What to Know about Gun Permits in New Jersey
A Must-Read if You Are Planning to Get Your Gun Permit in New Jersey
The state of New Jersey has some of the strictest gun laws in the country. For this reason, it is imperative that residents and visitors of the state understand the laws regarding gun permits, how to get a permit, how to appeal if you are denied a permit, and the criminal charges that may apply if you carry a firearm without a permit.
3 Kinds of NJ Firearm Permits
There are three basic kinds of gun permits in New Jersey.
- The FPIC (New Jersey Firearms Purchaser Identification Card) is required to buy a shotgun or rifle. With this permit, you can keep a legal firearm to take to the gun range for target practice, keep at home, or take to your place of business (under certain conditions).
- A Permit to Purchase a Handgun is required to buy a handgun.
- A Permit to Carry is needed to carry a handgun.
A to Z of the Gun Permit Process in New Jersey
To obtain an FPIC, there are several things you need to do. First, notify your municipality’s police to get an Originating Agency Identification Number (AGI). Without this number or with an incorrect number, your application will be immediately denied. Then fill out an application on the FARS (Firearms Application and Registration System). You will need to include all of the general information such as physical characteristics (height and weight, hair and eye color), address, criminal history (including domestic violence), and any mental illness that has caused you to be institutionalized for a psychiatric condition such as but not limited to schizophrenia, MPD (Multiple Personality Disorder), severe depression, or suicidal ideation. You will also be asked about substance abuse issues.
In addition, you must complete a New Jersey Consent for Mental Health Records Search Form, which provides your mental health details and allows your records to be viewed. You will also be required to certify that you do not participate in or are not a member of an organization whose primary objective is to overthrow the federal or state government. Two references should be provided, and they cannot be family members. You will need to be fingerprinted as well.
To obtain a handgun, you must apply for the FPIC and a separate Permit to Purchase a Handgun. You must be at least 21 years old and a resident of New Jersey. The handgun purchasing permit expires after 90 days (can be extended another 90 days with permission from the Chief of Police), and a handgun purchase can only be made every 30 days. A different permit application must be filed for each handgun that is bought.
For either the FPIC or permit to purchase a handgun, you must also give evidence that within the past four years, you have passed an official weapons safety course, with some exceptions. There is a grandfather clause, so if you had already obtained an FPIC before the weapon was purchased, you are exempt from the new bill. Other exemptions are for retired military, veterans, or retired law enforcement. This requirement applies only for the first time a handgun is purchased.
If you are applying for a handgun permit to carry, besides the standard form, you will also be required to demonstrate your familiarity with the weapon (gun safety, shooting test, weapon handling) and provide references who have known you to be of good character for more than three years. You must also provide proof of ownership either with a purchase permit or a notarized letter showing the handgun’s serial number, make, and model. A certification from a firearms instructor that includes their name and certification number as well as all of the specific details of the firearm you wish to get a permit for (make, model, serial number, and caliber).
Very recently, the requirement of a demonstration of the special need to carry, or why it is imperative that you carry a handgun for your safety, was eliminated. This came along with the recent Supreme Court decision in the seminal gun law case of New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. Bruen.
FPIC and Handgun Permit Renewal Frequency
A permit to carry a handgun must be renewed every two years. It is required to repeat the same process followed to obtain the original permit. The FPIC expires every ten years.
Why Gun Permit Applications Get Rejected in NJ
A conviction for domestic violence, weapons charges, violent crimes such as murder, vehicular homicide, robbery, carjacking, extortion, aggravated manslaughter, arson, burglary, and sexually related crimes, among many others. If you have a substance abuse problem, have a disability that would inhibit the proper use of a firearm, are under the age of 18, falsify your application, have been admitted to a hospital for a mental illness, are legally prohibited from acquiring a firearm by court order (ie. restraining order) and cannot own, receive, possess, or control any firearm.
In terms of a permit to carry a handgun, your permit can be denied if you cannot properly handle the weapon, do not attend the safety class, or cannot fire the gun accurately. If an application is incomplete or is found to have false or misleading information, it will be denied.
If My Application is Denied, Can I File an Appeal?
If your application is denied, you can file an appeal and request a hearing with the Superior Court in the county where you initially filed for your permit. The County Prosecutor, your local chief of police, and the New Jersey State Police Superintendent must also be served. Thirty days after your request is received, your hearing will be scheduled. If your appeal is unsuccessful, you can submit an appeal to the Appellate Division of the Superior Court.
Hackensack Gun Permit Lawyers Assisting Clients with Getting Permits
You do not have to hire an attorney to apply for a permit or complete the appeals process. However, NJ gun laws are changing all the time, and you want to know whether or not you are a good candidate before spending your hard-earned money and time on fees and paperwork. We can help you determine what you need to obtain the permit you want to apply for and how best to prevent a denial from causing you more trouble.
Working with an attorney if you gun permit application gets rejected is advantageous because we can offer, prepare, and present effective legal arguments to help you win your appeal. Our attorneys have successfully appealed hundreds of permit denials, and we can break down the requirements and confront each one strategically. Don’t underestimate the complexities of New Jersey’s gun laws. Our long-standing gun law attorneys have the experience and know how to help you.
Our goal is to serve you in the best way possible. We know your time and money are valuable, and our legal team is ready to go to work for you. We can help you in all related procedures to obtain a permit to buy or carry a firearm in Bergen County and New Jersey, including in East Rutherford, Fort Lee, Garfield, Teaneck, Lyndhurst, Lodi, Paramus, Mahwah, and many others. Contact our Hackensack office at (201)-330-4979 or use the online contact option if you would like a free consultation.