TJT The Tormey Law Firm Criminal Defense Attorneys

NJ Gun Laws – What You Need To Know

NJ Gun Laws – Both Registration and Criminal Charges

New Jersey gun laws can be broken into two sections.   The first pertains to the legal purchase of firearms and ownership regulations involved with guns in New Jersey.  The second type of gun law pertains to gun offenses in New Jersey and criminal gun charges in New Jersey.

If you’re researching firearm registration you might be looking for answers to the following questions:

  • What type of registration do I need?
  • How do I register?
  • What types of licenses are there?
  • Can I carry a gun around in New Jersey?

If you’re researching the legal repercussions of a gun charge, you might be wondering the following:

  • What are the penalties for a gun offense?
  • What type of guns are legal or illegal?
  • Can you fight against a gun charge?

Gun Registration and Licensing

All individuals who want to own a firearm in New Jersey have to have a state issued permit.  If you want to own a BB gun, Pellet Gun, or paintball gun, you have to have a permit.  Many people are surprised by what the state considers to be a “firearm”.  If it shoots a projectile, and it can possibly hurt someone, it might be considered a firearm in NJ.  That said, bows and crossbows are not considered firearms… despite the fact that they can kill people.  An airsoft gun, which shoots tiny plastic pellets, is considered to be a firearm.  Being caught with one unregistered will have you facing 5-10 years in New Jersey state prison.

Sometimes the law simply doesn’t make sense.

A lifetime firearm permit in NJ is required for a purchase of any gun in NJ.  An additional permit is required for every handgun purchase made, and only one purchase can be made every month.

Theoretically, “registration” of firearms is optional in NJ.  You certainly don’t need to register a rifle or shotgun.  Since every handgun purchase and transfer of ownership requires a permit, the state already has a perfect record of who owns a handgun… that is the extent of the “registration” process.

When it comes to the ability to carry a firearm in New Jersey, this requires a “carry permit”.  New Jersey is technically a “may issue” state… which means the state may issue the ability for an individual to carry a firearm.  An applicant has to demonstrate a life threatening need for firearms, which may include previous attacks on that individuals life, or the presence of imminent danger to the individual.  Even in this case, New Jersey will almost never issue a firearm to a civilian.  “Carry permits” are almost exclusively issued to active police officers, and sometimes are issued to retired law enforcement.

When it comes to assault rifles in New Jersey, there is a strict prohibition.  Gun magazines aren’t permitted to carry more than 15 rounds.  Any firearm purchased before May 1, 1990 is not subject to these rules and is “grandfathered” and exempt from regulations.

Gun Offense Charges and Criminal Gun Cases

If you’ve been arrested for a gun charge in New Jersey, you are unfortunately facing some of the most serious gun laws in the country.  For even the possession of an airsoft gun you are facing 5-10 years in prison.  Luckily, the laws don’t get any more serious for a real gun.  Any single firearms offense in New Jersey carries a weight of a minimum of 5 years in state prison with 10 years being the maximum.

Usually, on a 5 year offense, an offender will be eligible for parole in about a year to a year and a half. This is known as a “5 flat” sentence.  Unfortunately, due to the Graves Act, there is a minimum of three years that must be served without parole on a gun charge.  If arrested and convicted for a gun charge in NJ, you can expect to spend at least three years in state prison.

Now, that’s not always the case.  There are ways around these minimum mandatory sentences.  However, you are going to have to have your attorney apply for a Graves Act Waiver, and go through a fairly complicated process in order to “de-mandatorize” the sentence.  If you are successful in having this waiver granted, you might be able to garner a 3 year mandatory prison sentence with a one year minimum of time served before parole.  This is a good result considering that you are sparing yourself 2 years in state prison, but let’s be honest… no one wants to spend a year behind bars.

Your best bet is to hire a lawyer that specifically knows how to fight and beat gun charges in New Jersey.  There are a number of ways to beat these cases, you simply need to find an attorney with extensive experience with gun charges.  To see the ways that the Tormey Law firm can attack and potentially defeat your gun charges, click the links below.

How To Beat Gun Charges

How to beat a gun charge #1: Challenging the “consent” of a search.
How to beat a gun charge #2. Challenging motor vehicle stops and illegal searches.
How to beat a gun charge #3. Challenging Bad Warrants and Illegal Searches
How to beat a gun charge #4. Plea negotiations and reducing sentencing minimums.
How to beat a gun charge #5. Transporting a gun to the range.

Other Gun Related Pages

NJ Gun Lawyer – Why you should consider hiring an attorney for your gun charge.

NJ Gun Laws – A comprehensive breakdown of gun laws in New Jersey.

Possession of a Weapon Charge NJ – Information on general weapons possession.

Possession of a Destructive Device NJ – Laws on destructive devices in NJ.

NJ Gun Permit Attorney – If you need an attorney for gun permits.

New Jersey Gun Permits – Information about obtaining paperwork for NJ firearms.

Gun Charges NJ – What your facing after NJ gun charges and how to fight them.

Certain Persons Offenses – Info about “certain persons to not own firearms” offenses.

BB Gun Charges – BB Gun Laws in New Jersey.

First Offense Gun Charges – Information about what happens on a first offense gun charge.

Forfeiture of Weapons – Sometimes the police will take your guns after a domestic dispute.

Gun Case Victories #1 – One of the gun cases that we won in NJ.

Gun Charges In NJ – A video on gun charges in NJ.

Gun Permit Attorney – A video on hiring an attorney to help you obtain gun permits.

Firearm and Weapon Charges NJ – An overview of how our firm handles gun charges

Learn More About How to Fight Your Charges

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.

Experience You Can Trust

With unmatched knowledge and experience in the practice of law, the seasoned attorneys at The Tormey Law Firm are committed to serving their clients and tenaciously confronting the allegations against them.

We will examine every facet of your case in order to defend your constitutional rights and reputation.  

With a dedicated legal advocate to assist you, our attorneys will ensure that you are never forced to navigate the complex legal process on your own.

The Tormey Law Firm

Areas We Serve

Bergen County, Essex County, Morris County, Passaic County, Hudson County, Middlesex County, Somerset County including Morristown, Denville, Dover, Mount Olive, Parsippany, Hackensack, East Rutherford, Elmwood Park, Englewood, Fort Lee, Garfield, Lodi, Lyndhurst, Mahwah, Palisades Park, Paramus, Ridgefield Park, Saddle Brook, Teaneck, Clifton, and Wayne.

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Hackensack Location

254 State Street

Hackensack, NJ 07601

  (201) 556-1570    Directions

Morristown Location

55 Madison Avenue Suite 400

Morristown, NJ 07960

  (908) 336-5008    Directions

Disclaimer: The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters and electronic mail. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.