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In a pioneering move to enhance community safety and combat gun violence, the Department of Law Enforcement (LAW) and Department of Public Safety (PSD), in collaboration with key government agencies, recently spearheaded the state’s inaugural Oʻahu Gun Buyback Program. The event, held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., aimed to encourage residents to voluntarily surrender unwanted firearms in exchange for gift cards, with no questions asked and no identification required.

A Unified Effort for Safer Communities

The collaborative effort involved 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. Two simultaneous gun buyback locations, the DOH Parking Lot on Punchbowl Street and the DOT Waiʻanae Corporate Base Yard on Farrington Highway, facilitated the process.

Gift Card Incentives and Voluntary Participation

Participants received compensation in the form of Foodland gift cards based on the type of firearms turned in:

  • $200 Foodland gift card for automatic firearms of any type, semi-automatic rifles, and ghost guns.
  • $100 Foodland gift card for handguns, rifles, shotguns, bump stocks, and Glock switches.

Individuals were not limited in the number of firearms they could surrender, but each person was eligible for a maximum of three gift cards. The program extended beyond firearm collection by offering free gun locks for those who opted to secure their firearms instead of turning them in.

A Step Towards Safer Homes

Addressing the broader context of firearm safety, State Director of Health, Dr. Kenneth Fink, emphasized the importance of responsible gun ownership. “Safe storage of firearms at home can significantly reduce the risk of firearm-related incidents, including assault, suicide, and unintentional harm to children,” Dr. Fink stated.

Successful Outcome and Future Initiatives

Governor Josh Green expressed pride in the program’s success, highlighting its role in making communities safer. The DLE’s contribution of $45,000, coupled with a $45,000 grant from the Federal Housing and Urban Development – Project Safe Neighborhoods, funded the Oʻahu Gun Buyback Initiative.

The results surpassed expectations, with almost 500 firearms collected, and 82 gun locks distributed. Due to the overwhelming response, the collection period was extended by two additional hours.

Looking Forward

Encouraged by the positive outcome, discussions are underway with county law enforcement partners for future gun buyback events across the state. The success of the Oʻahu initiative signifies a significant step towards fostering safer communities and addressing the critical issue of gun violence.

This amnesty program, championed by the collaboration of law enforcement agencies, signifies a commitment to creating a safer Hawaiʻi, one where responsible firearm ownership and community well-being take precedence.

For more information on future initiatives and updates, stay tuned to official announcements from the Department of Law Enforcement and the Department of Public Safety.

Note: Licensed gun dealers and active/retired law enforcement individuals were not eligible for participation, and the amnesty program ensured no questions were asked about the individuals surrendering firearms.