Handling the gun surge: $545,760 grant to help HPD process firearms permits

Handling the gun surge: $545,760 grant to help HPD process firearms permits

Concerns about the coronavirus pandemic coupled with political turmoil could have contributed to an almost doubling in firearms permits and registration on Hawaii Island last year compared to 2019, leading to a waiting list at the Police Department of up to three months. A $545,760 federal grant approved Wednesday by the County Council to automate and streamline the firearms registration process and improve record keeping and data availability is expected to help the department continue whittling the waiting list, which has already been reduced to about a month. The money will be used to convert paper files to electronic formats, hire a temporary firearms records clerk and pay for overtime for staff to scan and review documents for electronic conversion. “There’s been a huge jump in the amount of permits for firearms,” Lt. Scott Amaral said. “The big goal with accepting this grant is it will help us facilitate helping our customers.” The Department of the Attorney General, Hawaii Criminal Justice Data Center, awarded the funding through the National Instant Criminal Background Check Act Record Improvement Program. Gun registration is a complicated process. Each individual handgun requires a separate permit tied to that firearm. So a customer would pay for the gun and the seller would send the serial number to the Police Department, holding onto the gun until the customer comes back with the permit. Long guns such as shotguns and rifles have a more general permit that allows purchase of any number of guns for a year. […]

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