comscore Off the News: More free coronavirus tests; Firearms permits, registrations go up | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Editorial | Off the News

Off the News: More free coronavirus tests; Firearms permits, registrations go up

As tourism gradually reopens, more visitor industry workers are in front-line roles in guarding against COVID-19’s spread. Honolulu Hale is rightly supporting their efforts by prioritizing availability of free testing for these workers at the Waikiki Shell, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays. Workers are encouraged to return numerous times for testing through November.

The no-charge, self-administered nasal swab tests are also available for residents and visitors, thanks to the city’s supply of 28,000 tests acquired from the federal government to conduct coronavirus testing in areas with high-risk populations.

Firearms permits, registrations go up

Honolulu Police Chief Susan Ballard’s theories behind Oahu’s spikes in annual firearm permits and firearm registrations make sense: COVID-related fears and the possibility of a Democratic president.

Remember the hoarding of goods in the early days of COVID? Getting guns to protect the home, for some, would seem an extension of that bunker mentality.

And data shows that the city’s 10,485 annual firearm permits issued through September was 40% higher than a year ago — the highest number in at least eight years. Oahu’s 21,214 firearms registered in that period was up 14% over last year, the highest number since 2016.

Hawaii’s gun laws are among the strictest in the nation — inconvenient for gun enthusiasts, perhaps, but good for no-gun fans.

Click here to see our full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak. Submit your coronavirus news tip.

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