HONOLULU (AP) — The number of firearms registered in Hawaii decreased by nearly 24 percent last year, according to figures from the state attorney general's office.

The figures show that registrations dropped to 40,635 in 2017 from 53,400 in 2016, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Wednesday.

In 2017, 16,443 personal or private firearm applications were processed, decreasing by 23.2 percent from the 21,408 applications processed the year before.

Of the registration applications, 96 percent were approved last year, according to the state data. The data shows that 1.7 percent were denied due to the applicants being disqualified, and the remaining 2.2 percent were rejected for applicants' failure to return permits.

Despite the sharp decrease last year, the number of registrations is still much higher than the numbers recorded nearly two decades ago, said Paul Perrone, a research chief for the attorney general's office. The state registered 13,617 firearms in 2000. Firearm registrations peaked at 60,757 in 2013 with a notable rise beginning in 2008.

"There's a direct relationship between a concern of scarcity and people buying more than they would have if scarcity was not an issue," Hawaii Rifle Association President Harvey Gerwig said.

During President Barack Obama's second term in office, firearm sales and registration boomed. Gerwig said people were concerned about the possibility of additional restrictions being placed on firearms during the last administration.

With Donald Trump in office, Gerwig said people are not buying guns at the same rate.

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Information from: Honolulu Star-Advertiser, http://www.staradvertiser.com