The AR-15 might be a favorite target of gun control advocates, but that doesn’t make it any less effective when it comes to home defense. Case in point: a Hawaii man used the much-maligned “weapon of war” to open fire on a trio of armed home invasion suspects recently.

AR-15 Rifle To The Rescue

The Honolulu Star Advertiser reports that the incident occurred on July 19 at around 10:30 p.m. at a home in the community of Haiku, which is located in Maui County on the island of Maui. Three adults were inside the home when three male suspects wearing hooded sweatshirts suddenly stormed into the house.

One of the suspects was allegedly armed with a “shiny handgun,” Hawaii News Now says.

The intruders forced one of the victims into a bathroom in the hallway while the suspects moved through the house. While this was going on, a second victim managed to arm himself with an AR-15 rifle.

The man raised that AR-15 rifle and opened fire, nearly hitting one of the suspects.

The gunfire caused the three suspects to flee the house. As they did so, they fired four rounds at the residents. Fortunately, none of the rounds hit anybody in the home.

The home invasion suspects reportedly stole about $3,000 before getting into a black vehicle and heading toward the community of Hana.

Police said one suspect was five feet, eight inches tall and weighed around 180 pounds. The second suspect is allegedly five feet, eleven inches tall and weighs about the same as the first suspect. Both men have short black hair and are between 20 and 30 years old. There is no description of the third suspect.

News reports said a firearm was recovered at the scene. It’s unclear if it was the resident’s AR-15, or the “shiny handgun” used by the bad guys. Presumably, it was the former.

Hawaii Gun Laws

It goes without saying that gun laws in Hawaii are restrictive. Hawaii is a “may-issue” state, meaning carry permits are granted at the discretion of local authorities. The Washington Free Beacon recently reported that the Aloha State didn’t issue a single carry permit to civilians in 2017 or 2016. In addition, possession of 10-round detachable pistol magazines, including AR-15 rifle mags capable of being used in any pistol, is a misdemeanor.

The process for obtaining a handgun or an AR-15 is more difficult in Hawaii than it is in, say, Arizona. First of all you need a permit from your county Chief of Police. You also have to be 21 years old. You can also look forward to being fingerprinted and photographed for criminal background check. In addition, you have to provide an affidavit affirming your mental health and lack of drug addiction or criminal background, the Hawaii Rifle Association says. You also have to authorize the release of your medical history and give the name, phone number and address of your doctor, who is bound by law to relate any pertinent information regarding your mental health. A drunk driving record, history of psychiatric diagnosis, a medical cannabis prescription, or treatment for drug or alcohol addiction will result in your permit getting denied. You’ll need a letter from a doctor stating that you are “no longer adversely affected” by these issues.

Fortunately, the Hawaii resident in this case was able to navigate the process and use an AR-15 to defend himself.

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