The Gun Permit Process in New Jersey

New Jersey Gun Permit Lawyers Assisting Clients in Bergen County and throughout NJ

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Gun Permits NJ

If you are seeking to purchase or carry a firearm in New Jersey, there are specific procedures that you must follow to acquire the appropriate permits. These processes are extensive and failure to comply can result in criminal weapons charges. As a result, enlisting a knowledgeable New Jersey gun attorney to help you successfully navigate the process can be extremely beneficial, reducing the stress and intimidation that often prevents individuals from even beginning their journey toward gun ownership.

The highly knowledgeable gun lawyers at the Tormey Law Firm regularly assist clients with the firearms permit application process. Whether you are seeking to purchase a handgun or other firearm, or seeking a permit to carry a handgun, we can assist you with every facet of the permit application process and ensure that you are in the best position to achieve your desired outcome. Our attorneys have earned recognition for excellence in their field; for instance, our firm’s founder, Travis J. Tormey, was recently named among the Top 10 Criminal Attorneys in New Jersey by the American Jurist Institute. We employ extensive knowledge and experience to effectively advocate on behalf of clients across New Jersey, including in Bergen, Middlesex, Essex, Hudson, and Monmouth Counties. Contact us today at (201)-614-2474 for a cost-free consultation and learn how we can help you exercise your rights.

New Jersey Application Process for Permits to Purchase Firearms

When it comes to the question on how to purchase a firearm in New Jersey, the law that addresses the process on how to obtain a firearm can be found in N.J.S.A. 2C:58-3. The presumption under the law is that anyone who is over the age of 18 can obtain a long arm, such as a rifle or shotgun, and anyone over the age of 21 can obtain a handgun unless the person is known in the community in which the person lives as someone who has engaged in acts or made statements suggesting the person is likely to engage in conduct, other than justified self-defense, that would pose a danger to self or others, or is subject to other disqualifications to firearms ownership listed in N.J.S.A. 2C:58-3(c).

There are two distinct types of firearms purchasing permits in New Jersey: the New Jersey Permit to Purchase a Handgun,  which applies solely to purchases of handguns, and the New Jersey Firearms Purchaser Identification Card, which is necessary to purchase shotguns and/or rifles. The Application for Firearms Purchaser Application Card or Permit to Purchase a Handgun is the same for both types of purchase permits. To apply for a firearm, you must apply online through the FARS website. You provide your name, your current address, your phone number, your SBI number if you have one, pay the requisite filling fees, sign a HIPPA waiver, and provide a list of your addresses from the last ten years and how long you lived at each previous address. Don’t forget this step because if you provide inaccurate information on your address history, not only can you be denied for falsification, but you can be charged criminally as well. 

In addition to your application, you will need to provide a government issued ID, such as a passport or driver’s license, and a list of 3 references (reputable citizens who can attest to your mental health and good standing). The permit application process will also involve a complete background check with the New Jersey State Police and FBI, mental health records search, investigation by the local police, and fingerprinting. In order for the police to complete a mental health records search, you will need to complete the Consent for Mental Health Records Search and provide it to the police department with your application form. You must also provide two sets of fingerprints and the associated fees. The application fee for a permit to purchase a handgun is $25.00.

After your completed application is submitted, the local or state police will have 30 days to issue a response in the form of an approval or denial.

New Jersey Application Process for Permit to Carry a Handgun

Similar to firearms purchasing permits, those seeking carry permits must submit an Application for Permit to Carry a Handgun to the Chief of Police at their local police department or to the Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. You must also provide four endorsements from reputable citizens, whom you have known for at least three years, and can attest to your good character. Additionally, the police must interview endorsers and applicants as a key step in the process.

In order to obtain a permit to carry a handgun, you must provide documentation that validates your familiarity with safe handling and use of firearms and completion of the necessary training and instruction requirements. This means you must undergo the requisite qualification training with the handgun you wish to carry. Previously, you were also required to submit a formal letter explaining your “justifiable need” for a handgun. New Jersey no longer requires justifiable need for carry permits. (For additional information about Carry Permit requirements, see our Gun Carry Permit Page). The carry permit application process also requires fingerprinting with the initial application and upon renewal, which is required every 2 years. The application fee for a permit to carry a handgun is $200.00.

After your completed application is submitted, the local or state police will have 90 days to issue a response in the form of an approval or denial. If your application is not approved or denied within the 90-day window, it is assumed to be approved, unless the issuing authority provides notification in writing which explains the reasons constituting “good cause” for the need for an extension of up to 30 days. You may also agree to provide an extension beyond 120 days in writing. Previously, if your application was approved in the police review phase, then your application was sent to a judge in the Superior Court in the county in which you reside for final approval. However, a December 2022 Directive (Directive #14-22), eliminated a Superior Court judge’s role in the approval process for carry permit applications, thus providing law enforcement with discretion to determine whether or not you are eligible for a permit to carry a handgun. Notably, this does not remove the judiciary’s role in determinations on gun permit appeals.

Overcoming Challenges in the Gun Permit Application Process

Knowing the laws inside and out, our New Jersey gun attorneys can further advise you that a background check will reveal criminal convictions that could classify you as ineligible to own a gun. New Jersey has a lengthy list of reasons why you may be disqualified from gun possession, and if you are eligible for an expungement to obtain a gun permit, we can help you erase criminal convictions or mental health institutionalizations that may facilitate the gun permit process and help you get approved.

Contact our Middlesex County Gun Permit Lawyers for a Free Consultation

In order to exercise your gun rights, it is essential to have a thorough understanding of the law and the responsibilities of both you and the State as far as the application process is concerned. Our New Jersey gun lawyers are here to ensure that you have the information, resources, and tools to obtain your New Jersey gun permits. Contact us today at (201)-614-2474 for a free consultation.