Don’t Risk being Arrested: When it Comes to New Jersey Gun Laws, Ignorance is not a Valid Defense
The State of New Jersey has some of the most extreme gun laws in the country. If you do not understand them fully or clearly, you can be charged with a crime and face a very serious prison term. Knowing what you can and cannot do when it comes to guns in NJ is vital to stay out of jail and maintain your freedom. Continue for more information about often unknown gun regulations in New Jersey and please feel free to contact our New Jersey Gun Lawyers if you need help with defense for gun charges.
Top Things to Know about New Jersey Laws on Guns
To start, let’s discuss the basics. It is illegal in New Jersey to purchase a gun if you do not have the proper permits. To obtain a purchaser permit, you must submit an application with your local police department and wait for the police to either approve or disapprove your application. If your request is denied, you have the right to appeal the decision and plead your case before a Superior Court Judge.
Next, under most circumstances, it is unlawful in New Jersey to carry a firearm unless you have a carry permit. Similar to a purchaser permit, to obtain a carry permit, you need to submit an application with your local police department. However, as part of the application process, the applicant must convince the police that you are thoroughly familiar with firearm safety and have a justifiable need to carry a firearm. Please keep in mind, you do not need a carry permit to have a firearm in your home or place of business. Moreover, you do not need a permit to travel with your firearm if you are traveling directly to your home, place of business, or directly to a target range or hunting location.
Unfortunately, if you are charged with a firearm-related offense, you are likely facing between 5 to 10 years in prison. On top of that, you must serve a minimum of 3 1/2 years before you become eligible for parole.
Common Mistakes Related to Guns in NJ
Next, let’s discuss some of the finer details and outline some common mistakes that cause many otherwise law-abiding citizens to be arrested. First, most individuals would agree that weapons such as assault rifles, machine guns, shotguns, and handguns are considered firearms. Also, most people would not be shocked to find out that you cannot legally own assault rifles and machine guns. Moreover, it would not be surprising to hear that you cannot own a handgun unless you possess a permit. However, many individuals would be shocked to discover that paint ball guns, pellet guns, and BB-guns are unlawful to possess in New Jersey without a permit. Surprisingly, our criminal code considers those devices to be firearms. Consequently, many teens face criminal charges for simply playing with what most parents would consider toys.
Another common mistake that results in criminal charges is traveling to New Jersey with firearms. As a general rule, the State of New Jersey requires anyone carrying a gun within the State to have a New Jersey permit. A thorough understanding of this law is very important for out-of-state visitors who travel here with their weapons. It is very common for out-of-state residents to be charged with unlawfully possessing a firearm because they travelled to New Jersey with a gun but do not have a New Jersey permit. Even if the person makes an honest mistake and had no intention of violating the law, they can be criminally charged. On top of that, the individual cannot claim he did not understand the law. Ignorance of the law is not a defense. Moreover, this law even applies to individuals who possess out-of-state permits to carry firearms. Unfortunately, it does not make a difference. The person carrying the guns must possess a New Jersey permit. Sadly, as a result of this strict law, many law abiding citizens, who have never been arrested before, face the possibility of serving time in jail.
Charged with a Gun Violation in New Jersey?
While it is very valuable to have the information provided above, it can’t help you much if you’ve already been arrested. If you or someone you love is facing gun charges for an alleged violation of NJ weapons laws, contact our offices at (201)-614-2474 for legal assistance. We provide free consultations and defend clients charged with gun crimes in New Jersey courts on a regular basis. Don’t hesitate to call anytime – day or night – to begin your best defense.