Gun Permits in New Jersey

New Jersey Gun Lawyers Handling All Aspects of Gun Permits for Clients in Newark and across NJ

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Gun Permit Information NJ

In New Jersey, there are a variety of permits that are required to purchase and/or carry a firearm. Note, that these permits are different, so it is essential to understand which permit(s) are relevant to your specific situation. At the Tormey Law Firm, our attorneys are well-versed in New Jersey gun law and we regularly assist clients with the firearms permit process, appeals of gun permit denials, return of weapons hearings related to domestic violence, expungements to obtain gun permits, and criminal defense for those facing criminal weapons charges. Led by Travis J. Tormey, who was recently named among the top 10 Criminal Attorneys in New Jersey by the American Jurist Institute, our highly skilled legal team includes several former gun prosecutors, as well as a former member of the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office’s Weapons Forfeiture Unit. We utilize a wealth of knowledge and experience to achieve superior results for clients across New Jersey, including in Bergen, Morris, Essex, and Middlesex counties. Contact us today at (201)-614-2474 for a cost-free consultation and learn how we can help you protect your rights.

Types of Firearms Permits in New Jersey

Firearms Purchase Permits in New Jersey

There are two distinct firearms purchase permits in New Jersey, each of which applies to a specific classification of weapons. New Jersey law regarding the purchase of firearms is outlined in section N.J.S.A. 2C:58-3 of the New Jersey Administrative Code. According to this statute, you must obtain a “New Jersey Permit to Purchase a Handgun,” in  order to legally purchase a handgun in New Jersey. On the other hand, if you intend to purchase a rifle or shotgun, you must obtain a “New Jersey Firearms Purchaser Identification Card.” 

In order to obtain a New Jersey Permit to Purchase a Handgun or a New Jersey Firearms Purchaser Identification Card, you must follow a strict protocol. First, you must submit an application to the Chief of Police at your local police department or to the Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. The application form is the same for both types of purchase permits and will require you to provide a host of personal information, including your current residence, place of employment, and use of alcohol or controlled dangerous substances. The permit process will also include a complete background check with the New Jersey State Police and FBI, mental health records search, investigation by the local police, fingerprinting, and three references. New Jersey also requires gun permit applicants to demonstrate training in the safe handling and use of firearms.

Carry Permits in New Jersey

The other form of firearms permit in New Jersey is a Permit to Carry a Handgun. The State’s policy and requirements associated with carry permits are incredibly stringent. Similar to firearms purchasing permits, those seeking carry permits must submit their applications to the Chief of Police at their local police department or to the Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. The applicant must fulfill a number of criteria, one of which requires them to provide the State with four endorsements from “reputable persons” who have known the applicant for at least three years and can attest to their character. Police will also conduct an interview with the individual submitting the application and those endorsing them.

In addition, a carry permit applicant must demonstrate that he or she:

  1. Has not made any statements or engaged in any conduct (other than lawful self-defense) that indicates they are likely to be dangerous to themselves or others;
  2. Is not subject to any of the disabilities set forth under N.J.S.A. 2C:58-3c (which governs the purchase of firearms); and
  3. Is thoroughly familiar with the safe handling and use of handguns and has satisfactorily completed training requirements.

While a carry permit applicant was previously required to demonstrate that he or she had a justifiable need to carry a handgun, this requirement has been eliminated since the U.S. Supreme Court decision in the case of New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen. New Jersey responded to the decision with the adoption of a new law that prevents state officials from denying permits to carry handguns to individuals who cannot show a justifiable need. Thus, “justifiable need” is no longer required in order to obtain a carry permit.

If you obtain a permit to carry a handgun in New Jersey, it will expire two years from the date of issuance. You may apply to renew your carry permit after the two-year period and will be subject to the same application process.

Who Can’t Obtain a Firearm Lawfully in New Jersey

There is only a finite list of reasons a person cannot lawfully own a firearm in New Jersey. Before you apply, check this list to see if you have any issues that need to be addressed first before you begin to exercise your Second Amendment rights.

Criminal History

If you are a convicted felon, either in New Jersey or in another state, you cannot legally own a gun in New Jersey. You need to first expunge, or remove, the record of the conviction from your criminal record before you apply. If you were convicted of a misdemeanor, or disorderly persons offense, in New Jersey, and that conviction involved domestic violence, you are automatically barred from owning firearms in New Jersey legally until your record is expunged, or cleared.

Bonus tip: If you have been arrested in New Jersey, and convicted of a Disorderly Persons Offense, or an ordinance violation, it is highly recommended that you expunge the record of any conviction before applying. While these are not automatic reasons to deny you a firearms permit, it can be a discretionary reason to get denied. So, if you have a conviction, or even a dismissal of a criminal charge due to enrolling in Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI); Conditional Dismissal (CD); or Conditional Discharge, you are highly encouraged to get your criminal record cleared by way of expungement before applying. Don’t let a dismissed criminal charge be the reason you potentially get denied a gun permit in New Jersey. Don’t give the Chief of Police or the New Jersey State Police a reason to deny you. Put your best foot forward and clear your record.

Domestic Violence

If you have a Final Restraining Order (FRO), you need to petition the Court to remove, or vacate, the FRO before applying for your firearm permit. Being subject to a FRO is an automatic reason to deny you the ability to exercise your Second Amendment rights in New Jersey. It is important to know that in New Jersey, a FRO does not automatically expire by the passage of time like it does everywhere else in the Country. So, don’t let an old active FRO stop you from being able to exercise your rights. Our firm can assist you in the complicated process of removing a FRO prior to you exercising your 2nd Amendment rights.

Bonus Tip: If you were subject to a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO), and that TRO was dismissed, that can be a discretionary, or maybe, reason to deny you your rights under N.J.S.A. 2C:58-3(c)(5). If you are denied a gun permit due to a dismissed allegation of domestic violence, we can help guide you through the appeals process and help you exercise your rights.

Bonus Tip 2: If you own firearms, and your firearms were taken from you because you were subject to a TRO, and that TRO is dismissed, then you must go to court and fight to get your firearms returned to you. Your property will not automatically be returned to you simply because the underlying TRO that led to your firearms being taken was dismissed. If you had weapons taken from you because of a TRO, and the State/Prosecutor does not want to return them to you, then we can help you get your property returned to you.

Mental Health

If you were previously committed to a mental health facility in New Jersey, either voluntarily or involuntarily, then you need to first obtain a mental health expungement in order to exercise your Second Amendment rights. The law changed, where a doctor’s note will no longer enable you to apply or reapply for firearms permit if you were voluntarily committed. If you were voluntarily or involuntarily committed, even it was a long time ago, you need to get that mental health expungement first to clear your mental health record before applying, which our firm can assist with.

If you see a mental health professional, you need to disclose that on your application. The name of the provider, their location, when you saw them, why you saw them, and undergo an evaluation from a psychiatrist in New Jersey who can state, with a reasonable degree of medical certainty, that at present you are safe to own, handle, operate, possess, a firearm. Don’t answer this question incorrectly because, if you do, you can open yourself up to criminal charges for falsifying or lying on your application. Answer truthfully and be prepared to undergo a mental health evaluation to show you are currently fit to own firearms.

Red Flag

If you become subject to a Temporary Extreme Risk Protective Order (TERPO), the State/Prosecutor will try to obtain a Final Extreme Risk Protective Order (FERPO) by trying to convince the Court that you pose a significant risk to commit bodily injury to yourself or others by being in possession of a firearm, even if you currently don’t own a firearm. So, if you are subject to a TERPO, it needs to be removed and the state’s request to obtain a FERPO denied. Otherwise, if you are subject to a FERPO, you need to go back to court and petition the court to have the FERPO removed. Our office can assist you if you are subject to a TERPO by trying to help you get the TERPO removed and can help you remove a FERPO. If you are subject to either a TERPO or FERPO, you will not be able to lawfully obtain a firearm in New Jersey.

Other Reasons

Other reasons you can be denied a gun permit in New Jersey include if you currently have a warrant out for your arrest, if you are a fugitive from justice, if you are on the domestic terrorist watchlist, if you have a physical disability that would keep you from being able to safely own, handle, or operate a firearm, and if you have been adjudicated as a juvenile for committing certain criminal offenses. Other reasons you can be denied a firearms ID Card are if you have had the police called on you, even if there was no action taken against you, if you reside with someone who cannot lawfully own a firearm, your driving history, or if someone comes forward to object to you owning a firearm, whether it is a reference you use or someone in the community.

If you are denied a firearm ID card, be sure to contact an attorney on our team who can advise you if you should appeal the denial or withdraw your application and reapply, depending on the reason for denial.

Contact our Essex County Gun Permit Lawyers for Immediate Assistance

If you are seeking a firearms purchaser identification card, permit to purchase a handgun, or handgun carry permit, or are seeking to appeal a denial of such a permit, contact our New Jersey gun lawyers for the answers you need to move forward. One of our highly knowledgeable attorneys is available immediately to provide you with a cost-free consultation at (201)-614-2474. You can also request a free consultation online to talk to a gun permit lawyer who can assist you further.