New Jersey Gun Laws
Monday, June 1, 2020
STATE CONSTITUTIONAL PROVISION - No Constitutional Provision on the Right to Keep and Bear Arms. However, the New Jersey Constitution, Art. 1, § 1, does guarantee certain “unalienable” rights, including “defending life,” “protecting property,” and “pursuing and obtaining safety.”
Gun Laws Overview
|RIFLES & SHOTGUNS||HANDGUNS|
|Permit to Purchase||ID Card Required||Yes|
|Registration of Firearms||No||No*|
|Licensing of Owners||Yes||Yes|
|Permit to Carry||ID Card Required||Yes|
* Police record of all transfers required.
The list and map below are included as a tool to assist you in validating your information. We have made every effort to report the information correctly, however reciprocity and recognition agreements are subject to frequent change. The information is not intended as legal advice or a restatement of law and does not include: restrictions that may be placed on non-resident permits, individuals under the age of 21, qualifying permit classes, and/or any other factor which may limit reciprocity and/or recognition. For any particular situation, a licensed local attorney must be consulted for an accurate interpretation.YOU MUST ABIDE WITH ALL LAWS: STATE, FEDERAL AND LOCAL. RECIPROCITY NOTES: MICHIGAN currently honors New Jersey’s RESIDENT permit ONLY.
|Castle Doctrine||Partial (duty to retreat from co-habitants)|
|No-Net Loss||No Legislation|
|Right to Carry Confidentiality||Provisions Enacted|
|Right to Carry in Restaurants||Legal|
|Right To Carry Laws||Rights Restricted-Very Limited Issue|
|Right To Carry Reciprocity and Recognition||None|
|Right to Keep & Bear Arms State Constitutional Provisions||No Provisions|
Laws on Purchase, Possession and Carrying of Firearms
Rifles and Shotguns
It is unlawful to sell, give, transfer, assign, or otherwise dispose of or receive, purchase, or otherwise acquire a rifle or shotgun, other than an antique rifle or shotgun, unless the purchaser, assignee, donee, receiver, or holder is licensed as a dealer under New Jersey law or possesses a valid Firearms Purchasers Identification Card (FID), and first exhibits the FID to the seller, donor, transferrer, or assignor, and the purchaser, assignee, donee, receiver, or holder signs a written certification form that identifies the purchaser, his or her address and FID or dealer’s number, and states he or she presently is not disqualified from purchase.
A person is not restricted as to the number of rifles or shotguns they may purchase, provided they have a valid FID and the certification form requirements are met. The FID is required for private or dealer purchases.MORE
It is unlawful to sell, give, transfer, assign, or otherwise dispose of, or receive, purchase, or otherwise acquire a handgun unless the purchaser, assignee, donee, receiver, or holder is licensed as a dealer under New Jersey law or has first secured a Permit to Purchase a handgun.
The permit must be in the form prescribed by the Superintendent of State Police and shall be issued to the applicant in quadruplicate. The applicant prior to the time he receives the handgun from the seller shall deliver to the seller the permit in quadruplicate and the seller shall complete all of the information required on the form.
Only one handgun shall be purchased or delivered for each permit. A permit is required for private or dealer purchases.
No handgun -(except antique handguns) may be delivered to any person unless accompanied by a trigger lock or a locked case, gun box, container or other secure facility.
Requirements for Obtaining Permit to Purchase or FID
The Police Chief of the municipality where the applicant resides or the Superintendent of State Police, in all other cases must, upon application, issue to any qualified applicant a Permit to Purchase or FID.
The fee for a Permit to Purchase is $2, to be submitted with the application. The Permit to Purchase is valid for 90 days from the date of issuance and may be renewed by the issuing authority for good cause for an additional 90 days. The FID fee is $5 to be submitted with the application. The FID is valid so long as the holder is eligible to obtain the FID. The applicant must be fingerprinted and pay a fingerprint fee of $54, unless the applicant already has an FID, or has previously been fingerprinted
The Permit to Purchase or FID must be granted to a qualified applicant within 30 days from the date of receipt of the application for residents and 45 days for nonresident applicants.
Applications for a Permit to Purchase or FID must be in the form prescribed by the Superintendent of State Police and set forth the follwoing:
The applicant waives all rights of confidentiality relating to institutional confinement and must supply all necessary information on any mental or psychiatric treatment. The application must contain as references two reputable citizens personally acquainted with the applicant.
No conditions or requirements can be added to the form or content of the application, or required by the licensing authority for the issuance of a Permit to Purchase or FID, other than those that are specifically set forth in the statute.
No person of good character and good repute who is not subject to any of the disabilities can be denied a permit to purchase a handgun or a firearms purchaser identification card. No Permit to Purchase or FID will be issued to any:
Any person denied a Permit to Purchase or FID may request a hearing in the Superior Court of the county in which they reside or in the Superior Court of the county in which their application was filed. The request for a hearing must be made in writing within 30 days of the denial. A copy of the request shall be served on the police chief of the applicant’s residence, if the applicant is a New Jersey resident, and upon the Superintendent of State Police in all cases. A hearing will be held within 30 days of the receipt of the application for such hearing. No formal pleading and no filing fee shall be required as a preliminary to such hearing.LESS
It is unlawful to knowingly possess any handgun, including any antique handgun, without first having obtained a Permit to Carry, and it is unlawful to knowingly possess any rifle or shotgun without having first obtained a Firearms Purchaser Identification Card (FID), however, no Permit to Carry or FID is required:MORE
The FID requirement for rifles and shotguns does not apply to antique firearms, provided that such antique firearms are unloaded or are being fired for the purposes for exhibition or demonstration at an authorized range or in such other manner as has been approved in writing by the chief law enforcement officer of the municipality.
It is unlawful to knowingly possess any firearm in or upon any part of the buildings or grounds of any school, college, university or other educational institution without the written authorization of the governing officer of the institution, irrespective of whether the person possesses a valid permit to carry the firearm or a valid firearms purchaser identification card. This prohibition does not apply to persons listed in paragraphs 7 through 11 above.
A Permit to Purchase or FID is not required for the passing of a firearm other than an assault firearm upon the owner’s death to his heir or estate.
No person under 18 may possess, carry, fire, or use a firearm except:
No person may possess, control, own, or purchase any firearm if he has:
It is unlawful to knowingly possess “any hollow nose, dum-dum, or body armor penetrating bullet.” A person may keep such ammunition at his dwelling, premises, or other land owned or possessed by him, or carry such ammunition from the place of purchase to said dwelling or land. Military and law enforcement personnel and retail dealers may possess restricted ammunition, provided records are kept of purchasers. A federally licensed collector may possess no more than three examples of each distinctive variation of restricted ammunition.LESS
It is unlawful to knowingly have in your possession a:
Handgun, including any antique handgun, without first obtaining a Permit to Carry. No distinction is drawn between carrying openly or concealed.
Rifle or shotgun without first obtaining a FID card. It is Illegal to carry a loaded shotgun or rifle in any vehicle, or to shoot from any vehicle or across any road.MORE
The exceptions listed in paragraphs 1 through 11 listed under POSSESSION also apply to CARRYING.
Application for a for Permit to Carryis made to the police chief where the applicant resides or to the Superintendent of State Police if the community does not have a police chief or if the applicant is a nonresident. The licensing authority makes a recommendation to a judge of the Superior Court who grants or denies the permit. The judge may also place restrictions on the permit. The permit is valid for two years and costs $20.
The applicant must meet the requirements of the Permit to Purchase and FID, provide personal information, be fingerprinted, prove his familiarity with the use of handguns, have three reputable people knowing the person for at least three years and have a “justifiable need to carry a handgun.”
A description, including serial number, of every handgun which the applicant intends to carry must be provided. Only one permit need be obtained for all such handguns.
NOTE: Issuance of the permit is almost completely discretionary, and New Jersey courts have upheld the policy of strictly limiting permits “to persons specifically employed in security work . . . and to others who can establish an urgent necessity for carrying guns for self-protection.”
Failure to give notice to an applicant within 60 days is deemed to be an approval of the permit. The procedure for appealing a denial is the same as appealing a denial of a Permit to Purchase or FID.LESS
Antiques and Replicas
“Antique Firearm” means any rifle or shotgun incapable of being fired or discharged; or which does not fire fixed ammunition, regardless of date of manufacture; or was manufactured before 1898 for which cartridge ammunition is not commercially available, and is possessed as a curiosity or ornament or for its historical significance or value.MORE
“Antique handgun” is a handgun manufactured before 1898, or a replica thereof, which is recognized as being historical in nature or of historical significance and either utilizes a match, friction, flint, or percussion ignition, or a pin-fire cartridge in which the pin is part of the cartridge; or does not fire fixed ammunition or for which cartridge ammunition is not commercially available.LESS
A machine gun is any firearm, mechanism, or instrument not requiring that the trigger be pressed for each shot and having a reservoir, belt or other means of storing and carrying ammunition which can be loaded into the firearm, mechanism, or instrument and fired.MORE
Possession, purchase, or sale of a machine gun without a license is prohibited. A license can be obtained by applying to a judge of the Superior Court where the applicant resides or, if a nonresident, where business is conducted. Manufacture, shipping and transport of a machine gun without a license is also prohibited.
No license shall be issued unless the applicant would qualify for a Permit to Carry and the court finds “that the public safety and welfare so require.” The license is valid for one year, unless otherwise provided by the court. The court may also attach such conditions and limitations to the license as it deems to be in the public interest.LESS
New Jersey law restricts the ownership of certain semi-automatic and other firearms based upon their military appearance. A specific list of restricted “assault firearms” is maintained by the New Jersey State Police. It includes many widely available firearms, and is subject to change and modification. Contact the New Jersey State Police for Information regarding which firearms are “assault firearms.”MORE
An “assault firearm” includes any semiautomatic shotgun with either a magazine capacity exceeding six rounds, a conspicuous pistol grip, or a folding stock; a semi-automatic rifle with a fixed magazine capacity exceeding 10 rounds; a part or combination of parts designed or intended to convert a firearm into an “assault firearm,” or any combination of parts from which an “assault firearm” may be readily assembled. Any magazine with a capacity greater than fifteen rounds is prohibited, even if there is no semi-automatic firearm to accompany the magazine unless the person has a registered “assault firearm” and the magazine is used for DCM sanctioned shooting matches.
Any “assault firearm” legally possessed before May 1, 1990 is illegal unless that firearm was registered before May 1, 1991. Any “assault firearm” which was not owned prior to May 1, 1990, must be licensed. The licensing procedures for an “assault firearm” are the same as those listed in MACHINE GUNS, above.
Upon the death of the owner of a properly licensed “assault firearm,” the owner’s heirs or estate have 90 days if unable to get a license to either transfer the firearm to any person or firm lawfully entitled to own or possess such firearm, render the firearm inoperable, voluntarily surrender it, or remove the firearm from New Jersey to a state where the “assault firearm” would be legal.LESS
Court precedent holds that the state legislature generally preempts the field of firearms law.
An owner of a handgun, rifle, shotgun, skeet shooting or trapshooting range in this State shall be immune from liability where the liability is based upon noise resulting from normal operation of the range.MORE
13:1G-21. 2. Owner of shooting range; limited immunity from civil liability for noise
Notwithstanding the provisions of section 21 of P.L.1971, c. 418 (C.13:1G-21) to the contrary, an owner of a handgun, rifle, shotgun, skeet shooting or trapshooting range in this State shall be immune from liability where the liability is based upon noise resulting from normal operation of the range in any civil proceeding, or in any proceeding brought pursuant to the “Noise Control Act of 1971,” P.L.1971, c. 418 (C.13:1G-1 et seq.).
Nothing in this section shall be deemed to grant immunity to any person causing damage by his willful, wanton, or grossly negligent act of commission or omission.
13:1G-21. 3. Applicability
This act shall apply only to a handgun, rifle, shotgun, skeet shooting or trapshooting range located in this State which has been maintained continuously in the same location since January 24, 1972.LESS
It is unlawful to discharge any incendiary or tracer ammunition, except for law enforcement or military purposes except that non-incendiary tracer shotgun ammunition may be used on trap and skeet ranges for target shooting purposes.MORE
It is unlawful for any person to advertise to sell a machine gun, semi-automatic rifle, or assault firearm in newspaper circulating within New Jersey if the ad does not specify that the purchaser shall hold a valid license to purchase and possess a machine gun or assault firearm, or a valid FID card to purchase and possess an automatic or semi-automatic rifle.
It is unlawful for any person to deface a firearm, or to knowingly have in his possession any firearm which has been defaced, except an antique firearm or antique handgun.
Civilians are prohibited from possessing silencers, shotguns with an overall length less than 26 inches or a barrel less than 18 inches, and rifles with an overall length less than 26 inches or a barrel less than 16 inches in length.
It is unlawful to loan money where the security for the loan is a firearm.
It is unlawful to riot with a firearm or deadly weapon.
Retail gun dealers and their employees must be licensed by the judge of the Superior Court in the county where the business is located.
All wounds arising from or caused by a firearm must be reported at once to the police.
Every conviction of a non-citizen for violating New Jersey’s gun laws must be certified to the proper officer of the United States Government by the county prosecutor or attorney general.
Unless allowed under exemptions for minors listed in the POSSESSION section above, it is unlawful to leave a loaded firearm within reach or easy access of a person under 16. This provision does not apply to a firearm stored in a securely locked box or container; or in a location which a reasonable person would believe to be secure; or securely locked with a trigger lock; or under circumstances where a minor obtained a firearm as a result of an unlawful entry by person.
Wholesale and retail dealers of firearms must conspicuously post at each purchase counter, printed in block letters not less than one inch in height a warning that it is a criminal offense to leave a loaded gun within access of a minor.
It is unlawful to manufacture, transport, ship, sell, or dispose of a large capacity magazine. A large capacity magazine is considered a box, drum, tube, or other container, which is capable of holding more than ten (10) rounds of ammunition to be fed continuously and directly into a semi-automatic firearm.LESS
Wednesday, May 17, 2023
In December, New Jersey passed A4769, which effectively declares the entire state to be a sensitive place, increases permit fees, ...
Monday, February 6, 2023
New Jersey’s losing streak trying to defend its recent gun control laws in court continued last Tuesday when a federal ...
Tuesday, January 31, 2023
Yesterday, in an NRA-ILA backed lawsuit, a federal court issued a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) that restricts New ...
Wednesday, January 11, 2023
Today, January 11th, the New Jersey Legislature begins the 2023 legislative session. As previously reported, the Democrat-led, anti-gun Majorities in both chambers made gun ...
Thursday, December 22, 2022
This June, in another NRA-ILA backed lawsuit, the United States Supreme Court handed down a landmark decision establishing that ordinary ...
Tuesday, December 20, 2022
The vote may be final, but the final outcome is far from certain. Yesterday, anti-gun Senate Majority Democrats ...
Saturday, December 17, 2022
The New Jersey Senate plans to take a final vote on Monday on legislation that attacks concealed carry ...
Tuesday, December 6, 2022
Anti-gun politicians in New Jersey have debated S.3214 for weeks stretching into months with final action expected soon. That debate ...
Friday, November 18, 2022
On Monday, November 21, the full Assembly is expected to vote on A.4769. This legislation started out as ...
Wednesday, November 2, 2022
The proverbial can was kicked down the road again in Trenton last week. Majority Democrats have had a ...