Documents submitted by county police to the state’s Department of the Attorney General show that every application by a private citizen for a concealed-carry permit was denied in 2016. That makes Hawaii the only state in the country not to issue even a single concealed-carry permit last year.
“All other states have issued permits,” said Dr. John Lott Jr. of the Crime Prevention Research Center, which tracks the number of gun-carry permits across the country. “The next lowest state is New Jersey with about 1,200 permits, but half of those are issued to judges and retired police officers. Even D.C. last year had 74 permits for civilians being able to carry.”
Since the Hawaii concealed-carry permit is only valid for one year, Hawaii was also the only state in the country not to have any active concealed-carry permits issued to private citizens. Hawaii’s concealed-carry law requires that only in “an exceptional case” where somebody can show “reason to fear injury to the applicant’s person or property” may a county police chief issue a permit. Unlike in most of the country, however, the county police chiefs have the ultimate authority over who does and does not get a permit.
According to the Department of the Attorney General’s 2015 Firearms Registration report, Hawaii County did not issue a single concealed-carry permit to a private citizen from 2000 through at least 2014—a not unusual practice in Hawaii. “Statewide, there have been a couple/few over the years,” Paul Perrone, Hawaii’s chief of research and statistics, told the Free Beacon.