Hawaii Says Cops From Out Of State Can't Carry Guns, Despite Federal Law

Hawaii doesn't recognize that federal law can supersede state law on the authority of police to carry guns.

Honolulu, HI - Following New Jersey's recently-revised ban on police officers possessing guns, new attention has been brought to states with strict gun laws for law enforcement officers.

Standing out from the rest of the states is Hawaii, with their years-long refusal to recognize the provisions of the federal Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA).

LEOSA was “designed to protect officers and their families from vindictive criminals, and to allow thousands of equipped, trained and certified law enforcement officers, whether on-duty, off-duty or retired, to carry concealed firearms in situations where they can respond immediately to a crime across state and other jurisdictional lines.”

The purpose of the law was to pre-empt states from restricting the type of ammunition that officers could carry off duty, and allow them to carry their weapons in any state without running afoul of any state laws.

Hawaii's attorney general's office says that the federal law doesn't actually pre-empt state law.

According to Hawaii's Department of the Attorney General, if police officers from out of state are not on duty, then they are not actually considered to be police officers and LEOSA doesn't apply to them.

"If you are not on official duty with your governmental law enforcement agency and you are carrying a concealed firearm pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 926B, you are not considered a 'law enforcement officer' in the State of Hawaii. The Hawaii Revised Statutes will be applied to you as if you were a 'civilian' with no law enforcement powers," the state Attorney General memo says.

But even if a law enforcement officer is on duty, they aren't in the clear. That's because the state doesn't recognize that LEOSA can supersede state law, so on-duty officers need to comply with state law in order to carry their guns in Hawaii.

That means if an on-duty officer is in possession of a gun in the state for more than 5 days, they are required to register their gun with the chief of police in the county where they are staying. They also may not possess a magazine that holds more than 10 rounds of ammunition.

If the on-duty out-of-state officer is stopped by a local police officer, the local officer may take possession of the other officer's weapon until the out-of-state officer's agency can verify that they are on official duty.

U.S. Representative Don Bacon (R-Nebraska) attempted to pass amendments to LEOSA to address improper interpretations, but the amendments died with the end of the 115th Congress.

Comments (51)
No. 1-29
JBo
JBo

So as far as Hawaii is concerned, if you are a police officer from out of state and you are not on duty...you aren't a police officer...you're unemployed? Does this also affect feds?

Ronnytx031
Ronnytx031

That's cool. Then this medically retired officer will keep my gun and money out of the state and maybe all other Leo's should do the same. Since they want to not trust us.

Bigdaddy112
Bigdaddy112

Funny.who will enforce it. I see a lawsuit coming. I also see someone getting shot trying to enforce it.

unclejumbo
unclejumbo

I like this. My wife has been after me to take her to Hawaii. I guess I'll have to and make sure my concealed firearm is noticed. Then, when I'm unlawfully arrested I can use all of the money the state gives me to buy my wife a vacation house...in Arizona.

Maui Gent
Maui Gent

If you have a conceal carry permit, you should know that it only applies in the issuing State. Nice try.

James-Just-James
James-Just-James

This is what happenes when Politicians, Citizens and Law Enforcement Agencies press for gun control, it back fires!

Keep it up and soon LEO's will only be able to carry in their jurisdiction.

Careful what you ask for, you might get more than you can chew!

Dfc3166
Dfc3166

Well, I guess your officers better not need the help of an out of state officer, seeing we aren't officers. You f'in politicians are the biggest a--holes out there!

DocRyder
DocRyder

Insanity, of course but... I have always maintained a LEO's life is no more important than mine or my family's. Off duty, they should follow the same rules as everyone else. The Constitution clearly states "...the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed." Period. Without qualification. We have allowed the enemies of freedom to nullify our Constitutional Rights and that must be reversed. Sooner or later it will be, either by rational acts or bloodshed. We had one revolution to overthrow an oppressive government and there's no reason we cannot do it again. If Democrats are allowed to gain an unbreakable majority, our great grandchildren will pay in blood for it.

thinblueline514
thinblueline514

Federal law.... regardless of state. Good luck tryIng to make that stick.

FYI- stop targeting law enforcement. Target the criminals who carry the gun REGARDLESS of your law. 🙄

TheEltee
TheEltee

Clearly a Democratic state! I visit my O'hana, I carry concealed, if I have to use it, I have FOP/CCW Protection. If more than 5 days, register w/HPD. Not a big deal. But you gotta know, it's CCW! Don't go clowning around with your piece. It's called "concealed" for a reason!

NoBackupNearby
NoBackupNearby

Just another reason NOT to visit this state, in addition to the high prices of everything, abandoned vehicles all over the place, high homelessness/transient population, and increasing drug use (emphasis on crystal meth). Plenty of other states to spend my money in that are a heck of a lot closer AND recognize 18 USC, 926B.

rfelician1157
rfelician1157

Good luck Hawaii,🤔 let me see federal law or state law.

BlueLM101
BlueLM101

Good luck enforcing this, Hawaii. It won't make it out of at least the appellant court. It may stick for a very short time at the local level, but the Federal law is the standard over all law.

rfelician1157
rfelician1157

The preemption doctrine originates from the supremacy clause of Article 6 of the U.S. Constitution. This doctrine states that any federal law,even if it is only a regulation from a federal agency, supersedes any conflicting state law, even if that law is part of the state's constitution.LEOSA is a federal law signed into law by President George W . Bush.

Thesparky1000
Thesparky1000

Hello officer Ho. Be sure to press down hard, you have 5 copies. Welcome to the mainland.

Observant 1
Observant 1

Sounds like the work of Sen.Hirono. Men need to sit down and shut up! Good luck to all Law Enforcement in today`s climate. Merry Christmas to the men in blue.You are still respected by the majority!

magnumforc
magnumforc

I worked in Hawaii years ago, coming from the mainland and they had no issue with us being armed. In fact they would be surprised if we were not. I suppose times change when the politicians want to belly up to those standing at the next free feed trough.

Last Spartan
Last Spartan

Well First Off this article states that NJ banned Police Officers from carrying guns . NOT TRUE ! NJ wants retired Police Officers whom live in the state of NJ to apply for a carry permit . The permit states on it that your a retired Officer. For Active duty Law Enforcement on or off duty they have made a admendment originaly the amount of rounds were reduced to 10 rounds. This has also been revised check with your FOP or PBA there is a letter with the details of the new Law. And in reference to Hawai there clearly wrong LEOSA clearly states on or off duty . But until they get sued and have to pay out a large sum and help some Police Officer retire early I suppose they can write anything on paper.

MajScallywag
MajScallywag

Has Hawaii started drinking the same Kool-aid that California has been drinking?? Leftist socialists who think that they supersede federal law?

TarnishedCopper
TarnishedCopper

What a moron who made that decision.....Hope the Feds have a chat with them and let them know how much in federal funds they can lose if they want to operate in this manner in violation of federal law. Or perhaps we just put them off on their own and make our flag only have 49 stars again.

sisofblulvesmattr808
sisofblulvesmattr808

absolutely fucking ridiculous. yet off duty they still swear to honor and protect. smh

FedCop 266
FedCop 266

BS! Totally against Federal LEOSA HR 218 law! All active and retired local, state and Federal law enforcement officers can carry concealed handguns 24/7 nationwide! To include Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Guam, And the US Virgin Islands.

VanMan
VanMan

They will when the Federal funding starts to dry up....

DVK9
DVK9

Simple answer is....dont go to Hawaii. Take your money elsewhere.

exmp69
exmp69

see Duberry v. District of Columbia 2016, and the Memorandum Opinion 2018, many topics covered including "states are required to recognize LEOSA". It's only a matter of time.

exmp69
exmp69

specifically with regard to LEOSA, see 18 US Code section 927.

Reppoc493
Reppoc493

But they do nothing about their out of control meth use! Lol.... Typical

RCK
RCK

Hawaii is a bad joke, and whoever refuses to obey the law, police or not, should be arrested and incarcerated. That includes ANY of their stupid officials.

Jetranger206
Jetranger206

these politically elected idiots who think state law trumps FED LAW are guilty of MALFEASENCE AND MISFEASANCE