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Report: 25K Firearm Permits Issued Statewide in 2020

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An annual report on statewide and county firearm registrations detailed a record high 26,122 firearm permit applications statewide in 2020, the Department of the Attorney General released Wednesday.

Of the applications processed in 2020, 25,024 or 95.8% were issued permits, 1.4% were approved but then voided after the person failed to return for their permits on time, and 2.8% were denied due to disqualifying factors, the department said.

The top three reasons for denied permits included mental health diagnoses, a history of assault, and medical marijuana patient status, according to the report.

Going county by county, Honolulu received 16,259 applications, Hawaii received 5,347, Maui received 2,874, and Kauai received 1,642.

"Firearm registration activity increased dramatically over the course of the 21 years for which these data have been systematically compiled and reported," the department said. "From 2000 through 2020, the number of statewide permit applications annually processed increased by 302.5%, the number of firearms annually registered climbed 292.8%, and the number of firearms annually imported rose 269.5%."

Independent estimates made during the late-1990s by the department and Honolulu Police Department conservatively placed the number of privately-owned firearms in Hawaii at “at least one million,” the report said.

Adding to that rough tally in the last 20 years, a total of 697,238 firearms were registered (including some more than once, by different owners) and 365,112 were imported, while an unknown number of firearms permanently left the state, the report said.

Each county police department also processes license applications to carry firearms in public. In 2020, all 23 private citizens who applied were denied by their respective police departments, the report said.

Read the full annual report here.

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