Major Jump in New Jersey Carry Permit Rates Since 2022

The Rising Tide of Gun Carry Permit Requests in New Jersey

The Number of People Applying for Concealed Carry Permits in New Jersey Has Jumped Dramatically Since Mid-2022

More Concealed Carry Permits than Ever in NJ Since mid-2022, New Jersey’s concealed carry gun permit applications skyrocketed. The state issued close to 5,000% more concealed carry gun permits than in prior years. After the June 2022 Supreme Court case of New York State Pistol and Rifle Club, Inc. vs. Bruen, New Jersey permits to conceal carry were more accessible to acquire. The ruling in that case broadened gun rights, so New Jersey’s restrictive concealed carry law had to change. Before then, you had to show the justifiable need for a concealed carry permit. As such, security guards and retired police officers were the most likely to need a concealed weapon. Recent state data shows that fewer restrictions open the door to more New Jerseyans legally carrying concealed firearms.

Dramatic Increase in Concealed Carry Permits in NJ

The latest report on the Permit to Carry Data Dashboard quantifies the dramatic increase in concealed carry firearm permits. The six months since the Bruen ruling have seen a dramatic rise in the state-issued carry permits, totaling 32,465 new permits, nearly five times the number of new licenses in the preceding six months. That number suggests that at least 32,465 more guns are out in public. The Permit to Carry Data Dashboard lists the Attorney General’s Office’s compiled data on concealed carry applications.

New Jersey Attorney General’s Law Enforcement Directive 2023-02 announced the Permit to Carry Data Dashboard in response to the gun law changes after Bruen. That Directive announced the creation of a portal where the New Jersey State Police report data on handgun permit applications from December 1, 2019, to the present. In that way, the Attorney General’s office can tabulate the statistics of handgun permits for the three years before the new law allowing concealed carry and after.

The purpose of the data collection effort is to inform public safety policy. In other words, law enforcement can help the Attorney General make decisions about firearm enforcement and the legislature about enacting or amending laws. The Directive also outlined the new procedures for permits. Now, the chief executive officers of local police in the municipalities where the applicant resides are the exclusive carry permit handlers and decision-makers. Before, the final decision about who gets a permit rests with the superior court.

What Data is Being Collected on Permits to Carry Firearms?

The data reported from permit applications before and after 2022 includes the county and municipality, the birth year, race, and gender of the applicant. For the years before 2022, the carry permit application status, with reasons for denial, if applicable, was also itemized. The Dashboard’s latest data report for 2022 shows the number of applications by county and municipality. In sum, the data shows not only the increase in concealed carry permit applications but also the application acceptance rate by county and municipality.

For example, Sussex County and Warren County issued the most handgun carry permits, while Hudson County, Mercer County, and Union County issued the lowest in 2022. Notable from this data is the fact that rural counties show the highest number of permits while urban, populated counties saw the fewest. The correlation may be due to state law banning guns in “sensitive places,” such as bars, restaurants, libraries, zoos, museums, casinos, medical facilities, parks, and beaches. More densely populated areas may have more restricted areas for guns.

In fact, Sussex County’s Branchville borough tallied the highest number of permits relative to its residents, 66 to every 1,000 people, with all new permits post-Bruen approved. The next highest went to Salem County’s Elmer, with 50 permits for every 1,000 residents, with 98.5% of all new permits approved. Those high ratios starkly compare to 50 municipalities with only one new permit per 1,000 people or even fewer than one per 1,000. And 19 communities had zero concealed carry permits issued.

As for the total number of permits issued, Toms River in Ocean County tops the list of municipalities, followed by Newark in Essex County, and Old Bridge in Middlesex County.  Finally, the application data indicates that almost all applications after mid-2022 were successful. The six grounds for denying a concealed carry handgun permit application include mental health or medical issues, drug or alcohol addiction, a felony crime on your criminal record (or a criminal record that has not been expunged), or providing false information on your gun permit application.

What Does this Mean for New Jersey Residents?

Gun Lawyers Explain the Rise of Concealed Carry Permits in NJ Since the Bruen Decision The upshot of the application data is that you are far more likely to encounter a gun-toting New Jerseyan now than just a year and a half ago. However, application disqualifications still prevent some people from legally acquiring and possessing firearms. Moreover, “sensitive places” legal site restrictions prevent gun carrying in highly populated areas and may account for residents’ possible reluctance to seek a permit in more populated communities.

So, what should you do if your carry permit application was denied? You should seek sound legal counsel as soon as possible to discuss your right to file an appeal. You should not be denied your Second Amendment rights without legal reasons and the opportunity to enlighten a court about your circumstances.  There are specific requirements for filing an appeal and the clock is ticking from the moment you receive notice of your denied permit. You must gather the necessary documents for your appeal and file a convincing appeal on time, so getting help from an experienced New Jersey gun permit lawyer is a smart move.

The attorneys at The Tormey Law Firm can review your case and assist with challenging a failed concealed carry permit application anywhere in New Jersey. We serve all New Jersey towns and cities, including Hoboken, Union Township, Teaneck, Jersey City, Middletown, and Woodbridge. Call (201)-614-2474 today for a free consultation.