Loss of Gun Rights and Paths to Restoration

In-Depth Manual for Reinstating Firearm Rights in New Jersey: Laws, Causes Of Rights Revocation, And Legal Solutions

Loss of Gun Rights and Paths to Restoration in New JerseyToday, when many of us think of our rights in the United States, we assume they cannot be stripped away. However, under certain conditions, in some instances, our rights can, in fact, be revoked. In New Jersey, the right to own a firearm, or as it is often stated, the right to bear arms, is not explicitly written in the New Jersey state constitution. Furthermore, the Garden State stands out as one of the most restrictive states in our nation regarding firearm regulations. Whether you are looking to restore your rights or are concerned you may lose them, a concrete understanding of the laws and procedures in place is crucial.

The text below walks you through the often intricate process of restoring your gun rights in New Jersey, addressing key statutes, common reasons for the loss of firearms rights, and the legal avenues available for their restoration. Contact our gun lawyers at (201)-330-4979 for assistance specific to your unique situation. With local offices in Hackensack, we assist clients with weapons charges and gun permit issues throughout Bergen County, such as Garfield, Fort Lee, Lodi, Bergenfield, Fair Lawn, Edgewater, Englewood, Montvale, and nearby areas.

Analyzing New Jersey Gun Ownership Regulations

Reviewing NJ Stat. Ann § 2C:39-7, the State establishes rigid regulations overseeing the ownership of guns. The law prohibits individuals convicted of certain violent crimes in any jurisdiction from buying, owning, having, or handling firearms. Additionally, § 2C:25-19 notes that people who get convicted of crimes associated with domestic violence, whether they are armed or not, will likely face limitations on obtaining a handgun purchase permit and a firearms purchaser identification card.

Reasons for Firearms Rights Loss in New Jersey’s Stringent Regulatory Landscape

Understanding the causes and grounds for losing firearms rights is critical for individuals navigating and following New Jersey’s strict regulations. Convictions for specified violent crimes, offenses related to domestic violence, or crimes involving dishonesty can usher in a seizure of your gun rights. § 2C:39-7 sets specific standards beyond the obvious, which individuals must be aware of to avoid unintentional violations.

Violent Crimes and Felonies

If convicted of specified violent crimes, regardless of jurisdiction, face a sweeping ban on purchasing, owning, possessing, or controlling firearms in New Jersey. The main intent behind the regulation is to protect the greater public by preventing guns from being in the hands of those with an account of violence. The law throws an expansive net, encompassing felonies, including but not limited to robbery, that are deemed violent in nature.

Domestic Violence Offenses

As mentioned above, when convicted of a crime or a disorderly persons offense attached to domestic violence (DV), individuals become ineligible to acquire a handgun purchasing permit or a firearms purchaser identification card. The rationale behind the law is to recognize the potential danger posed by those with a history of DV, emphasizing the need to prevent such individuals from possessing firearms, even if the offense did not include a weapon. The law aims to mitigate the risk of further harm, escalation, or misuse of weapons in the context of volatile relationships.

Crimes Involving Dishonesty

Holding public office or employment at the time of conviction for a crime that involves dishonesty, or a third party or crime of a higher degree may result in forfeiture of the position. The law reflects a commitment to maintaining integrity within the public office and employment, considering crimes involving dishonesty a breach of trust warranting disqualification. Although these crimes may not be directly linked to violence, they are indicative of a lack of integrity and trustworthiness. Offenders can be seen as less reliable and thus less responsible or even careless for the use and ownership of firearms.

Offenses Concerned with Public Office or Employment

Those convicted of crimes involving or touching on their office or employment face a “forever disqualification” from holding any office. The disqualification from firearms stems from the Forfeiture Act, which underscores the gravity of transgressions directly linked to one’s official responsibilities, indicating a zero-tolerance policy for individuals compromising public trust.

The disqualification resulting from impeachment is a consequence of actions that have led to the removal of an individual from public office due to a form of serious misconduct. Even when the direct connection to firearms is not evident, the overarching principle is to restrict those who have been impeached from holding public office, which includes the authority associated with weapons. Although a broad measure, it is purposeful; those facing such severe consequences are not granted the privilege of firearm ownership or use.

The Path to Restoration Through Governor’s Pardon

How to Regain Your Gun Possession Rights in Bergen County NJFor those seeking redemption and who are aiming to recover their gun rights in New Jersey, there is a viable path that sometimes offers a solution– applying for a pardon from the Governor. The power to grant pardons sits squarely with the Governor as outlined in N.J. Const. art. V § 2 paragraph 1. The process involves presenting a strong and merit-filled case, demonstrating rehabilitation, and providing evidence of your personal growth and distance from any destructive behaviors and actions.

A successful pardon can potentially restore civil rights and firearm rights. It offers hope for those in the aftermath of a criminal conviction. However, obtaining this redemption involves a strategic approach infused with legal expertise. The process is filled with meticulous steps from case preparation to persuasive presentation. A seasoned criminal attorney brings legal insight to the forefront, ensuring that every aspect of the application aligns with the criteria set by the Governor.

Successfully regaining your gun rights through a pardon not only restores civil rights but also removes legal disabilities, offering a fresh start. However, it is vital to highlight that a pardon’s legal impact is distinctly different from the inherent authority the courts have to expunge a pardoned conviction. Likewise, getting a pardon is by no means common or easy, so deciding to pursue this route should not be taken lightly.

Expungement Benefits and Limitations to Restore Gun Rights in NJ

Expungement definitely comes with many benefits, like clearing your legal history and continuing to rebuild your reputation. However, expungement does not automatically restore your right to purchase firearms but instead withdraws the public’s opportunity to view certain offenses, offering that sought-after fresh start. A successfully expunged record may still come with numerous hurdles if you were initially convicted of the offenses discussed here and potentially others, depending on your circumstances and the details of the matter. Note: Individuals who are from out of State or have federal offenses would not be eligible for this option

Contact our Hackensack Gun Rights Restoration Lawyers for Help Reinstating Your Firearm Rights in Bergen County and throughout New Jersey 

It won’t be a quick or easy endeavor, but it is possible to have your rights to firearms restored in New Jersey following a conviction. A skilled NJ firearms attorney is an invaluable asset on this mission. For our legal team, our role goes beyond representation; we will form a comprehensive plan, outlining and ensuring each step is completed for the intricate pardon-seeking process or expungement. Armed with a strong understanding of the State’s laws and the process before you, an intelligently crafted and personalized strategy for gun rights restoration.

A gun lawyer at our Hackensack law office is not just a legal representative but a dedicated ally in your pursuit, increasing your odds of a successful outcome while revitalizing your outlook. Contact an experienced New Jersey weapons law attorney for a confidential free consultation at (201)-330-4979. We are ready to help determine your eligibility and restore your gun rights if possible in Bergen County, including Rutherford, Garfield, Teaneck, Paramus, Palisades Park, Mahwah, Lyndhurst, Ridgefield, and anywhere else in New Jersey.


If you’ve been charged with a criminal offense, disorderly persons offense, or traffic / DWI violation, you have the right to an attorney who will defend you against your charges and fight for your best interests. To learn more about how your attorney can fight to have your charges dismissed or reduced, click a link below to see our video library of legal defenses and strategies.