What’s the Law: New Rap Back System

Question: What’s the “Rap Back” system that the State of Hawaii just implemented?

Answer: The Rap Back Law (Act 108) has been implemented as of December 5, 2016. The law was enacted and signed by the Governor with much fanfare in July. After some five months, the process was finally established. Essentially, Rap Back is a FBI criminal history watch list where criminal acts will be reported to the subscribing states. Thus, any crime (“Rap”) committed will be reported “Back” to the “System” (Hawaii).

It is not a national firearms registration system. It registers people. Enrollment requires that you be finger printed, and information such as your social security number, physical description, gender, place and date of birth, and citizenship be submitted to the Rap Back system. HPD has the form online. The fee is $12 plus $30 for the Hawaii background check… a total of $42. HPD will accept major charge cards.

  1. If you already own firearms, you are not subject to enrollment.
  2. If you apply for a permit to acquire for either a hand gun or long gun, you will be enrolled.
  3. If you renew your long gun permit to acquire, you will be enrolled.
  4. If you arrive in Hawaii with a firearm to be registered, you will be enrolled.

You will NOT be issued a permit to acquire if you refuse to be enrolled in the Rap Back system, pay the $42 fee, and be fingerprinted.

Once you are enrolled, you are not subject to further fees; however, you will remain in the Rap Back system. Disenrollment only occurs when you:

  1. are deceased; or
  2. show proof that all of your firearms have been moved out of the State; or
  3. show proof that you have sold or transferred all of your firearms; or
  4. show proof that you have transferred all of your firearms to a federal firearms licensee FFL.

In simple terms, you will be required to enroll in the Rap Back system when you apply for a permit to acquire or register a firearm. If you do not acquire a firearm or apply for or renew a permit after the System went into effect, you are not subject to enrollment. If you sell or transfer a firearm, you are also not subject to enrollment.


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