Hawaii Open Carry

Hawaii Open Carry: Laws, Requirements, Application & Online Training


Hawaii, known for its stunning landscapes and beautiful beaches, is also home to unique gun laws that permit both open and concealed carry for those who possess a valid license. In this article, we will delve into the intricacies of Hawaii’s gun laws, covering the requirements for obtaining a license, restrictions on firearms possession, open carry laws, and more.

Hawaii Gun Law Summary

To legally carry a firearm within Hawaii’s territory, individuals must obtain a license to carry. However, before applying for the license, they must have probable cause to use a firearm. The application process is overseen by the county chief or a local police officer, with the discretion to accept or reject the permit due to Hawaii being a May-issue state.

Buying a Firearm in Hawaii

Purchasing a firearm in Hawaii requires obtaining a purchase permit, which is separate from the state’s license to carry. Additionally, applicants must undergo a criminal record background check, and the permit is granted only if the check comes out clean. Firearms and ammunition must be registered with the county chief closest to one’s home or place of business.

Open Carry Laws in Hawaii

Open carry is legal in Hawaii for individuals with a valid state license to carry. However, there are strict location restrictions, and since there are no pre-emption laws, one must also be familiar with local regulations. Certain firearms, such as machine guns and semi-automatic firearms, are prohibited in the state, with exceptions for law enforcement officers and other designated personnel.

Hawaii Open Gun Law Quickview

Here is a quick overview of Hawaii’s open carry regulations for long guns and handguns:

See also  Hawaii Concealed Carry Weapon (CCW)
Law/PolicyLong GunsHandgunsComments
State permit for open carryYesYesA Hawaii license to carry is required before engaging in open carry.
Firearm registrations for open carryYesYesRegistration of firearms is compulsory within three days of purchase.
Assault weapon for open carryYesNoHawaii restricts certain long assault weapons, but not pistols over sixteen inches.
Magazine limitYesYesOpen Carry in Schools
License for firearm ownersNot requiredNot requiredNo specific license is needed to own a firearm; registration is mandatory instead.
Red flag lawYesYesHawaii has a red flag law allowing firearm prohibition for those considered a threat.
Castle doctrine lawYesYesHawaii follows a castle doctrine, permitting self-defense in homes and businesses.
Background check for private dealersYesYesAll dealers must conduct criminal record background checks before selling firearms.
Pre-emptionNoNoLocal governments can regulate open carry and firearms possession within their territories.
Concealed carry permitYesYesThe same license permits both open and concealed carry in Hawaii.
Concealed carry in personal vehicleYesYesConcealed carry in a vehicle is allowed if the person has a valid license to carry.
Open carry in SchoolsNoNoOpen carry is prohibited in schools, colleges, universities, and technical institutions.

Where Is It Legal To Open Carry In Hawaii

In Hawaii, there are no restrictions on possessing or carrying firearms in the following places:

  1. Restaurants and Bars: Unless there are specific prohibitions, you can possess your firearm in restaurants and bars.
  2. Personal Vehicles: You can carry your firearm in your car as long as you have a valid Hawaii license to carry.
  3. Roadside Areas: Open carry is permitted in roadside areas if you have your license with you.
  4. Places of Worship: Hawaii’s gun laws do not prohibit the possession of firearms in places of worship, but property owners can enforce their own restrictions.
See also  Hawaii Gun Permit

Where Is It Illegal To Possess Firearms In Hawaii?

State laws in Hawaii prohibit the possession of firearms in the following places:

  1. Airports: Firearms are not allowed in secured zones of airports.
  2. Schools: Open carry is prohibited in schools, colleges, universities, technical institutions, and vocational training locations.
  3. State Government Buildings: Open carry is not allowed in government-owned buildings, municipalities, counties, or districts.

Relevant Open Carry Law And Legislature In Hawaii

Several important open carry laws and legislature in Hawaii are worth noting:

  1. Magazine Limits: Handguns must not hold more than ten rounds of ammunition.
  2. Firearm Restrictions: Certain firearms, such as assault weapons, armor-piercing firearms, and Teflon-coated ammunition, are prohibited.
  3. Respecting No Weapon Signs: Hawaii statutes mandate respecting “no weapon” signs posted on buildings or properties; violating this is a crime of the second degree.
  4. Pre-emption Law: Hawaii does not have pre-emption laws, allowing local governments to adopt their own open carry regulations.
  5. Red Flag Law: Law courts can petition against an individual’s right to possess a firearm, subjecting them to a firearm prohibition if granted.
  6. Brandishing Of Firearms: Brandishing a firearm unlawfully, threatening another person’s life, or creating a hazardous situation is strictly prohibited and prosecutable.
  7. Miscellaneous Law: Altering a firearm’s model, identification mark, or serial number is illegal in Hawaii. Additionally, certain individuals, such as drug addicts, convicts, and mentally impaired individuals, are not allowed to possess firearms.

Open Carry While Hunting In Hawaii

In Hawaii, gun regulations permit open carry during hunting, with the exception of bow hunting. Concealed carry is also prohibited while engaged in hunting activities. The state has harassment laws in place to protect hunting activities, preventing interference with legal hunting and wildlife preservation efforts.

See also  Hawaii Hunting


Hawaii’s gun laws allow for both open and concealed carry for individuals possessing a valid state license. While open carry is legal, there are important restrictions to consider, and certain firearms are prohibited. It is crucial to be well-informed about Hawaii’s gun regulations and to adhere to them responsibly.


Q1. Can I open carry in Hawaii without a license?

No, open carry in Hawaii requires a valid state license to carry.

Q2. Are there restrictions on firearm possession in Hawaii?

Yes, certain firearms, such as assault weapons, are prohibited, and magazine limits apply.

Q3. Can I carry a firearm in my car in Hawaii?

Yes, you can conceal carry in your vehicle as long as you have a valid license to carry.

Q4. Can I carry a firearm in schools in Hawaii?

No, open carry is not allowed in schools or educational institutions.

Q5. What are Hawaii’s laws regarding brandishing firearms?

Hawaii strictly prohibits the unlawful brandishing of firearms, which can lead to prosecution.

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