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Honolulu has agreed to a four-month period to either approve or reject applications for carrying licenses for guns following a lawsuit over delays

People walk past a gun club in Honolulu (Via Aiden West/Shutterstock)

Honolulu has agreed to decide on applications for carrying guns in public within four months of submission following a lawsuit by residents who complained about delays, according to a stipulation signed by a federal judge on Friday.

The lawsuit, filed in March, claimed that the city purposely delayed the permitting process to keep it restrictive, as it was before a 2022 U.S. Supreme Court decision in the case of New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen, which changed gun laws nationwide, including in Hawaii, known for its strict gun laws.

Before the Bruen decision, Hawaii’s county police chiefs rarely issued licenses for open or concealed carry. After the decision, although they started issuing concealed carry permits slowly, the lawsuit argued that Honolulu continued to hinder the process, maintaining the restrictive nature of the permitting system.

Stolen guns (Via Aiden West/Shutterstock)

Alan Beck, one of the attorneys representing the residents and the Hawaii Firearms Coalition, which was also involved in the case, said, “The significant delays my clients faced in obtaining their concealed carry licenses show a lack of government commitment to allowing citizens to exercise their Second Amendment rights.”

Representatives for Honolulu and city police did not immediately provide comments on the agreement reached Friday.

In addition to committing to decide on applications within 120 days of submission, Honolulu also agreed to work towards implementing an online application system by March 8, 2026.

“The Supreme Court has affirmed that the Second Amendment right to carry for self-defense cannot be hindered by bureaucratic delays,” said Kevin O’Grady, another lawyer representing the plaintiffs. “This is a step towards ensuring that people can exercise their rights to self-protection.”

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