Federal law requires machine guns to be registered with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), and generally prohibits the transfer or possession of machine guns manufactured after May 19, 1986.1 In December 2018, ATF finalized a rule to include bump stocks within the definition of a machine gun subject to this federal law, meaning that bump stocks will be generally banned as of March 26, 2019.2
Hawaii has no law regulating machine guns or automatic weapons.
In 2018, Hawaii prohibited the manufacture, sale, or possession of bump stocks which are a type of firearm accessory that can significantly increase its rate of fire to function similarly to a machine gun. In October, 2017, a shooter used multiple bump stock devices in an attack on concert-goers in Las Vegas to perpetrate the deadliest mass shooting attack in modern history. Hawaii defines a “bump stock” as “a butt stock designed to be attached to a semiautomatic firearm and designed . . . to increase the rate of fire . . . by using energy from the recoil of the firearm to generate a reciprocating action that facilitates repeated activation of the trigger.”3
Hawaii also prohibits two additional types of trigger activators:4
(A) “Trigger cranks,” defined as “any device to be attached to a semiautomatic firearm that repeatedly activates the trigger of the firearm through the use of a lever or other part that is turned in a circular motion . . .” and
(B) “Multiburst trigger activators,” which are
(1) Devices that simulate automatic gunfire by allowing standard function of a semiautomatic firearm with a static positioned trigger finger or a device that fires multiple shots with the pull and release of the trigger; or
(2) Manual or power-driven trigger activating devices constructed and designed so that when attached to a semiautomatic firearm they simulate automatic gunfire.
See our Machine Guns policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.