What’s the Law: Buying unregistered long guns



TOPIC: Buying unregistered long guns


Question: I am aware that a lot of long guns are illegally bought and sold between individuals by bypassing police registration. What are the risk factors?

Answer: Buying or selling long guns without following the required HPD paperwork is a very touchy subject.

The law requires a buyer to have a permit and to register a long gun within five days. The seller must notify HPD of the sale within 48 hours. This applies even if the gun is not currently registered, and the prior owner had it before July 1, 1994 (the date long gun registration became law).

Pre-1994 long guns are not “grandfathered.” While allowed to be unregistered, they must, however, be registered upon any transfer after July 1, 1994.

The penalty is a petty misdemeanor [Sec. 134-3(b) and 134-17(c) HRS], 30 days jail, $1,000 fine, and firearm is confiscated as contraband and destroyed.

Some buyers try to justify the non-registration by falsely claiming they acquired the long gun before the July 1994 law. But that may not wash if the buyer didn’t have a long gun permit back then or wasn’t old enough to own a firearm.

Aside from violating the firearm laws you also run the risk of buying a stolen firearm. The seller may be just a fence. Buying or receiving stolen property is a completely different and additional crime [Sec. 708-830(7) HRS].

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