Restrictions on Gun Ownership After a Hawaii Criminal Conviction
Restrictions on Gun Ownership After a Hawaii Criminal Conviction
Getting convicted of a crime in Hawaii can make it real hard to own a gun afterwards. Even misdemeanors can cause you to lose your rights. This article will break it down for you so you know what convictions prevent gun ownership in Hawaii.
First off, any felony conviction means you can’t own firearms in Hawaii . Felonies are serious crimes that carry a punishment of more than one year in prison. So if your convicted of murder, rape, robbery, assault, drug trafficking, etc. your going to lose your gun rights.
But in Hawaii, even some misdemeanors will make you a “prohibited person” who can’t own guns. For example, if your convicted of assault in the third degree, which is a misdemeanor, your prohibited from owning firearms . Same goes for harassment, terroristic threatening, and abuse of a family member .
The thing is, Hawaii has strict laws about taking away peoples gun rights. Like if your convicted of a misdemeanor drug crime, your prohibited from owning guns. Even if its a minor offense like possession of a small amount of weed . Kind of seems overkill if you ask me.
Some other misdemeanors that’ll cause you to lose gun rights in Hawaii include :
- Cruelty to animals
- Criminal property damage
- Disorderly conduct
Heck, even minor crimes like littering or trespassing can make you prohibited if the judge orders it. The judge can take away your gun rights if they think your a danger to yourself or others .
Some other things that’ll cause you to lose gun rights are restraining orders and mental health issues. Like if a judge issues a temporary restraining order against you, your prohibited from owning firearms in Hawaii . This includes temporary restraining orders related to domestic violence, harassment, stalking, etc.
Mental health can also be a factor. If your involuntarily committed to a mental institution in Hawaii, your prohibited from owning guns afterwards . This seems kind of discriminatory against people with mental health issues if you ask me. But them’s the rules.
How Long Does the Prohibition Last?
So if you lose your gun rights from a criminal conviction in Hawaii, how long does the prohibition last? Well, it depends.
For felony convictions, the prohibition is for life unless you get a pardon from the Governor of Hawaii . So if your convicted of murder, rape, assault, etc. your pretty much prohibited forever.
For misdemeanor convictions, the prohibition lasts for 10 years after your release from jail . So if you get convicted of a misdemeanor like harassment or drug possession, you’ll regain your gun rights after 10 years.
If your convicted of two or more misdemeanors for domestic violence, your prohibited for life . Hawaii don’t play when it comes to domestic abuse.
For mental health prohibitions, it lasts until a doctor certifies your mentally healthy. You’ll need a note from a psychiatrist saying your good before you can own guns again .
Can I Appeal the Prohibition?
If you lose your gun rights from a criminal conviction or mental health issue, you may be able to appeal and get your rights back. Here’s how:
- Felony Conviction – You’ll need a pardon from the Governor of Hawaii . This is very rare.
- Misdemeanor Conviction – File a petition with the court after 5 years .
- Mental Health Issue – Get a doctor’s note saying your better .
- Restraining Order – File a petition after 5 years .
As you can see, getting your gun rights back after a prohibition in Hawaii ain’t easy. You’ll likely need to lawyer up. And even then, it’s a long shot.
Can I Still Use Guns?
If your prohibited from owning guns in Hawaii, your probably wondering if you can still use them in certain cases. Like can you go hunting with your dad or to a shooting range with friends? Let’s discuss.
In general, your prohibited from possessing, controlling, or using any firearm or ammunition if your a prohibited person . But there are some exceptions.
For example, you can legally use a gun for hunting if your with someone who’s not prohibited, like a friend or family member. But there’s catches. You can’t be in sole possession of the gun and your companion has to be “within sight and monitor” your activities .
You can also use a gun at a shooting range if an instructor or non-prohibited person is supervising you closely. Again, you can never have sole possession of the gun .
In an emergency, you can legally use a firearm for self-defense too. Like if someone breaks into your house, you can grab your wife’s gun and protect yourself. But your still prohibited from owning guns yourself .
Bottom line – your ability to use guns is very limited if your prohibited in Hawaii. Your pretty much out of luck unless someone who’s allowed to have guns is watching you like a hawk.
What About Antique Guns?
Some people think that if a gun is an antique made before 1899, a prohibited person can legally own it. But that’s not the case in Hawaii.
Hawaii law prohibits ownership of any firearm by prohibited people, regardless of its age . So even if you have a musket from the 1800’s or a flintlock pistol, your prohibited from owning it if you have a disqualifying criminal conviction.
The ATF backs this up too. They say “any firearm or ammunition” is prohibited, not just modern guns . So don’t try to get around the law with an antique firearm – your still going to be breaking the rules.
What Happens If I’m Caught With a Gun?
If your prohibited and get caught with a gun in Hawaii, your in big trouble. Under state law, it’s a class C felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison .
And under federal law, it’s up to 10 years in prison since your considered an armed career criminal . That’s some serious time just for possessing a gun.
The penalties get even worse if you use the gun to commit a crime. For example, if you rob a store at gunpoint, your looking at decades behind bars.
Bottom line – don’t mess around with guns if your prohibited in Hawaii. Your already in the dog house, so don’t make it worse by catching another case.
How Can I Restore My Gun Rights?
If you lose your gun rights in Hawaii, is there any way to fully restore them? Possibly, but its not easy.
For felony convictions, you need a pardon from the Governor which is rare. For mental health prohibitions, you need a doctor’s note. Those two are pretty straightforward.
But what about misdemeanor convictions? Many states allow you to petition the court to restore rights after a certain period of time. But that’s not the case in Hawaii.
The only way to restore rights after a misdemeanor is through a Governor’s pardon . And like with felonies, pardons are very hard to come by in Hawaii.
So realistically, if you lose your gun rights from a criminal conviction in Hawaii, their gone for life in most cases. The only sure way is a rare Governor’s pardon.
If that seems unfair, I agree with you. Hawaii has some of the strictest laws in taking away peoples rights over even minor offenses. Not much can be done about it unless the laws change.
The Bottom Line
Gun laws are complex, but I hope this article helped break it down for you plain and simple. In Hawaii, even minor crimes can take away your right to own firearms.
If you have any convictions on your record, make sure to consult an attorney before buying or using guns. Don’t take any chances. The penalties are severe if you break the law.
And if you do lose your gun rights, don’t try to find loopholes or skirt the rules. Follow the prohibition until you can legally restore your rights. Otherwise your just asking for trouble.
Well, that’s my take as an average joe whose been through the system. Let me know if you have any other questions and I’ll try my best to answer them.