Isle guns don’t migrate, federal study suggests
No firearms referred for tracing by law enforcement agencies on the mainland last year were originally purchased in Hawaii, according to data compiled by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
In the limited sample, Hawaii was the only state whose firearms were not recovered in another state. Rhode Island had the next smallest number with 12, followed by New Jersey with 35.
At the other end of the survey, Georgia had the highest number of firearms recovered in other states with 2,631. Florida was next with 2,328, followed by Texas with 2,281.
The ATF tracks the sale and possession of firearms to assist law enforcement agencies across the country. Not all firearms the ATF traced were used in crimes, and not all firearms used in crime were traced.
Illegal firearms generally flow from states with weak gun laws to states with stronger gun laws, according to the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, which analyzed the ATF data. It also said criminals in states with strong gun laws find it more difficult to obtain firearms from local sources and frequently get them from traffickers supplied by out-of-state gun dealers.
Hawaii has some of the toughest gun laws in the country.
To acquire or purchase a firearm in Hawaii, a person is required to apply for a permit that allows county police chiefs to perform criminal background and mental health checks of the applicant before issuing a permit. There is a two-week waiting period after application to receive a permit.
A new permit is required for every handgun purchase.
Hawaii law enforcement agencies referred 100 weapons for tracing last year -- 45 handguns, 40 rifles, 12 shotguns, two machine guns and one undetermined.
The ATF was able to identify the source of 53. Hawaii was the source of 24, and the rest came from various parts of the mainland. California was the source of the highest number, with six.