THE TRADE IN FIREARMS
That the citizens of Honolulu have come to a hearty realization of the danger which menaces them on streets after dark, where there is little traffic, is clearly indicated in the sales books of the gun stores. Since Christmas there have been more sales of revolvers and small arms in general than at any other period during the year. It was about a month ago when the stories of burglars, hold-ups, petty thieves and other midnight marauders began to go the rounds and the last week has to light a harvest of reports of the light fingered gentry plying their evil trade in various parts of the city. Since then the pistol trade has boomed.
One gun seller states that a gentleman of a practical turn of mind invested in an arsenal of three revolvers before Christmas, giving the explanation that he believed in making presents to his friends that were of practical value. It followed that three of his friends were each the recipients of a revolver at his hands.
Yesterday a bank clerk who was visited the night before by a burglar who carried away a part of his wardrobe, bought a revolver, and was surprised when he found three other young men making similar purchases. One of them was a young attorney who, a few nights ago, received hard usage from a person whom he asserts was a burglar. The sellers of firearms say that men who live at some distance from the center of the city are generally investing in seven-shooters.
There are police regulations which provide that any person not authorized by law, who shall carry, or be found armed with any bowie-knife, sword-cane, pistol, airgun, slung-shot, o other deadly weapon, shall be liable to a fine. Most cities have such a police regulation, but when their streets are infested with highwaymen and thieves, the police are not active in finding who has a gun on his person and who has not. A citizen of reputable standing in the community is not adjudged to be morally violating such laws when he is merely providing himself with the means of warding off assailants whom the police would be glad to place under lock and key if they could but lay their hands upon them. The fact remains, however, that almost every fourth male resident of the city is carrying a revolver at the present time, and the chances are that the hold-ups will meet with warm receptions from now on. Incidentally some of the more excitable young bloods may shoot each other.