Leonia NJ Illegal BB Gun Possession Defense Attorneys
Paintball Guns, BB Guns, and Airsoft Guns Charges in New Jersey
It is difficult to imagine, but BB guns, Airsoft guns, and paintball guns are considered prohibited weapons in New Jersey and can cause serious legal problems if these weapons are possessed without a lawful permit or firearms ID card. Under N.J.S.A. 2C:39-1, these weapons are considered firearms in New Jersey. Charges such as possession of a handgun without a permit (third degree), unlawful possession of a weapon, and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose (2nd degree) can arise even with an item as minor as an Airsoft gun. And second degree charges in New Jersey can result in between five and 10 years in New Jersey State Prison. They also have a presumption of incarceration (even when the defendant has no prior criminal record). Moreover, the Graves Act covers firearms offenses in New Jersey and requires mandatory jail time and parole ineligibility even for first-time offenders.
The fact of the matter is that possessing a BB gun or Airsoft gun, even when lawfully purchased at a flea market or sporting goods store, can lead to a felony conviction and years in New Jersey State Prison. If you own any of these weapons, it is imperative that you have them properly registered/permitted to avoid any future legal issues. If these legal issues have already arisen, it is crucial that you contact an experienced firearms defense attorney to combat the charges against you.
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 possession of a paintball gun, illegal possession of a handgun, and unlawful possession of a weapon throughout New Jersey, including in Leonia, Teaneck, Fort Lee, Ridgewood, Garfield, and Teterboro.
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 Avvo.com.
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 Paintball Gun, BB Gun, and Airsoft Gun Possession in New Jersey: N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5(b)
Let’s first start off by addressing what a firearm is in New Jersey and how it relates to BB guns and similar weapons. The code itself does not address BB guns specifically, meaning, it does not say it is unlawful to possess or fire a BB Gun. Rather, the section N.J.S.A. 2C:39-1f of the code states that a firearm can include any device or instrument that has the capacity to fire or eject any solid projectable ball, slug, pellet, missile or bullet by means of a cartridge, shell, or explosive action. In addition, a firearm shall also include any weapon which is in the nature of an air gun, spring gun or pistol in which the propelling force is a spring, elastic band, carbon dioxide, or compressed air, and the force is sufficient to injure a person. The definition is very wordy, and again, it does not specifically use the words BB gun or airsoft gun. Nevertheless, our courts have deemed that these weapons fit into the definition of a firearm. Thus, a person can be charged with violating the unlawful possession of a weapon statute if found to possess these firearms without the proper permitting validation.
Specifically, a criminal charge for illegal possession of a paintball gun, BB gun, or Airsoft gun is governed by N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5(b):
§ 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.
Overall, this is a third degree crime when the offense involving unlawful possession of BB guns and Airsoft guns, exposing the person accused to a state prison sentence ranging from 3 to 5 years in addition to a fine of up to $15,000.
Call The Tormey Law Firm for Help with Your New Jersey Gun Case
If the Graves Act is implicated, the State’s plea offer will almost certainly include state prison time and a period of parole ineligibility. As such, you are going to want an experienced criminal defense lawyer to represent you. Whether you have been charged with a weapons offense in Elmwood Park, Paramus, Mahwah, Lodi, Lyndhurst, or another town in the Bergen County, New Jersey, area, our attorneys can assist with preparing your best defense. Do not hesitate to contact our Hackensack offices at (201)-330-4979 for a free consultation. You can also fill out our online contact form to arrange an in-person meeting to discuss your case.