Honolulu Blinks in Gun Permit Dispute, But It's Still Not Good Enough

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Hawaii is a beautiful state. That is, unless you value the right to keep and bear arms, then it's not really all that great.

Nice beaches and great weather don't negate people's rights, and yet there have been a number of officials in Hawaii who think otherwise. Among them was the State Supreme Court.

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In Honolulu, they were slow-walking carry permits to such an intense degree that they might as well not even have a permitting process at all. This led to the inevitable lawsuit because while they might be "shall issue" now whether they want to be or not, it's hard to be "shall issue" if you never issue anything.

And I fully expected Honolulu to dig in. It seems they didn't.

Honolulu has agreed to grant or deny applications to carry guns in public within four months of submission in response to a lawsuit by residents who complained of delays of up to a year, according to a stipulation signed by a federal judge Friday.

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“The excessive delays that my clients experienced in obtaining their concealed carry licenses is indicative of a lack of commitment on the part of the government in allowing citizens to exercise their Second Amendment rights,” said Alan Beck, one of the lawyers for the three residents and the Hawaii Firearms Coalition, which was also a plaintiff in the case.

Representatives for Honolulu and city police did not immediately comment on the agreement Friday.

In addition to granting or denying applications within 120 days of submission, the city agreed to make reasonable efforts to procure and implement an online application system by March 8, 2026.

This is a very positive move forward, particularly as this now is essentially a court order they agreed to.

My issue here is that four months is still ridiculous.

Look, Hawaii is an anti-gun state. We all know this. A state's anti-gun status is a reflection of the attitudes of the population of its largest cities. In Hawaii, that means Honolulu.

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While I know they got a lot of permits initially, there's really no reason going forward they can't issue or deny an application in more like 60 to 90 days. Georgia, for example, has nearly eight times the population of Hawaii and they require permits to be approved or denied within 60 days.

And yes, this deadline existed before the state went to constitutional carry, meaning everyone who wanted to carry in Georgia had to get a permit. They still got them within 60 days or else there was a potential for a lawsuit against the county that failed to issue it in time.

Hawaii can do that as well.

Granted, for folks there on the ground, this is still a huge step forward. They've lived in a state that refused to issue permits and whose own supreme court has claimed that the right to keep and bear arms doesn't actually exist on the islands. Being able to carry a firearm for self-defense is the big win and I don't want to take anything away from that.

I'm just saying that four months is ridiculous when there's zero reason they shouldn't be able to do that in half the time.

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