What’s the Law: How many days do I have to register my new gun at HPD?

WHAT’S THE LAW?

BY DARRYL CHOY

Topic: How many days do I have to register my new gun at HPD?

Question: I know my long gun permit is good for one year, and a handgun permit is good for 10 days. But once I actually buy a gun, how much time do I have to get to HPD to register it?

Answer: For long guns, it’s easy. You have 5 days to get to HPD. And keep in mind these are calendar, not business, days. Weekends and holidays are NOT excluded. With handguns, it’s a bit more tricky. Sec. 134- 3(b) HRS states you have 5 days. But Sec. 134-2(f) HRS requires your seller to sign the handgun permit, verify the buyer, and transmit the permit to HPD within 48 hours, not 2 days (and weekends and holidays are not excluded). This is a very interesting problem because the custom and practice is for the buyer to go HPD with the completed permit and handgun. Under Sec. 134-3(b) HRS, the buyer can do this within 5 days. But if the buyer does so, after 48 hours the seller is in violation. Essentially, it would be the better practice for a buyer to register the handgun within 48 hours of purchase to keep everyone legal. But the 48 hour law is also problematic. Handgun purchases made late on a Friday may make a trip to HPD difficult and, if not possible, the 48 hours would expire on Sunday when HPD registration is closed.

Also note that a purchase must take place during the 10-day or one-year permit time. But the registration at HPD does not have to take place within that time. So you can buy a long gun on the last day of the permit and register it within 5 days even if the permit has expired by then. Same with a handgun. Buy the handgun on the 10th day but register it within 48 hours to keep your seller out of trouble. Also, with a handgun you must register it within 48 hours even if you have more time on your 10-day permit. For example, if you pick up your permit on November 1, it’s good until November 10. But if you buy the handgun on November 2, you must register it within 48 hours to keep you and your seller legal. You do not have until November 10.

Complicated you say?

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