See our Prohibited Purchasers policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.
Federal law prohibits certain persons from purchasing or possessing firearms, such as felons, certain domestic abusers, and certain people with a history of mental illness. Hawaii has adopted its own classes of prohibited persons, and incorporated some federal prohibitions as state offenses. In Hawaii, no person shall own, possess or control a firearm or ammunition if he or she:
- Is a fugitive from justice;
- Is a person prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition under federal law;
- Is under indictment for, or has been convicted of, a felony;
- Is under indictment for, or has been convicted of, any crime of violence. Crimes of violence are enumerated in Title 37 of the Hawaii Code that involve injury or threat of injury to another, including misdemeanor sexual assault and stalking1;
- Is under indictment for, or has been convicted of, an illegal sale of any drug;
- Is or has been under treatment or counseling for addiction to, abuse of, or dependence upon any dangerous drug, intoxicating compound, or intoxicating liquor;
- Has been acquitted of a crime on the grounds of mental disease, disorder, or defect;
- Is or has been diagnosed as having a significant behavioral, emotional, or mental disorder, or for treatment for organic brain syndromes, unless the person has been medically documented to be no longer adversely affected by the addiction, abuse, dependence, mental disease, disorder, or defect;
- Has been restrained pursuant to an order of any court from contacting, threatening, or physically abusing any person, as long as the order or any extension is in effect, unless the order specifically permits the possession of a firearm and ammunition.
- Is less than 25 years old and has been adjudicated by the family court to have committed a felony, two or more crimes of violence, or an illegal sale of any drug; or
- Is a minor who: 1) is or has been under treatment for addiction to any dangerous drug, intoxicating compound, or intoxicating liquor; 2) is a fugitive from justice; or 3) has been determined not to have been responsible for a criminal act or has been committed to any institution on account of a mental disease, disorder, or defect.2