What are the most common questions about guns in New Jersey?

Questions About GunsIn addition to handling cases in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (VUFA offenses) our criminal defense law firm handles illegal gun and firearm crimes in the State of New Jersey. The Graves Act is the Garden State’s version of Pennsylvania Uniform Firearms Act. It’s the State’s main statute covering the unlawful or illegal use of a firearm. N.J.S.A. 2C:43-6(c),

Remember, that gun crimes in New Jersey not only involve a strong defense at trial but also equally strong representation during a pre-trial motion to suppress evidence.  This motion focuses on reasonable suspicion and probable cause to search and seize the gun.  For now, however, I want to focus on some common questions from clients in this area. During our initial consultation with clients charged with weapons offenses in New Jersey we’ve found that most of their questions focus on the five following areas:

  1. What is the legal way to buy a handgun (including a BB gun)?

To buy or purchase a handgun in the state of New Jersey you must present the seller with a valid permit to purchase a handgun along with one additional form of identification. The information on the handgun purchase permit obviously must match the other identification. It’s the responsibility of the seller to forward on the copies of the completed permit to the appropriate authority.

  1. How does a person obtain a firearm purchaser identification and/or a permit to purchase a handgun in New Jersey?

A person can apply at his or her local police department but if you’re an out of state resident you must apply at the nearest New Jersey State police station. It is important to keep in mind, however, that an out of state resident may only apply for a firearms purchaser identification card.

  1. How does a person apply for a permit to carry a handgun in New Jersey?

A New Jersey resident must apply with the police department located where they reside or the New Jersey State Police if the police authority that services your area. Out of state residents must apply for a permit to carry at the New Jersey State Police Station.

  1. If I move to New Jersey from another state like Pennsylvania, can I still continue to possess my firearm?

Firearms which have been legally acquired in a different state are permitted in New Jersey if the owner establishes residency in the state. An owner, however, may voluntarily register the firearm by completing a voluntary form with the New Jersey State Police or the local police department.  Please remember that this isn’t the same as a license to carry a handgun!

If a person inherits a firearm he or she is not required to have a firearm purchaser identification card or a handgun purchase permit. If, however, the person isn’t qualified to acquire or possess the firearm or handgun he or she may retain the weapon but can’t hold it longer than 180 days.

  1. How may a person transport a firearm through New Jersey?

If you’re traveling through the state of New Jersey, your firearm must be kept unloaded and in a closed and fastened case, gun box, or locked in the trunk of an automobile. The ammunition must be kept in a separate container and locked in the trunk of the automobile. If the vehicle doesn’t have a trunk, the ammunition must be kept in a separate compartment and not in the vehicle’s glove box.


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