Black Friday Gun Sales: NJ Residents Purchase Firearms After Thanksgiving
On November 25, 2016, commonly referred to as Black Friday, gun shops across America sold enough guns to consumers to arm the entire United States Marine Corps. In New Jersey, this meant that many new firearm owners needed to acquaint themselves with the state’s extremely tough gun laws.
FBI spokesman Stephen Fischer stated that the agency conducted 185,713 background checks during the 24-hour period following Thanksgiving. Fischer further noted that this year’s sales increased over last year’s sales by about 400 firearms. Generally, Black Friday sees the most guns sales on a single day because retailers cut prices and offer huge discount. This past Black Friday was no exception: there were slightly more than two background checks per second, or enough firearms to arm each of the 182,000 active duty members of the United States Marine Corps.
Every state has its own gun sales laws that outline how a person can legally buy a firearm in that particular state. However, the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993 requires that Federal Firearms Licensees (FFLs), or firearms retailers, conduct instant background checks before completing a firearms sale. Basically, before ringing up the transaction, the cashier must call the FBI to ensure that the customer is eligible to purchase a firearm. Accordingly, anytime a person attempts to purchase a shotgun, rifle, or handgun from a licensed gun dealer in New Jersey, the seller must run the customer’s information through the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (“NICS”) to check the criminal background of the customer. In addition to performing the NICS check, the dealer must also check to see that the customer has a valid firearms purchaser identification card or a permit to purchase a handgun before initiating the sale of any shotgun, rifle, or handgun.
Under New Jersey’s firearms laws, any person purchasing a shotgun or rifle must carry a valid firearms purchaser identification card and any person purchasing a handgun must have a permit to purchase a handgun. Specifically, N.J.S.A. 2C:58-3b. states that “no person shall sell, give, transfer, assign or otherwise dispose of nor receive, purchase or otherwise acquire [a rifle or shotgun] unless the purchaser, assignee, donee, receiver or holder is licensed as a dealer under this chapter or possesses a valid firearms purchaser identification card, and first exhibits said card to the seller, donor, transferor or assignor…” In addition, N.J.S.A. 2C:58-3a. states that “no person shall sell, give, transfer, assign or otherwise dispose of, nor receive, purchase, or otherwise acquire a handgun unless the purchaser, assignee, donee, receiver or holder is licensed as a dealer under this chapter or has first secured a permit to purchase a handgun…” The bottom line is that there are many laws that control how to legally purchase a gun in New Jersey. Anyone with questions or concerns about how NJ guns laws might affect their ability to own and carry a firearm should speak with a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney.