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November 26, 2023

The Department of Public Safety (PSD) and Department of Law Enforcement (DLE) partnered with the Office of the Governor, the Department of the Attorney General, the Department of Health (DOH), the Department of Trans­portation (DOT), and the Honolulu Police Department to host a community gun buyback event recently on O‘ahu. This was the state’s first such program, staged in an effort to encourage people who own unwanted guns to turn them in for a gift card with no questions asked, and no identification required. 

“Firearm violence is a public health concern and is the leading cause of death for children nationally. While Hawai‘i has a low rate of firearm injuries and deaths, one out of 10 homes has a gun,” said State Director of Health Dr. Kenneth Fink. “Safe storage of firearms at home involves storing guns unloaded and separate from ammunition; securing them in a locked gun vault, safe, or case; and using locking devices such as cable-based and trigger locks – all of which can reduce the risk of firearm-related assault, suicide, and unintentional harm to children.”

A $100 gift card was provided by PSD for each handgun, rifle, shotgun, bump stock, and Glock switch, and a $200 gift card, for each automatic firearm of any type, semi-automatic rifle, or ghost gun. A person could turn in as many firearms as they wanted, but the gift cards were limited to a maximum of three per per­son. The department also provided free gun locks. This one-day initiative featured two simultaneous gun buyback locations: DOH Parking Lot and the DOT Wai‘anae Corporate Base Yard.

“This initiative is part of a larger effort to combat gun violence and promote safe neighborhoods across Hawai‘i,” said Governor Josh Green, M.D. “I am proud to be working with our law enforcement agencies to expand this program state­wide and provide people a way to take guns not in use off our streets so they don’t fall into the wrong hands.”

The DLE contributed $45,000 and the Federal Housing and Urban Development – Project Safe Neighborhoods grant provided another $45,000 to fund the O‘ahu Gun Buyback Initiative.

Police and state officials recovered almost 500 firearms altogether and gave out 82 gun locks. The program was so successful that they had to extend the collection period an additional two hours to 5 p.m. vs. the original time from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Posted on Nov 1, 2023 in FeaturedMain