There is no law in Hawaii prohibiting individuals convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors from purchasing or possessing firearms or ammunition. Federal law, however, prohibits the purchase and possession of firearms and ammunition by persons who have been convicted of a “misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.”

Firearm Prohibitions for Persons Subject to Domestic Violence Restraining/Protective Orders

Hawaii prohibits the possession, control or transfer of ownership of firearms or ammunition by any person restrained by an order of any court (including ex parte orders) from contacting, threatening, or physically abusing any person as long as the order, or any extension of an order, is in effect.1 The order must specifically include a statement that the possession, control or transfer of ownership of a firearm or ammunition by the person subject to the order is prohibited.2

Hawaii authorizes judges issuing protective orders to grant appropriate injunctive relief, but the law does not specify whether a firearm prohibition is permissible.3

Protective orders shield spouses or reciprocal beneficiaries, former spouses or former reciprocal beneficiaries, persons who have a child in common, parents, children, persons related by blood, persons jointly residing or formerly residing in the same dwelling unit, and persons who have or have had a dating relationship.4

Removal or Surrender of Firearms When Domestic Violence Restraining / Protective Orders Are Issued

In Hawaii, any person subject to a protective or restraining order must relinquish possession of any firearm and ammunition owned by that person to the police department of the appropriate county for safekeeping for the duration of the order or extension of an order.5

Any person disqualified from ownership, possession, control, or the right to transfer ownership of firearms and ammunition by a restraining or protective order must surrender his or her firearms to law enforcement or “dispose” of all firearms and ammunition by selling them to a licensed gun dealer.6

Hawaii authorizes, but does not require, removal of firearms and/or ammunition by law enforcement officers from abusers subject to domestic violence protective orders, including ex parte protective orders.7 In Hawaii, upon service of a domestic violence restraining order involving firearms or ammunition, the police officer may take custody of any firearms or ammunition in plain sight, discovered pursuant to a consensual search, or surrendered by the person subject to the order.8 If the police officer is unable to locate firearms or ammunition registered to that person or known to the person granted protection by the court, the police officer must apply to the court for a search warrant for the purpose of seizing these firearms and ammunition.9

If the person restrained by the order is the registered owner of a firearm and knows its location but refuses to surrender the firearm or refuses to disclose its location, the person restrained shall be criminally liable for a misdemeanor.10

Removal or Surrender of Firearms from the Scene of a Domestic Violence Incident

Hawaii has two laws regarding removal of firearms from the scene of a domestic violence incident.  Hawaii Revised Statute 134-7.5(a) authorizes a police officer who has reasonable grounds to believe that a person recently assaulted or threatened to assault a family or household member to seize all firearms and ammunition the officer believes were used or threatened to be used in the commission of the offense.  The statute also authorizes the officer to seize any firearms or ammunition in plain view or discovered pursuant to a consensual search, as necessary for the protection of the officer or any family or household member.11 Any guns or ammunition seized will be held by law enforcement.12 The officer at the scene must provide the owner or lawful possessor of seized firearms or ammunition with a receipt.13 The firearm or ammunition will be made available to the owner or lawful possessor within seven working days after the seizure unless it is retained for use as evidence or the abuser is ineligible to possess it.14

Hawaii Revised Statute 709-906(4)(f) is similar but requires a police officer to seize all firearms and ammunition that the police officer has reasonable grounds to believe were used or threatened to be used in the commission of a domestic abuse offense if the officer has reasonable grounds to believe that there was physical abuse or harm inflicted by one person upon a family or household member, regardless of whether the physical abuse or harm occurred in the officer’s presence.

See our Domestic Violence and Firearms policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

 

Notes
  1. Haw. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 134-7(f). ⤴︎
  2. Id. ⤴︎
  3. See Haw. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 586-5(b), 586-5.5(b). ⤴︎
  4. Haw. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 586-1, 586-3. ⤴︎
  5. Haw. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 134-7(f). ⤴︎
  6. Haw. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 134-7(g), 134-7.3(b). ⤴︎
  7. Haw. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 134-7(f). ⤴︎
  8. Id. ⤴︎
  9. Id. ⤴︎
  10. Id. ⤴︎
  11. Id. ⤴︎
  12. Haw. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 134-7.5(a). ⤴︎
  13. Haw. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 134-7.5(b). ⤴︎
  14. Haw. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 134-7.5(d). ⤴︎