Assault Weapons Lawyers in Hackensack NJ

Criminal Defense Attorneys Defending Clients Arrested for Assault Firearms and Weapons in Bergen County, New Jersey

Assault Weapons Possession Bergen County NJ Attorney Needed New Jersey law regarding assault weapons is somewhat murky and subjective. What it isn’t is lenient; in fact, the state has some of the strictest gun laws in the United States. According to New Jersey law, an assault weapon includes a number of high-powered partially or fully automatic weapons, many of which are listed in the law and others that share features. Semi-automatic assault weapons are much more high-powered than regular firearms, meaning that rounds travel faster and with more potency. While regular firearms can inflict great harm, assault weapons are designed to cause even more harm and are only to be used in military contexts. It is legal to possess regular firearms in New Jersey, given certain conditions and uses, but it is illegal to possess an assault weapon.

If you have been charged with possession of an illegal assault firearm or weapon in Fort Lee, Englewood, Lyndhurst, Lodi, Bergenfield, Paramus, and surrounding towns in Bergen County, our experienced team of criminal defense attorneys can help. Contact us today by calling (201)-330-4979, and read on to learn more about why New Jersey law banning private ownership of assault weapons includes subjective characteristics that make having legal counsel and representation so important in defense of your case.

New Jersey’s “Substantially Identical” Standard for Assault Weapons

N.J.S.A. 13:54-12 lays out a list of weapons that are considered assault weapons and therefore illegal to own privately or possess in the home. These weapons share similar features such as a detachable magazine noted above, but additional features named in the law also lend weapons to be considered assault weapons, and thus illegal. These features include but are not limited to a weapon having a telescoping stock, protruding pistol grip, attached grenade launcher, bayonet attachments, combination parts that turn a regular weapon into an assault weapon, and various fixed magazine capacities for semi-automatic rifles, shotguns, and pistols. Law enforcement may consider any weapon with a detachable magazine and two of the additional listed qualities “substantially identical” to an assault weapon and therefore subject to New Jersey criminal law regarding possession of assault weapons.

“Substantially identical” means that a weapon in question is not one of the listed prohibited weapons in N.J.S.A. 13:54-12, but it is the same in substance, matter, material, or essence as an explicitly noted assault weapon. For example, a weapon identical in features to an outlawed assault weapon but whose manufacture uses different materials for gun body parts will most likely be considered substantially identical. Additionally, the law lays out a list of features that make a weapon similar enough to assault-style weapons to be considered among the restricted variety. This opens up the subjectivity of the law, as criminal courts can charge and convict an individual with owning or possessing a weapon that is not explicitly banned under New Jersey law.

Punishments for Illegally Possessing an Assault Firearm or Weapon in New Jersey

Illegally possessing an assault weapon can lead to 5 to 10 years in state prison and up to $150,000 in fines, even if your weapon is not on the list of those outlawed but it is considered substantially identical. This is a second degree crime, which is among the most serious classes of indictable felonies under NJ state law.

State-Mandated Registration of Assault Weapons

N.J.S.A. 2C:58-12 outlines the process for registering an assault weapon, which the state first started requiring for weapons of this kind that were acquired before 1990. This process includes completion of an assault firearms registration statement provided by the state police, paying a registration fee of $50, and submitting proof of standing membership in a rifle or pistol club with which the assault weapon will be used for target practice.

Assault Firearm Defense Attorneys in Fort Lee, NJWhat to do if You Inherited an Assault Weapon

If the owner of an assault weapon dies, the owner’s heirs or estate have 90 days to dispose of the weapon in accordance with New Jersey law.

Charged with an Assault Firearm in Bergen County NJ? Contact Us Today

The subjectivity of the law banning assault weapons and weapons that are “substantially identical” leaves law enforcement a lot of leeway in arresting an individual for illegal assault weapons possession. Navigating the nuances of NJ gun laws requires the skill and experience of a qualified criminal defense lawyer who has handled these cases in the past and is familiar with the labyrinth of difficulties you may find yourself up against if you have been arrested for an illegal assault firearm. Given the severity of unlawful possession of assault weapons charges in New Jersey, the stakes are too high with such a charge to try to go it alone if you have been charged with illegal possession of an assault weapon in Ridgefield Park, Cresskill, Mahwah, Teaneck, Ramsey, and nearby towns in Bergen County. Contact our office in Hackensack today at (201)-330-4979 for a free and confidential consultation regarding your charge.


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