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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, February 27, 2003

Only 1.5 percent of gun-permit applications denied

Advertiser Staff

People applying for gun permits in Hawai'i were rejected at a significantly lower rate than the national average, the state attorney general's office reported yesterday.

Applications and rejections

Here is a county-by-county breakdown:

• O'ahu: 4,383 applications, 0.6 percent rejected

• Big Island: 1,155 applications, 2.9 percent rejected

• Maui County: 870 applications, 4.4 percent rejected

Kaua'i: 582 applications, 0.7 percent rejected

Of the 6,990 firearms permit applications processed in Hawai'i in 2002, only 103, or 1.5 percent, were rejected. The national average was 2.3 percent.

Hawai'i's low rejection rate "is especially noteworthy when Hawai'i's comparatively exhaustive background check procedures and extensive list of disqualifying factors are taken into consideration," said the report, "Firearms Registration in Hawai'i 2002," compiled by Paul Perrone, the Department of the Attorney General's chief of research and statistics.

The most common reason for rejection was court-ordered alcohol abuse assessment following a conviction for drunken driving, "which is interpreted as a form of mental-health treatment and thus grounds for rejection (a DUI conviction is not in and of itself a disqualifying factor)," the report said.

The category mental health issues/treatment represented 61.2 percent of the rejections in Hawai'i in 2002.

The nearly 7,000 permit applications last year for 15,822 guns represented a 2.4 percent increase from 2001 and a 7.7 percent rise since 2000, according to the report. Permits for rifles and shotguns comprised 41.8 and 15.5 percent, respectively, of the total applications.