied for a carry license in 2020, including seven in the City & County of Honolulu, 11 in Hawaiʻi County, one in Maui County, and four in Kauaʻi County. All license to carry applicants were denied by the respective county’s chief of police.

Wendy Osher
Wendy Osher leads the Maui Now news team. She is also the news voice of parent company, Pacific Media Group, having served more than 20 years as News Director for the company’s six Maui radio stations.
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