Providing False Information for a Firearms Permit in New Jersey

Charged with Lying on a Gun Application in NJ?

lying on a gun application charges NJ Submitting a false firearm application can be a serious offense. If charged, a person will be facing prison time, a number of fines, and will have a criminal record.  There are two major statutes that apply. The first one is the False Application statute, which is codified under N.J.S.A. 2C:39-10. The second statute is the Obstruction statute, which is codified under N.J.S.A. 2C:29-1. If you are facing either of these charges and have been accused of providing untrue information to police when submitting an application for a gun permit, The Tormey Law Firm can help. Our attorneys have assisted thousands of clients with gun cases, including walking them through the process of correctly applying for firearms purchaser and carry permits, and providing aggressive defense for weapons related criminal charges. We handle cases statewide, so whether you have a firearms or weapons related issue in Morris County, Passaic County, Bergen County, Union County, Essex County, Ocean County, or another county in the state of New Jersey, simply contact (201)-614-2474 for answers to your questions and a cost-free consultation.

What Happens if You Lie on a Gun Permit Application in New Jersey?

It is considered a criminal offense to lie or put the wrong information down when applying for a firearms permit. The particular criminal charges you face for falsifying information in pursuit of a gun permit are extremely important for understanding what you have been accused of, and what you are facing if convicted.

NJ Charges for False Representation in Firearms Applications

If you are charged with N.J.S.A. 2C:39-10, Violation of the regulatory provisions relating to firearms; false representation in applications, subsection (c) of the applicable statute reads:

c. Any person who gives or causes to be given any false information, or signs a fictitious name or address, in applying for a firearms purchaser identification card, a permit to purchase a handgun, a permit to carry a handgun, a permit to possess a machine gun, a permit to possess an assault firearm, or in completing the certificate or any other instrument required by law in purchasing or otherwise acquiring delivery of any rifle, shotgun, handgun, machine gun, or assault firearm or any other firearm, is guilty of a crime of the third degree.

A crime of the third degree carries with it the following sanctions. The person can be sentenced to prison for between three to five years.  He or she can also be required to serve a term of probation ranging from one to five years.  Moreover, the defendant can be compelled to pay a series of fines which include $15.000 fine, a $50.00 Victims of Crime Compensation Board assessment, $75.00 Safe Neighborhoods Service Fund fine, and a $30.00 Law Enforcement Officers Training and Equipment Fund assessment. On top of that, the defendant will be forced to provide a DNA sample and pay the cost of providing the sample.

Charged with Obstruction for Lying on a Gun Permit Application in NJ

When someone is charged with obstruction because they supposedly lied while answering questions on an application for firearms, the statute that applies is N.J.S.A. 2C:29-1.  This law provides that a person commits an offense of obstruction if he or she purposely obstructs, impairs or perverts the administration of law or other governmental function by an unlawful act. If a person is found guilty, he or she is guilty of a disorderly persons offense, which exposes the individual to a potential sentence of six months in jail and a fine up to $1,000. Additionally, they must also pay a $50.00 Victims of Crime Compensation Board assessment, a $75.00 Safe Neighborhoods Service Fund fine, and submit and pay the cost for a DNA sample.

Questions that often get People into Trouble when Applying for a Firearm in New Jersey

Submitting a false application for a firearms permit is a very serious offense and can result in very serious consequences. And yet, it happens to unsuspecting people on a regular basis, most of whom just don’t realize that they are answering the questions incorrectly. The most common firearm-related applications in New Jersey are: (1) a firearms purchaser identification card and (2), a permit to purchase a handgun. Both applications contain the same set of questions and in most cases, there are two questions that cause the most confusion and in turn, lead to prosecutions.

  • One question is: Have you ever been convicted of a disorderly persons offense in New Jersey or any criminal offense in another jurisdiction where you could have been sentenced up to six months in jail that has not been expunged or sealed?
  • The other question is: Have you ever been convicted of a crime in New Jersey or a criminal offense in another jurisdiction where you could have been sentenced up to six months in jail that has not been expunged or sealed?

Both inquiries are nearly identical and both are focused on whether a person has a criminal background.  However, the difference between the two questions is the use of the words disorderly persons offense and crime. In New Jersey, a disorderly persons offense is defined as a criminal offense that carries with it a potential jail sentence of up to six months in jail. Conversely, a crime is an offense that exposes a person to more than six months in jail.  Therefore, if your background is exclusively in New Jersey, you may answer the questions as follows. If you have been convicted of only a disorderly persons offense, you should answer yes to the first question and no to the second question.  However, if you have been convicted of an indictable offense or crime, you can answer no to the first question but you must answer yes to the second inquiry.

If your record contains out-of-state convictions, you need to learn what the maximum sentences could have been in order to accurately answer the questions on the application. Nevertheless, what confounds most applicants and what leads to permit denials and sometimes criminal charges, is answering no to these questions because the person did not receive a jail sentence.  An overwhelming number of people reply no to these set of questions because they say to themselves, “I was never sentenced to jail, therefore, I was never convicted of an offense or crime where I could have been sentenced to more than six-months in jail.”  Unfortunately, that is incorrect and consequently, their application is denied and in some cases, charges are filed.  The question is not whether you personally were sentenced to six-months in jail.  The inquiry is whether you were convicted of an offense or crime and the Judge could have sentenced to jail for a term of six months.

Keep in mind, most defendants who are convicted of low-level offenses are not sent to jail. In fact, a lot of defendants are not even given probation.  They are only required to pay a fine.  Nevertheless, that does not mean they were not exposed to the possibility of being sent to jail for six-months.  Also keep in mind, for any indictable charge in New Jersey, the minimum prison sentence is 18 months.  Moreover, for any disorderly persons offense, the minimum jail term is six months.  Therefore, if you have any indictable conviction or disorderly persons conviction, you must reply yes to one of the questions involving your criminal background.  The only time a person who has a record can answer in the negative to those set of questions is if the applicant had the record expunged or sealed, or the individual was convicted of a petty disorderly person offense.  A petty disorderly person offense only carries with it a maximum jail term of 30 days.

Accused of Providing Falsified Information for a Firearm Permit in New Jersey? Get Lawyer Help

If you are facing charges for lying on a gun permit application in New Jersey, make sure you talk to a knowledgeable and experienced firearms lawyer before heading to court. Knowing the ways that attorneys can defend these cases and how to avoid a conviction is paramount, as is protecting your rights throughout the process. The talented gun lawyers at The Tormey Firm are thoroughly prepared to assist you with any and all weapons matters throughout the state of NJ. If you plan on submitting an application but have some questions about how to properly answer the posed questions, please call do not hesitate to contact our office for immediate assistance. Free consultations are available by contacting (201)-614-2474.