Governor Christie Proposes Looser Handgun Carry Permit Regulations in New Jersey
On March 6, 2017, NJ Governor Chris Christie announced the adoption of regulations that propose to loosen the restrictions on handgun carry permits in New Jersey. According to a press release by the Governor’s office, the new handgun carry permit regulations would allow New Jersey residents who are seeking to obtain permission to legally carry a handgun to get a permit by demonstrating they are the victims of “serious threats” that “establish more than mere generalized fears or concerns.” The current regulations allow the issuance of a carry permit only upon a showing of a “justifiable need” based on specific threats or previous attacks.
According to the current handgun carry permit regulations, set forth in N.J.A.C. 13:54-2.2 and 2.3, “no person, except as provided in N.J.S.A. 2C:39-6, shall carry, hold or possess a handgun without first having obtained a permit to carry the same in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.” The regulatory requirements for a handgun carry permit, enumerated in N.J.A.C. 13:54-2.3, state three requirements that an applicant for a carry permit must satisfy: 1) the person must be of good character and not subject to any of the disabilities which would prevent him or her from obtaining a permit to purchase a handgun or a firearms purchaser identification card; 2) the person must demonstrate at the time of the application for the permit that he or she is thoroughly familiar with the safe handling and use of handguns; and 3) the person must demonstrate a justifiable need to carry a handgun.
Failure to follow the handgun carry permit laws in New Jersey can lead to serious criminal charges. In fact, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5, the unlawful possession of a handgun is considered a second degree crime that subjects the defendant to 5-10 years in prison. Additionally, the Graves Act imposes mandatory minimum sentences for all offenders, even those without prior criminal convictions. Thus, it is imperative to consult with an experienced weapons attorney if you are facing any legal situation regarding a handgun in New Jersey.
The gun attorneys at the Tormey Law Firm have not only assisted clients with handgun carry permit applications, we have also successfully defended clients facing second degree criminal charges for the unlawful possession of a handgun. If you are a New Jersey resident seeking to obtain a handgun carry permit or if you have been charged with the unlawful possession of a weapon in New Jersey, contact the experienced firearms lawyers at the Tormey Law Firm today.