Kauai News

Kaua‘i County Sees Jump in Firearm Permits Processed in 2021, State Report Shows

Listen to this Article
2 minutes
Loading Audio... Article will play after ad...
Playing in :00

Kaua‘i County saw an increase in firearm permits processed, registered firearms and imported firearms last year, according to data released by the Department of the Attorney General.

Statewide, 23,299 personal/private firearm permit applications were processed last year, marking a 10.8% decrease from 26,122 applications processed in 2020. Of the applications processed throughout all the counties in 2021, 96.1% were approved and resulted in issued permits; 1.3% were approved but subsequently voided after the applicants failed to return for their permits within a specified time period; and 2.6% were denied due to one or more disqualifying factors.

According to the report, Kaua‘i saw increases in applications processed, firearms registered and firearms imported last year. The number of permits processed annually in Kauai County from 2000 through 2021 increased by 242.7%, the number of firearms registered leaped 346.5%, and the number of firearms imported surged 467.4%. A record high tally of firearms imported was reported for 2021.

The 22,393 permits issued statewide covered a total of 57,091 firearms registered throughout the year, resulting in a 6.8% increase from the 53,481 firearms registered during 2020. Just over half (29,143, or 51.0%) of the firearms registered during 2021 were imported from out-of-state, with the balance accounted for by transfers of firearms that were previously registered in Hawaii. Rifles and shotguns comprised 43.2% (24,678) and 12.1% (6,922) of total registrations, respectively. The remaining 44.6% (25,491) of firearms registered throughout 2021 were handguns.


According to the AG’s report, the number one reason for denial of a firearm permit in 2021 was applicants were either current or former medical marijuana patients, with 213 being denied. The police departments allow former patients to apply for firearm permits no less than one year after the expiration of their medical marijuana card.

The second reason for denial was for mental health related issues, with 185 applications rejected.

Firearm registration activity increased dramatically over the course of the 22 years. From 2000 through 2021, the number of statewide permit applications annually processed increased by 253.1%, the number of firearms annually registered climbed 319.3%, and the number of firearms annually imported rose by 303.2%.


Record high tallies of firearms registered and imported, and permit applications processed, were reported in 2021 for Maui County.

Hawai‘i’s county police departments also process permit applications for the carrying of firearms in public. Statewide in 2021, 124 employees of private security firms applied for and were issued carry permits, and one was denied. Two applications filed in Kaua‘i County were the only ones approved.

The report also indicates that seven prohibited firearms were confiscated last year, all in the City & County of Honolulu. Weapons recovered included four assault pistols, two short-barrel rifles and one short-barrel shotgun.


View the full report below.

Firearm Registrations in Hawaii 2021 by Tiffany De Masters on Scribd

Sponsored Content

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Stay in-the-know with daily
headlines delivered straight to your inbox.


This comments section is a public community forum for the purpose of free expression. Although Kauai Now encourages respectful communication only, some content may be considered offensive. Please view at your own discretion. View Comments