FIND GUN LAWS BY STATE

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR Bryan L. Ciyou is a trial and appellate attorney at the Indianapolis law firm of Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. He earned his BA with distinction and graduated through the honors program, along with his JD,... Read More

New Jersey Gun Laws

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Introduction

New Jersey is the most densely populated state in all of the United States. Recently New Jersey has been the center of many firearm related issues. Please reference the New Jersey Department of Law and Public Safety to make sure You have the most current information. [http://gunla.ws/v6fa] It is bordered by New York on the north and east, Pennsylvania to the west, Delaware to the southwest, and the Atlantic Ocean to the south.

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A. State Constitution

New Jersey does not have a “right to bear arms” constitutional provision. [http://gunla.ws/nj1]

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B. Scope of Preemption

The controlling language of the New Jersey preemption statute is set forth as follows:

“The governing body of every municipality may make, amend, repeal and enforce ordinances to: …Regulate and prohibit the sale and use of guns, pistols, firearms, and fireworks of all descriptions.”

[http://gunla.ws/nj2]

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C. Reciprocal Carry

New Jersey does not recognize any other state’s CCW license.

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D. Assault Weapons Ban

It is illegal to possess an assault weapon, unless it was possessed before May 1, 1990 and registered with the state. Assault weapons may not be sold or transferred to any person other than a licensed gun dealer or any individual who is going to relinquish it to the police. [http://gunla.ws/nj3]

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E. NFA Items

The only NFA items legal in New Jersey are MGs and AOWs, and they are subject to additional state regulation.  Possession of a MG requires a state license, which is granted on a “may-issue” basis by a county superior court judge. MG licenses are rarely granted. [http://gunla.ws/mjr7] & [http://gunla.ws/cayv]

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F. Carrying Firearms in Vehicles

New Jersey generally prohibits carry firearms in vehicles without a permit. People without permits may only carry a firearm if it is unloaded and either secured in a locked container or locked in the trunk. It is illegal to carry a loaded long gun in a vehicle.  Furthermore, without a permit, firearms may only be carried to or from: the place of purchase or repair, Your home or business, a shooting range, or hunting activities. [http://gunla.ws/nj4]

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G. Self-defense Laws

New Jersey has a Castle Doctrine but no SYG law. There is no duty to retreat when in Your dwelling. You may use force, including deadly force, in defense of yourself or others if You reasonably believe it is necessary to prevent imminent death, SBI, the commission of a forcible felony, or to prevent an unlawful intruder in a dwelling from inflicting unlawful force against an occupant of the dwelling. [http://gunla.ws/nj5]

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H. High-Capacity Magazine Ban

New Jersey bans the intrastate manufacture, sale, transportation, and possession of magazines with the capacity to hold more than 15 rounds of ammunition. In addition, possession and transportation of hollow point ammunition is generally prohibited except on or to one’s private property, a shooting range, or a gun club registered with the New Jersey state police.

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I. Waiting Period

New Jersey imposes a seven (7) day waiting period before purchasing a firearm.

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J. Criminal Provisions

To obtain a firearm in New Jersey an individual must first obtain a Firearms Purchaser Identification Card (FPID), which requires passing a background check. It is required for any person to purchase a gun. There is a separate FPID for the purchase of a handgun than for the purchase a rifle or shotgun. A handgun FPID is valid for the purchase of one handgun and lasts for ninety (90) days from issue, and a long gun FPID allows the purchase of an unlimited number of shotguns or rifles. Only one handgun can be purchased within a 30-day period. A New Jersey-specific license to carry a handgun, if You are somehow able to obtain one via a showing of a “compelling need”, is not valid in any of the following places or circumstances:

  • On school, college, or university grounds
  • On or in a casino
  • Motor vehicles can be impounded if the driver unlawfully has a gun inside the vehicle
  • State Parks
  • Firearm owners cannot purchase more than one handgun in any thirty (30) day period
  • Theft or loss of any firearm must be reported to the police within thirty-six (36) hours of the discovery of the theft or loss

For a list of places where carrying firearms is prohibited, see:

[http://gunla.ws/nj6]

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K. Background Checks

A person acquiring a handgun must have a permit to purchase a handgun. A person acquiring a long gun must have a Firearms Purchaser Identification Card. Private sale of a long gun does not require a background check. [http://gunla.ws/803e]

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L. Duty to Inform Officer

No. There is no duty to inform a LEO immediately on contact that you possess a firearm. You are required to have Your permit/license and proper identification with You at all times when You carry a concealed firearm and must present both if the LEO demands.

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M. Carry in Restaurants That Serve Alcohol

Yes. New Jersey has no laws prohibiting the carrying of firearms in restaurants that serve alcohol. You can carry in a restaurant that serves alcohol. Places like Fridays or Chili’s unless they have a “No Gun Sign,” then it is suggested that You not carry into the establishment. This does not include a bar or the bar area of a restaurant – You are prohibited from carrying into these areas. You can carry Your firearm into a restaurant that serves alcohol, but You are prohibited from carrying while you consume alcohol.

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N. Open Carry

Open carry is illegal in New Jersey. There is no law against open carry, but You must have a “License to Carry Firearm Concealed” to carry a firearm in New Jersey. The license gives You the ability to carry only a concealed firearm and not to open carry a firearm. Thus, You have to have a license to carry any firearm in New Jersey and that license is only for carrying a firearm concealed.

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FIND GUN LAWS BY STATE

Table of Contents

About the author
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Bryan L. Ciyou is a trial and appellate attorney at the Indianapolis law firm of Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. He earned his BA with distinction and graduated through the honors program, along with his JD,... Read More