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Gun Permits in New Jersey

Handled By Our New Jersey Criminal Defense Attorneys

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 (FPIC) 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 city’s police department and will expire within 90 days 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. Oftentimes, 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.

Did you know:

  • Hollow point ammunition is illegal to possess in New Jersey, with few exceptions, such as within a home.
  • Ammunition capacity is limited to 15 rounds (magazine not including the chamber), except for police officers with duty firearms. However, there is legislation pending to reduce the number of rounds to 10.
  • New Jersey has banned assault rifles since 1990.
  • As of 2010, New Jersey citizens can purchase only 1 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.
  • 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.

License to Carry/Concealed Carry Permit

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 city’s police department. Non-residents can apply through the New Jersey State Police. Using their discretion, they may either accept or deny your application; however, only a Superior Court judge can issue a carry permit. 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 LawIn 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 an FPID 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 an FPIC card or a permit to buy 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 an FPID card or a permit to purchase a handgun in the state of New Jersey, you need aggressive attorneys on your side who know what they are doing.

Call Roberts & Teeter today at (732) 607-5553 for a free consultation with our skilled criminal defense lawyers in New Jersey.

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