Born To Protect Join USCCA Cart

Hawaii Gun Laws: What You Need to Know


As a responsibly armed American and protector, you already know how challenging it can be to stay up to date on gun laws…

Hawaii gun owners, you’re in luck. We’ve gathered some of the most frequently asked firearms questions in your state. Read on for answers to some of the top questions regarding Hawaii gun laws. (Not from Hawaii? Check the Legal & Second Amendment tab for your state.)

Can You Carry a Handgun in Your Car in Hawaii?

When traveling by car, only individuals with a Hawaii License to Carry (LTC) can carry a handgun. Hawaii generally prohibits any person from carrying or possessing a loaded firearm on any public highway. Carrying a loaded firearm without a license to carry, whether openly or concealed and including in a vehicle, is a class B felony. The possession of all firearms and ammunition is restricted to the possessor’s place of business, residence or sojourn. But it is lawful to carry firearms and ammunition in an enclosed container or other suitable container from the place of purchase to the purchaser’s home, place of business or place of sojourn. It is also legal to carry between the aforementioned places when moving and transporting to a place of repair, police station, licensed dealer’s place of business, firearms show, exhibit or target range.

Is Concealed Carry Legal in Hawaii?

Concealed carry is only legal with a Hawaii LTC, as Hawaii does not honor concealed carry permits from any other states. Hawaii LTCs are only valid in the county of issue and require a firearms training course that has been state-approved. Hawaii is a “may-issue” state, where the county chief of police may grant a permit “in an exceptional case, when an applicant shows reason to fear injury to the applicant’s person or property.” Other than to security guards, there are virtually no LTCs issued.

Are Hawaii Gun Laws Strict?

Yes, Hawaii is widely recognized as having some of the strictest gun laws in the U.S. Hawaii restricts high-capacity ammunition magazines, requires a permit in order to purchase a handgun and imposes a 14-day waiting period when applying for a purchase permit. All sales require background checks on buyers, all handguns must be registered, and Hawaii has a “red flag” law which allows law enforcement and others to petition the court to remove firearms from an individual. This prevents the individual from owning, purchasing, possessing, receiving, transferring ownership of or having firearms in his or her custody or control.

Can You Carry a Knife in Hawaii?

Only butterfly knives and switchblades are banned in Hawaii. Any other type of knife is legal. It is illegal to concealed carry, go armed with or carry the following weapons in a vehicle: any dirk, dagger, blackjack, slungshot, billy, metal knuckles, pistol or other deadly or dangerous weapon. Ordinary pocketknives and diver’s knives are not considered dangerous weapons unless they are used in a way that makes them dangerous weapons.

Are Tasers, Stun Guns and Pepper Spray Legal in Hawaii?

Stun guns and Tasers are illegal, but there is no statute prohibiting the purchase or use of pepper spray in Hawaii. The city/county of Honolulu ordinances state that a person may use a self-defense spray only as reasonable force to defend himself or herself, another person, or his or her property. However, it must be propelled from an aerosol container, and there are restrictions on the chemical mixtures, labeling and dating. Minors are not allowed to purchase or possess pepper spray.

Is Hawaii a ‘Stand Your Ground’ State?

Hawaii is not a “stand your ground” state. However, Hawaii is a Castle Doctrine state. The use of deadly force is justifiable under this section if the actor believes that deadly force is necessary to protect himself or herself against death, serious bodily injury, kidnapping, rape or forcible sodomy. There is no duty to retreat inside one’s home or place of business. Outside of those locations, there is a duty to retreat if it can be done in “complete safety.” Any person who uses a gun in self-defense has immunity from criminal and civil law.

Can You Fly to Hawaii With a Gun?

Yes. A non-resident may transport a firearm to the state provided he or she possesses a hunting license, shooting preserve permit or invitation to shoot on private land, or written notification from a firing range indicating the person will engage in target shooting. Any firearms must be registered at a police station within 72 hours of arrival. Current law requires fingerprinting and having a photograph taken. A permit is provided for each firearm make, model and serial number.

Ready to Learn More About Hawaii Gun Laws?

It is your responsibility as a gun owner to know and understand the laws regarding your concealed carry rights. The USCCA’s Concealed Carry Reciprocity & Gun Laws Map has been designed to help inform and educate armed citizens like you. To learn more about Hawaii’s concealed carry permit application process, concealed carry restrictions and training requirements, visit Hawaii’s gun laws page now…

The information contained on this website is provided as a service to USCCA, Inc. members and the concealed carry community and does not constitute legal advice. Although we attempt to address all areas of concealed carry laws in all states, we make no claims, representations, warranties, promises or guarantees as to the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information disclosed. Legal advice must always be tailored to the individual facts and circumstances of each individual case. Laws are constantly changing, and, as such, nothing contained on this website should be used as a substitute for the advice of a lawyer.

This article is featured in the following categories:

USCCA Comment Policy

We welcome relevant and respectful comments. Vulgarity, Profanity, Name Calling etc. will be deleted.

Uncover the Backstory Free Book

Read the new book that reveals the little-known history of the US Concealed Carry Association.

Are You Born to Protect?

Get Your FREE USCCA Sticker! Enter your email below:


Your FREE book download is on its way to your inbox.

But the U.S. Concealed Carry Association is more than just a story…

We're the best resource to help responsible Americans keep their loved ones safe.

Learn More


Your sticker will be shipped as soon as possible.

But the USCCA is about more than a look or a tagline…

Laptop and mobile training view

We’re the lifesaving resource every protector needs to keep their family safe.

Learn More