The state of New Jersey has strict laws governing gun purchase, possession, and transportation.

Many citizens of New Jersey enjoy hunting or sport shooting but went through a process before they could enjoy their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. This is because New Jersey is known to have strict gun laws in comparison to other states around the country. It is first important to note that a Firearm Purchaser Identification card (FPID)  is required in order to purchase rifles, shotguns, and long guns. Before purchasing a handgun, a separate permit known as a Handgun Purchase Permit (HPP) is required. These permits will generally be issued by your local police department and will expire within 3 months of being issued. It is very important to fill out the applications fully and accurately before submitting them to your local police chief. There is also a small fee to apply, plus the cost to be professionally fingerprinted. Often applications are denied based on inaccurate or incomplete information. Background checks are done through the State Bureau of Identification.

Having an attorney on your side to look over your application and provide guidance on how to answer certain questions can be beneficial. If you satisfy the criteria set forth by the state of New Jersey, your permit must be issued within 30 days. In reality, the process often takes much longer. If your application for a purchasers permit is denied, you may appeal that denial. Keep in mind, these permits are for owning and purchasing a firearm, not to carry a firearm.


  • Hollow point ammunition is illegal to possess in New Jersey, with few exceptions such as within a home.
  • Ammunition capacity is limited to 15 bullets (magazine not including the chamber), except for police officers with duty firearms.
  • New Jersey has banned assault rifles since 1990.
  • As of 2010, New Jersey citizens can purchase only one handgun every 30 days. It is rare, but possible, that a person is granted permission to purchase more than one for a specific purpose such as certain employment.
  • New Jersey has some of the most restrictive gun laws in the entire country.
  • In New Jersey, no handgun purchase permit or firearms purchaser identification card will be issued to any person whose firearm is seized pursuant to the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act of 1991 and whose firearm has not been returned to them.
  • New Jersey does not honor any other state’s permit/license.
  • Persons with a license are still banned from carrying their firearm on the grounds of any school, college, or university. The same applies to school buses.
  • You must be 18 years old to purchase a long firearm and 21 years old to purchase a handgun.


Obtaining a license to carry a firearm on your person is difficult in New Jersey. This is primarily because New Jersey requires an applicant to establish they have a “justifiable need” to carry a firearm on them. “Justifiable need” is tough to define and establish, unless specific physical threats are made against your life or your employment requires you to carry. The courts have defined “justifiable need” to mean “urgent necessity”, a nearly impossible standard to meet. Similar to the Firearm Purchaser Permit, applications for a license to carry should be submitted to the chief of your local police department. Non-residents can apply through the New Jersey State Police. Using their discretion, they may either accept or deny your application. If you want to learn more about obtaining a license to carry, call Roberts & Teeter today and speak with an attorney on the matter.

2014 New Gun Case Law – In the Matter of the Denial of the Application by George Winston, Jr., for a Firearms Purchaser Identification Card, App. Div. (Accurso, J.A.D.)

On October 31, 2014, the New Jersey Appellate Division released an opinion in which the Court ruled that the State could preclude George Winston from obtaining a firearms purchaser identification card or a permit to purchase a handgun under N.J.S.A. 2C:58-3c(1) even though Mr. Winston obtained certificates of relief for his criminal convictions in the state of New York. Mr. Winston’s attorney argued that the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the U.S. Constitution required New Jersey to treat Mr. Winston’s relieved criminal convictions out of New York as not disqualifying him from obtaining a firearm in New Jersey. The Court ruled that the Constitution does not compel that result and affirmed the denial of Mr. Winston’s firearm permits. The Law Division judge who originally ruled on the appeal noted that the New York certificates were not the equivalent of an expungement under NJ law and therefore, the NY convictions could be used as reasoning for the denial of Mr. Winston’s gun permit application. The judge also stated that the issuance of the permits would not be in the interest of “public health, safety, or welfare.”

This opinion is further proof of how difficult it is to obtain a firearms purchaser identification card or a permit to purchase a handgun in the state of New Jersey. Police Chiefs will deny applications for any reason they can, forcing denied applicants to take their matter up on appeal with the judicial system. If you are interested in obtaining a firearms purchaser identification card or a permit to purchase a handgun in the state of New Jersey, you need aggressive attorneys on your side that know what they are doing. Call Roberts & Teeter today for a free consultation.

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