Fort Lee NJ Illegal Possession of a Handgun Defense Attorneys

Bergen County Weapons Defense Attorney with Offices in Hackensack, NJ

Handgun Possession Charges NJ
Handgun Possession Charges NJ
An illegal possession of a handgun charge in Bergen County NJ can have devastating consequences including jail time and a permanent felony charge on your record. New Jersey punishes those who possess firearms without the proper permits severely. In fact, an additional provision of the state’s gun laws known as the Graves Act, requires mandatory imposition of a state prison sentence regardless of the defendant’s criminal history or lack thereof. There is also a mandatory period of parole ineligibility for those convicted of violating N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5(b) with a firearm. If you have been arrested on a handgun or weapons charge in New Jersey, you need to talk to a knowledgeable weapons offense defense attorney about your best avenues toward minimizing or mitigating the penalties you now face.

Travis J. Tormey is the founding partner of the Tormey Law Firm, with offices in the heart of Bergen County, New Jersey. He was named one of the Top 10 Criminal Defense Attorneys Under 40 In New Jersey in 2014 by the National Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys and also heralded as one of the Top 40 Attorneys Under 40 in the Nation in 2014 by the National Trial Lawyers Association. Mr. Tormey has extensive experience representing clients charged with illegal gun offenses, including  unlawful possession of a weapon, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, and unlawful disposition of a firearm throughout New Jersey, including in Fort LeeWashington Township, Garfield, Elmwood Park, and Leonia.

For a free consultation about your weapons charges in New Jersey, call (201)-330-4979, submit an online contact form, or schedule an appointment to meet with us in person at our convenient Hackensack office location. You can also review our client testimonials page for additional information and check out our client reviews on

Success Stories in New Jersey Gun Cases

If you or a loved one has been charged with an illegal firearm offense in New Jersey, Travis Tormey can help. Here are just a few of the weapons cases that Mr. Tormey has recently handled:

  • United States Marine charged with illegal weapons possession in Hudson County. Graves Act offense which requires jail time and parole ineligibility. Defendant sentenced to probation and no jail time.
  • United States Marine and his wife charged with illegal gun possession in Morris County. Graves Act offense which requires jail time and parole ineligibility. Defendant admitted into Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI) program, resulting in no criminal record when successfully completed.
  • 18-year-old kid and his friend charged with illegal weapons possession when visiting Cape May on vacation from their home state of Pennsylvania. Graves Act offense which requires jail time and parole ineligibility. Defendant admitted into Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI) program, resulting in no criminal record when successfully completed.

To view more of our many victories in court, access our success stories page.

Illegal Possession of a Handgun in New Jersey: N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5(b)

In New Jersey, N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5(b) governs charges for illegal possession of a handgun and provides, in pertinent part:

§ 2C:39-5. Unlawful possession of weapons

b. Handguns. Any person who knowingly has in his possession any handgun, including any antique handgun, without first having obtained a permit to carry the same as provided in N.J.S.A. 2C:58-4, is guilty of a crime of the third degree if the handgun is in the nature of an air gun, spring gun or pistol or other weapon of a similar nature in which the propelling force is a spring, elastic band, carbon dioxide, compressed or other gas or vapor, air or compressed air, or is ignited by compressed air, and ejecting a bullet or missile smaller than three-eighths of an inch in diameter, with sufficient force to injure a person. Otherwise it is a crime of the second degree.

Penalties for Illegal Handgun Possession in New Jersey

Illegal handgun possession in New Jersey is typically a second degree crime. It is also a Graves Act offense. A second degree crime has a presumption of incarceration and a prison range of five to 10 years. The presumption of incarceration means that, even when the defendant has no prior record, it is presumed that a state prison sentence will be imposed. Moreover, because it is a Graves Act offense, there is mandatory jail time and a period of parole ineligibility. The typical minimum plea offer on a second degree handgun possession case is five years in New Jersey State Prison, with three years of parole ineligibility. This means that you must serve three years before becoming eligible for parole. In some cases, handgun possession can be a third degree crime, such as in cases of BB guns, Airsoft guns, etc. Third degree crimes have a state prison range of three to five years. Importantly, these are also Graves Act offenses, so the typical minimum plea offer is three years in state prison, with one year of parole ineligibility.

Possessing a Handgun without the Proper Permits in NJ

It may seem like an oversight or nonviolent infraction, but having a handgun illegally is considered one of the most serious violations of the New Jersey Criminal Code. Believe it or not, people who live in New Jersey and mere visitors find themselves arrested for guns on a regular basis and charged with second degree crimes. You cannot possess a handgun in New Jersey without first obtaining a gun permit from New Jersey. In other words, if you are coming here from another state and you have a permit from there, you now need to get a permit in this state to avoid criminal charges. Moreover, you cannot carry a handgun without another type of permit called a handgun carry permit.

Having a firearm in your possession without a Firearms Purchaser Identification Card or Handgun Carry Permit are two of the quickest ways to find yourself behind bars. In these cases, mandatory imprisonment and a term without parole as an option are the typical result of being convicted. Thus, knowing all of your options and having a handgun charge defense lawyer thoroughly review your case before making any decisions is critical. You won’t know the top outcome available to you without consulting an attorney who can aggressively challenge the state’s case and fight for your rights in court. This is what we are here for.

Free Consultation with an Experienced Washington Twp. NJ Gun Charges Lawyer

As you can see, illegal handgun charges in New Jersey are extremely serious. There are almost always mandatory state prison terms and periods of parole ineligibility. As such, it is critical to enlist an experienced criminal defense lawyer who can effectively represent you. Contact Mr. Tormey at (201)-330-4979 for immediate assistance. You can also fill out the online contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case.


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.