NJ Retired Law Enforcement Officer Permits (RPO)
New Jersey Retired Police Officer Firearms Permit Attorneys
Gun control laws in New Jersey may leave retiring police officers wondering if they can still carry a firearm once retired, as the State has some of the most notoriously stern gun laws in the nation. As is the case with so many of the state’s evolving gun laws, things have changed in recent years with regard to the eligibility criteria and requirements for retired law enforcement seeking permits to carry firearms in the state. For this reason, it is important to understand what applies now to RPO permit applications and procedures before moving forward with your request.
Likewise, enlisting help from an experienced New Jersey retired law enforcement gun permit attorney to assist with your application can best position you for approval. Having a lawyer who regularly handles RPO permits and knows the complexities of these cases can also benefit you if your original application is rejected. You do have the right to apply for a permit if you’re eligible, as well as the right to appeal. As New Jersey’s premier team of lawyers for weapons defense, firearms permits, gun forfeiture issues, and cases related to emerging gun laws like extreme risk protective orders, The Tormey Law Firm is thoroughly prepared to address all of your gun rights needs. In fact, one lawyer on our team used to handle gun permit appeals on behalf of local police departments and the State of NJ. If you have questions about Retired Law Enforcement Officer Permits in New Jersey or would like additional assistance with yours, call (201)-614-2474 for a free consultation with one of our lawyers today.
What Changed about Retired Police Officer Gun Permits in New Jersey
Until 2017, the only NJ officers permitted to carry firearms in retirement were: state, local, and interstate officers; county sheriff’s deputies; corrections officers; and state or county parks police. However, on May 26, 2017, Governor Chris Christie signed Assembly Bill No. 2690 into law. As a result, the authority to carry firearms in retirement expanded to nearly all retired New Jersey law enforcement officers and members having worked full-time and remained in good standing. Currently, almost all retired officers and members of state and local law enforcement agencies in New Jersey have the opportunity to apply to carry a handgun. Still, there is a process in place and stipulations one must follow.
Requirements to Apply for a Retired Law Enforcement Carry Permit in NJ
In New Jersey, retired police officers (RPO) and civilians wishing to carry handguns must first apply for and obtain a permit. Retired NJ Police Officers must apply for an RPO (Retired Police Officer) permit through the Superintendent of State Police. However, such an individual must be a “qualified retired law enforcement officer” (RLEO) to be deemed eligible for an RPO permit to carry.
What does it mean to be a Qualified Retired Law Enforcement Officer for an RPO in NJ?
According to The Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act of 2004 (LEOSA), first and foremost, a “qualified retired law enforcement officer” is a former officer who retired in good standing from their service with a public law enforcement agency for circumstances other than mental instability. During their career, the individual was authorized under law to prevent, detect, investigate, prosecute, or incarcerate anyone who had violated the law and had statutory arrest powers. Additionally, prior to retiring, the individual was consistently employed as a law enforcement officer (LEO) for 15 years or more or fulfilled any required or applicable probationary period of such service and subsequently retired due to a “service-connected” disability. In the past 12-month period (before applying), the individual met training and qualification standards for active law enforcement to carry firearms at their own expense. The individual is not under the influence of drugs that cause intoxication or hallucinations nor under the influence of alcohol. Lastly and importantly, the person is not by Federal Law prohibited from receiving or using any firearm. Among the many reasons for a gun permit denial are things like physical disabilities that would make use of a firearm dangerous.
How to Obtain an RPO Permit in The State of New Jersey
If you are a retired law enforcement officer who wants to carry a weapon in New Jersey, you must submit an RPO application to the State Police Superintendent with a $50 application fee. Then, they will verify your prior service with the chief of your department. You will also need to complete the first part and submit a Consent for Mental Health Records Search form. You also need to provide proof of your Retired Law Enforcement Training Record. This involves a course to confirm your qualification, which can only be taught by a qualified firearms instructor who has to verify that you qualify on the form. The state also mandates that you provide two forms of identification with photos of you, like your passport. If you have your State Bureau of Identification (SBI) number, then you are not obligated to be fingerprinted for your RPO permit application. This is distinct from the rules for civilians who have not previously served in law enforcement.
If your application is approved, the State Police Superintendent will provide the chief of your local police department with formal notice of the approval. However, if you live in a jurisdiction that does not have a chief law enforcement official, then the superintendent will maintain a record of your application’s approval. The permit is valid for one year following your approval date and then needs to be renewed. Once you have your RPO permit, you need to keep with you anytime you are carrying a gun in New Jersey.
If You Are Denied RPO Permit to Carry a Handgun
If your application is denied, you have 30 days from the date you receive the denial to request a hearing with the Superior Court of New Jersey in the county where you live. No filing fee is required. Your hearing will be scheduled for a time within 30 days of your request. It is wise to seek the counsel of an experienced gun lawyer in New Jersey to help you through this process and represent you in your hearing. This is a very nuanced area of law and not all New Jersey lawyers are well versed in gun laws and permit regulations. Make sure that you have a skilled and experienced attorney by your side to preserve your right to bear arms in New Jersey.
Can an RPO Permit and Carry Card Be Revoked?
Yes, a judge of the Superior Court can revoke your privilege of carrying a handgun for good cause exhibited or discovered on your application. Additionally, If you become subject to any of the disabilities listed in subsection c. of N.J.S. 2C:58 3, you must surrender your identification card, and permanent disqualification for possessing a handgun will result. Additionally, if you violate any gun laws (in or out of State) or get arrested for criminal charges, you may also have your permit revoked.
Speak with a Retired Law Enforcement Officer Gun Permit Lawyer in NJ Today
Whether you need assistance with interpreting gun permit laws for retired law enforcement officers in New Jersey, filing an appeal of an RPO permit denial, have been charged with guns or weapons law violations, or any other legal issues, our team of experienced NJ gun lawyers can assist you. Call (201)-614-2474 to speak to an attorney free of charge or schedule a complimentary consultation.