What’s the Law: Selling a Long Gun (2015)

What’s the Law?

By Darryl Choy

TOPIC:  Selling a Long Gun (Revisited)

QUESTION:  I can’t remember. It has been a while. But what’s required when I sell a rifle or shotgun?

ANSWER:  This was the subject of a “What’s the Law” article 15 years ago; but this a good time to revisit it (see Page 3 of the February 2000 HHAA Newsletter).

Your buyer must have a current and valid “permit to acquire” issued by any of the 4 County Police Departments (Sec. 134-2 HRS*). Check the expiration date and keep a photocopy for your records. You should also keep a copy of the buyer’s driver’s license.

Inform the buyer that he must take the firearm (cased and unloaded) to the Police Department within five (5) calendar days for registration. Provide the buyer, in writing, your name, address, and phone number; the firearm’s make, model, type of action, caliber/gauge, and serial number. Optional for you to provide, if available, are the date and G number of your police registration paper (Sec. 134-3 (b) HRS**).

You must provide the Police Department with a Notice of Transfer within 48 hours of the sale, providing your name, the name of the buyer, plus the make, model, type of action, caliber/gauge, and serial number of the gun sold (Sec. 134-2 (f) HRS*).

*Violation is a full misdemeanor, 1 year jail, and a $2,000 fine.  **Violation is a petty misdemeanor, 30 days jail, and a $1,000 fine.

Strongly suggested is for you to keep (in a designated firearms folder) photocopies of the buyer’s long gun permit, driver’s license, and Notice of Transfer for each transaction. If, in the future, the firearm is used in a crime, the federal BATF and law enforcement may do a trace from the manufacturer to wholesaler to FFL dealer then to you. You will need to show BATF when and who you sold the gun to and that it was a lawful transfer.

Note that the transfer process applies even if the long gun was acquired by you before July 1, 1994, when long guns were required by law to be registered. Such pre-1994 guns are not “grandfathered.” Since you were in lawful possession prior to July 1, 1994, you are not required to register them. But all subsequent transfers must be registered under Hawaii law.

Caution: there have been reports that one neighbor island department is requiring that both seller and buyer appear at the Police Department for the transfer.

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