CCW Reciprocity with Hawaii Makes it Tough to Be Next Magnum, PI
Watching old reruns of Tom Selleck driving that hot, red Ferrari around Hawaii may have you dreaming of becoming the next Magnum, PI to land on the islands, but ccw reciprocitybetween Hawaii and the mainland makes it tough to bring that dream to reality.
Concealed carry permits is complicated in paradise. While Hawaii is a “may issue” state in name (and the fee is quite low if you are issued a permit), in practice, few such permits are granted. Whether or not a permit will be issued is left to the discretion of the police chief of the county where the applicant resides, but the applicant must first demonstrate “…an exceptional case, when an applicant shows reason to fear injury to the applicant’s person or property.”
If you are fortunate enough to be issued a permit to carry a weapon by your county’s police chief, it is important to recognize that Hawaii’s law states that the permit is only good for one year and only within the issuing county.
Having your permit valid in only one county on the mainland would be tough as many of us drive through several counties on a daily basis, unaware that we have crossed from one county to another. Fortunately it is not as big a challenge in Hawaii simply because there is only one county on any given island, so as long as you haven’t crossed the water, you are okay. As with most rules, there is usually an exception and that’s true even in Paradise. The one notable exception in this case is the island of Maui, which has two counties.
CCW reciprocity is when one state with a concealed carry weapons permit (it may be called that or any number of other names) honors a permit issued by another state. Here’s the bad news for mainlanders: If your dream is to conceal carry in Paradise then plan on moving to Hawaii first, because the Aloha State does not recognize permits from any other state in the union.
Don’t feel too bad, though. It isn’t easy for the few residents of Hawaii who actually do manage to get permits to venture stateside with their weapons either.
If you are a resident of Hawaii and you have a concealed weapon permit, only about a dozen or so of the mainland states will allow you to carry based on CCW reciprocity. If, however, you have a non-resident permit from another state, such as Arizona, your right to carry may be extended to about 30 states. That might make it worth getting a non-resident permit if you plan to be off island frequently.
For those of us who only dream of hula girls and palm trees swaying on the tropical breeze for short visits, plan on leaving your firearms at home during your next visit to Paradise.
Note that CCW reciprocity changes constantly as new laws are enacted and as existing laws are interpreted. It is critical therefore that you always check the laws of that state you want to visit shortly before your trip to be sure that there are no new rules or regulations that you need to be aware of.