Hawaii Open and Concealed Carry Laws and Information


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Here is the link to our Hawaii Concealed Carry page.

Let me know if I missed anything or if you have something to add.

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Castle Doctrine and Stand your ground

I believe that your characterazation of Hawaii law regarding "Castle Doctrine" and "Stand your Ground" may be incorrect, or somewhat misleading.

In terms of the "Castle Doctrine" HRS 703-304 provides that while one may not be required to retreat from ones home, the justification for the use of deadly force remains the same as if you were outside your home. In other words, there is no presumption that someone in your home illegally, or who entered by force, is a deadly threat and that you can, without other independent assessment of the circumstances, employ deadly force. Additionally, HRS 703-301, specifically states that even if the circumstances of a deadly force encounter were deemed justified, the criminal, or the criminal's family, can still bring forth a civil suit.

Most people assume that any "Castle Doctrine" includes two key provisions; first, that anyone in your home illegally is subject to deadly force without further justification. And, that in the event that deadly force is used that the homeowner will not be subject to civil liability for said use of deadly force. Neither of those two concepts is correct in respect to current Hawaii law.

Furthermore, Hawaii is not a "Stand your ground" state. Hawaii law requires that one retreat if it can be done in complete safety before the use of deadly force can be used. Commentary from HRS 703-304 expands on the statutory language:

Subsections (2) and (5) strictly limit the use of deadly force. Under the circumstances specified in subsection (2), the actor may use deadly force if he believes it is necessary to protect himself against death, serious bodily harm, kidnapping, rape, or forcible sodomy. This formulation has two implications: (a) the actor must believe that deadly force is the only viable means of preventing the specified harm, and (b) the actor must believe that one of the specified harms is threatened on the present occasion. "Deadly force" is defined in §703-300. Its use is further restricted by subsection (5). Deadly force may not be used if the actor provoked his assailant's use of force against himself in the same encounter with the purpose of causing death or serious bodily injury. Of course, if he intends only moderate harm and receives a deadly response, the initial aggressor may respond with deadly force. The use of deadly force is also denied when the actor can avoid using it with complete safety by retreating, by surrendering possession of a thing to a person asserting a claim of right to it, or by complying with a demand that he refrain from taking an action which he has no legal duty to take. In any of these cases, the Code may seem to be opting for cowardice. However, it should be the strong principle of any criminal code to prevent death wherever possible.

While another section of the commentary suggests that robbery would not be considered a situation where one would be required to give up possession, it is also, not in and of itself, clear indication of one of the five reasons one can use to justify deadly force. The fact that one needs to refrain from any action he had no "duty" to take, is meant to infer that you cannot "stand your ground" in the face of criminal activity, nor utilize deadly force, unless you can articulate, using a reasonable man standard, your fear of one of the 5 justifications for the use of deadly force.
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