When you’re moving all of your personal possessions to Hawaii—and we do mean ALL of them—you’ll naturally have questions about what you can and can’t take with you. We get a lot of inquiries about bringing pets to Hawaii, and we also receive a number of questions about firearms.

In short:

  • You can bring your firearms to Hawaii.
  • Most carriers will allow you to include them in your household goods shipment.

We’ll show you how to get it done quickly and easily.

But first . . .

 

A Note About Ammunition

Although you can ship and import firearms in a container along with your household goods, ammunition is treated differently. It’s classified as a hazardous material. As a result, most moving companies (including Royal Hawaiian Movers and our DeWitt sister companies) will not accept ammunition in a shipment classified as household goods.

If you want to move ammunition with you to Hawaii:

  • Your cheapest and easiest option will likely be to include it in your checked baggage when you fly. Each airline has quantity restrictions, so make sure to check before you pack.
  • UPS and FedEx also offer options, with some restrictions. You might also be able to use a freight forwarder to send it for you.

You’ll be able to purchase ammunition in the Hawaiian islands as well. As a result, you may decide to get rid of the ammunition you own, and purchase more when you arrive.

Now, in order to import your firearms, Hawaii has a few laws and requirements you’ll have to follow. We’ll walk you through those in the next section.

 

Laws for Importing Firearms into Hawaii from Out of State

discussing gun laws

All firearms imported into Hawaii from out of state must be registered within five days of your arrival.

The exact procedures differ slightly between islands, so we recommend you visit the link for your destination island to stay in compliance with county and state laws:

In general, though, you will be expected to:

  • Show up in person at a designated registration location within five days of arriving.
  • Bring photo identification, as well as proof of U.S. citizenship.
  • Pay a one-time fee.

There are also a few things you’ll need to do to prepare your firearms. Again, double-check with your specific island’s regulatory body to make sure you’re following the correct procedure:

  • Unload your firearm before heading to the registration location. Transporting a loaded firearm is against the law.
  • Prepare your firearm by having it “open” and visually safe: bolt removed, clip removed and slide in open position, cylinder removed or in open position, etc.
  • Transport your firearms in an enclosed container. This might be a gun case or some other kind of rigid container.
  • DO NOT arrive for your registration location with any kind of ammunition.

If you are not in full compliance with regulations, you may not be able to complete the registration process, and you’ll have to return at the next available time to complete your regulations.

This rule of thumb shared by the Honolulu Police Department is a good one to keep in mind: If you are unsure at any point about the procedure, secure your firearm and ask for assistance.

When you register your firearm, you should expect to:

  • Be fingerprinted and photographed, unless your fingerprints and photographs are already on file with the police department.
  • Pass a background check through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).

Once you register your firearm, your registration will remain valid until you sell or otherwise dispose of the weapon.

 

Black Powder Guns

If you happen to own a black powder gun, such as an antique black powder pistol, check with your destination island so you understand their requirements. For example, while Maui County requires that these guns be registered, the Big Island requires that these guns be permitted, but not registered.

Now that you understand the procedure for registering your firearms, let’s talk about prepping your guns for safe transit to Hawaii.

 

Prepping Your Firearms for the Move to Hawaii

black gun case

When you’re moving to Hawaii with firearms, your first task will be to find a company that will ship them. There are a few who will not. Royal Hawaiian Movers, as well as our DeWitt sister companies, would be happy to include your firearms in your household goods shipment.

Once you’ve located a company that can assist you, your next task is to be 100% up front with them. Tell them about all the firearms you plan to ship. This is the best way to stay legal—and it gives you the opportunity to leverage their expertise to make this move an easy one.

If you’re packing your items on your own:

  • Remove all ammunition, remove all magazines and put the safety on. You can never be too careful.
  • A hard-shelled padded gun case will work well to protect your items during transit. You can also bubble wrap your guns and put them in a box. Although you should identify the box to your movers, do not label the box as containing firearms, per ATF regulations.
  • Do not seal the box before your movers arrive. Your movers will need to verify and record all the details, such as the make, model and serial number on their inventory sheet. Then, the box can be sealed and stowed properly.
  • Keep a copy of this information for your records, along with any paperwork you have for your guns.

If you’ve hired full-service movers who will do the packing for you:

  • Go through the same safety precautions as though you were packing these yourself: Remove all ammunition, remove all magazines and put the safety on.
  • Your movers will record the make, model and serial number for each gun.
  • Keep a copy of this information for your records, along with any paperwork you have for your guns.
  • Then, your movers will pack your guns securely within your shipment.
  • As with a self-pack move, the box will not be labeled that it contains firearms, in accordance with ATF regulations.

Once your firearms arrive safely in the Hawaiian islands, you can take them in for registration to stay in compliance with the procedures we mentioned above.

Making Your New House Feel Like a Home

When moving to a new location, many people feel strongly about bringing all of their personal possessions with them. We get it. If firearms are a part of your life, rest assured that you can bring them with you when you move to Hawaii. Additionally, by following the rules and regulations we’ve laid out for you, it can be pretty simple to move your guns—and get them legally registered.

Have more questions about moving your guns or firearms to Hawaii? Our experts would be happy to help! Just reach out to us, and one of our Certified Moving Consultants will answer any inquiries you might have.