New Jersey Ghost Gun Defense Attorneys

“The state of NJ harshly punishes crimes involving the illegal purchase of kits to make untraceable guns, possessing a ghost gun, assembling a firearm without a serial number, using a 3-D printer to make a firearm, transporting, or manufacturing ghost guns or assembly parts for undetectable firearms.”

Charged with Ghost Guns NJ Need Lawyer Ghost gun numbers are rising, as more people build their firearms with gun-building technologies, such as kits, three-D printers, or milling machines, all designed or programmed to make gun parts. Typically, the ghost gun builder assembles a gun from gun parts, like frames and receivers they get from a kit, or they print from a 3d printer. Because the kit contains parts only or the printer makes only parts, do-it-yourself gun makers are able to evade certain laws aimed at the unregulated manufacture of firearms.

Homemade guns do not have serial numbers traceable to licensed federal gun manufacturers, so law enforcement cannot easily solve crimes involving ghost guns. As a result of ghost gun manufacturing, those who would otherwise not pass a background check can sometimes become gun holders. Like 3-D printed firearms produced by computer code, these guns may be plastic and, therefore, invisible to metal detectors. All guns without serial numbers issued by licensed gun manufacturers are considered ghost guns. Due to the difficulties in tracing and regulating these do-it-yourself or make your own firearms, New Jersey aggressively goes after ghost gun makers, sellers of these kits, people who assemble these guns on their own, and those who illegally possess ghost guns across the state.

At The Tormey Law Firm, our experienced gun lawyers bring over 70 years of experience and knowledge of criminal and firearms laws in New Jersey to creating the most compelling defenses and arguments in favor of our clients. Whether we can achieve a dismissal of the charges due to lack of evidence, issues with illegally obtained or flawed evidence that we can get suppressed, or other violations of our clients’ constitutional rights, this is always our number one goal. If not an outright dismissal of the weapons charges, we fight for probation, Pre-Trial Intervention Program admission, and other alternatives to prison to help our clients maintain their freedom. If you have been charged with illegal possession or manufacturing of ghost guns in Bergen County, Morris County, Union County, Hudson County, Middlesex County, Monmouth County, Passaic County, or another county in NJ, contact us for immediate assistance at (201)-614-2474.

Different Methods for Making Homemade Guns

Gun kits come to purchasers with all parts to make a gun, such as the frame and receiver that holds the firing mechanisms, plus barrels and stocks. All that the purchasers must do is follow the instructions to assemble a firearm. The 3-D printer, on the other hand, requires a particular printer that excretes a liquid plastic, nylon, or other material that hardens into the part it is programmed to make. Inversely, the milling machine takes material, such as metal, and carves out pieces to make a gun.

Federal Enforcement on Ghost Guns

To stem the rising number of ghost guns found during criminal investigations, the Biden administration banned the manufacture of gun-building kits consumers can buy anywhere without a background check, designating the kits as firearms per the Gun Control Act. As such, gun kit manufacturers must now become federally licensed gun manufacturers to sell gun kits and include serial numbers on the frame and receivers.

The rule banning unlicensed manufacturers of ghost guns, including 3-D printed ones and machine-milled parts, also burdens licensed gun manufacturers or gunsmiths with putting serial numbers on purchased guns without serial numbers. The same rule mandates that federally licensed gun dealers keep records until they shut down and turn them over to the ATF. This ghost gun rule follows an executive action for stricter federal enforcement and state prosecution of crimes committed with ghost guns.

Ghost Gun Offenses under New Jersey Law

New Jersey also prosecutes anyone other than a licensed firearms manufacturer who buys or obtains a frame, receiver, or other parts that can be assembled and made into a firearm without a serial number. Even unfinished frames or receivers are frames or receivers for purposes of the law (N.J.S.2C:39-9). Included in the ban on the unlicensed manufacture of firearms are 3D printer-produced firearms or firearm parts. It is unlawful to use such a printer to make a gun or gun parts without a state license to manufacture or sell firearms or to disseminate computer codes for making firearms or their components by a 3D printer unless it is to a licensed gun manufacturer or dealer. It is also unlawful to knowingly possess, transfer, ship, sell, or dispose of an unserialized firearm.

A recent bill passed by the New Jersey legislature and signed by Governor Murphy banned all guns without serial numbers. However, according to New Jersey legal definitions of weapons, a gun includes any gun or weapon that fires or ejects a projectile, whether that projective is a bullet, pellet, gas, vapor, or any potentially lethal thing. Thus, BB guns, air rifles, antique guns, and almost any weapon that can eject or project a solid object is presumably unlawful to possess, sell, transfer, or dispose of if it has no serial number from a federally licensed gun manufacturer or dealer.

The law, intended to ban ghost guns involved with crime, unintentionally placed many firearm holders in jeopardy of prosecution. Since many guns do not have serial numbers because they are too old, imported, or not sold through federally licensed gun dealers, the Attorney General issued a clarifying directive to exclude antique firearms and other firearms that may not have serial numbers for legitimate reasons. The directive also emphasized enforcement against those who knowingly possess, transfer, deface or otherwise deal with a firearm without a serial number.

Penalties for Ghost Gun Crimes in New Jersey

Possession of a Ghost Gun Penalties

In New Jersey, it is a third degree crime to possess a ghost gun, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-3(n). A third degree criminal conviction could mean a three (3) to five (5) year prison sentence and a $15,000.00 fine. Also, when charged with other crimes, you may face consecutive sentences. Many people are charged with multiple offenses involving untraceable firearms, including charges for manufacturing or purchasing gun parts or kits to make guns at home.

Penalties for Purchasing, Manufacturing, Transporting, Selling, and Other Offenses with Untraceable Guns

Specifically, in New Jersey, it is a second degree offense in violation of N.J.S.2C:39-9, to manufacture or facilitate the manufacture of a gun with a 3D printer. A 3D printer (three-dimensional printer) is a computer or computer facilitated device that produces three-dimensional objects based on the input instructions or model. The unlicensed manufacture of a firearm, receiver, magazine or other gun component is also a second degree crime. A firearm frame or receiver refers to the housing for the parts that fire the gun, such as the hammer, bolt, firing mechanism, and other internal components.

Additionally, distributing digital instructions or code necessary to program a 3D printer to make firearms or firearm parts is another second degree crime. Distribution means selling, manufacturing, giving, lending, trading, mailing, delivering, publishing, circulating, displaying, sharing, advertising or otherwise making available such information to make firearms or firearm parts with a 3D printer. Finally, other second degree crimes involving ghost guns include manufacturing, transporting, shipping, selling, or disposing of covert or undetectable firearms and transporting firearms that have no serial numbers.

In New Jersey, a second degree criminal conviction could mean a five (5) to ten (10) year prison sentence and a $150,000.00 fine. Moreover, many gun sentences come with mandatory minimums under the Graves Act. That means a convicted individual must serve one-third to one-half of their sentence. In other words, a conviction for ghost gun manufacturing could mean a long stay in state or federal prison.

Contact Ghost Gun Charge Lawyers to Defend Your Untraceable Firearms Case in NJ

New Jersey and the nation intend to stop the proliferation of untraceable weapons in the hands of unlicensed individuals by imposing more laws, rules, and penalties for dealing with those guns, parts, or manufacturing tools. Given the hostile federal and state prosecutorial attitude regarding ghost gun crimes, you face stern resistance to leniency when caught possessing or transacting with ghost guns or parts. You will need a vigorous defense in such an environment.

Finding help from our tough ghost gun defense attorneys will set you on the right track. We can help you make the right decisions at every step of a weapons case, from arrest to trial and every phase in between. Our talented team of New Jersey gun lawyers understands the existing tensions between the rights of gun owners under the Constitution and the state’s tendency to restrict those rights in the interests of public safety. We will assess and analyze how current NJ ghost guns laws apply to your situation, then decide on the best course of action given all of the facts and evidence. Our lawyers have extensive experience negotiating with prosecutors to reduce guns and weapons charges, help clients earn enrollment in diversionary programs for first-time offenders, and fight in court for not-guilty verdicts at trial.

No matter what, you can entrust your case to our firm, allowing our criminal defense team to anticipate roadblocks and find ways to avoid, circumvent, or overcome them. If you have been arrested after getting caught with a ghost gun in New Jersey, or charged with other crimes involving homemade firearms or undetectable weapons, contact us for a free consultation with one of our attorneys today. You can reach us at (201)-614-2474 to talk to a lawyer 24/7. Our firm assists clients statewide, including in Essex County, Somerset County, Ocean County, Warren County, and Sussex County.