Whether you’re new to owning a firearm or have had a gun for home defense for years, getting a concealed handgun permit may seem daunting. It doesn’t have to be. There are many reasons and ways to carry a concealed weapon, but the first step is knowing the laws. Applying for a CCW varies by state. Read about the process for getting a license to carry in Hawaii below.

Similar to permit requirements, states vary greatly in their processes for how an applicant obtains a concealed handgun permit, what their permits/licenses are called, whether licenses include photographs, whether fingerprinting is required, license duration, license costs and turnaround times. Some states allow an applicant to complete an application online, while others require an in-person visit to the office of the respective issuing authority. There are even states that require the applicant to provide a list of non-related character references.

Concealed Handgun Permit Basics

Hawaii is a may-issue state, though licenses to carry are rarely issued. The county chief of police may grant a license “in an exceptional case, when an applicant shows reason to fear injury to the applicant’s person or property.” The minimum age is 21 years old. Open carry and concealed carry are permitted with a Hawaii license to carry, which is only valid in the county of issue.

A permit to purchase, background check and firearms registration are required to buy a handgun from a private individual. Purchase permits have a minimum 14-day wait after application.

All firearms and ammunition possession is restricted to the owner’s place of business or residence. These items may be transported from a home to a place of business and vice versa in an enclosed container.

Non-residents may transport a firearm to the state if they have a hunting license, shooting preserve permit or invitation to shoot on private land.

Federally Prohibited Persons

The Federal Gun Control Act of 1968 and the Federal Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act of 1997 make it illegal for a person who fits into any of the prohibited categories to ship, transport, receive or possess firearms or ammunition. These laws prevent a state from issuing a concealed handgun permit/license as it would be illegal for people who fit in these categories, by federal law, to own or possess a gun.

What Are the License Requirements in Hawaii?

An applicant must:

  • Be at least 21 years old
  • Be a lawful resident of Hawaii or lawful permanent resident alien residing in the State of Hawaii (per the August 10,2020, stipulation and order by the United States District Court for the District of Hawaii in the Alanoa Nickel lawsuit)
  • Be able to show reason to fear injury to his or her person or property
  • Be able to possess a firearm under Hawaii law
  • Not have been judged to be insane or incapacitated under Hawaii law
  • Be qualified to use a firearm
  • Meet federal law requirements

Do I Need Firearms Training in Hawaii?

Although Hawaii does not specifically require firearms safety training for a license to carry firearms, firearms safety training is a prerequisite to obtaining a permit to purchase or possess a pistol or revolver under state law. Under state law, no person may obtain a permit to acquire a handgun unless he or she has completed:

  • An approved hunter education course as authorized under state law
  • A firearms safety or training course or class available to the general public offered by a law enforcement agency of the state or of any county
  • A firearms safety or training course offered to law enforcement officers, security guards, investigators, deputy sheriffs or any division or subdivision of law enforcement or security enforcement by a state or county law enforcement agency
  • A firearms training or safety course or class conducted by a state-certified or NRA-certified firearms instructor or a certified military firearms instructor that provides a minimum of 2 hours of live-fire training at a firing range and a total of at least 4 hours of classroom instruction — which may include video — that focuses on:
    • The safe use, handling and storage of firearms and firearms safety in the home
    • Education on the firearms-related laws of Hawaii

No additional training is required for license renewals.

Find a USCCA Certified Instructor or Firearms Training Class Near You

How Do I Get a Concealed Handgun Permit in Hawaii?

Step 1: No process is outlined in the rules. Contact your county chief of police and provide the reason you fear injury to your person or property.


For more information, visit the USCCA Hawaii 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.