See our Gun Dealers policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.
Persons engaged in the business of selling or manufacturing firearms, either at wholesale or retail, must be licensed by the state annually.1 A dealer license expires on the next June 30 following the date of issuance.2
All firearms in the possession and control of a firearms dealer, or registered by the dealer pursuant to state law,3 are subject to physical inspection by the chief of police of each county during normal business hours.4 During a national emergency, a dealer license may be revoked or suspended and all firearms in the licensee’s possession may be seized and held in possession by the state.5 A dealer license may be revoked for a dealer’s:
- Failure to comply with all laws relating to the sale of firearms;
- Failure to comply with the seizure of the dealer’s firearms by the Governor during a time of national emergency;
- Failure to comply with physical inspection of the dealer’s firearms by the Chief of Police during normal business hours.6
Pursuant to the Brady Act, federally licensed firearms dealers must conduct background checks on prospective purchasers each time the dealer transfers a firearm. See the Hawaii Background Checks section.