Consequences if You Lie on a Gun Permit Application in NJ
Lying on a gun permit application has severe legal consequences in New Jersey.
Providing false information on a gun permit application violates New Jersey law. You may face multiple criminal charges if you provide inaccurate or fictitious personal details, identifying information, answers to questions, or otherwise false information when applying for a permit, including a third degree crime for false representation in applications under N.J.S.A. 2C:39-10. In fact, you could be charged with violating several New Jersey statutes that carry serious penalties. You could face years behind bars and pay high fines if convicted.
It is a Crime to Lie on an Application for a Permit in New Jersey
For providing false or inaccurate information on your gun permit application, you may be charged with making a false application under N.J.S.A. 2C:39-10. You may also be charged with obstructing the administration of law or governmental function, often referred to as obstruction. Then, there’s the matter of your possession of a firearm after committing the original offense of lying on your application for a permit to purchase, possess, or carry a gun. If you end up being arrested for false information and you illegally possess a firearm, you may be charged with unlawful possession of a weapon as well. These charges are even more serious than an obstruction or false application offense.
False Application Offense
N.J.S.A. 2C:39-10 prohibits giving incorrect information or signing a false name to an application for any necessary permits to purchase, possess, or carry a firearm. Specifically, it is a third degree crime to give fictitious information on your application for a firearms purchaser identification card, permit to purchase a handgun, handgun carry permit, permit to possess a machine gun, or permit to possess an assault firearm. It is also a third degree indictable offense to provide false information when filling out any other type of mandatory legal document in the process of obtaining or buying a handgun, shotgun, rifle, assault firearm, machine gun, or any other firearm. The sentence is three to five years for a third degree criminal conviction and possibly up to $15,000.00 in fines plus fees to various funds such as the Victims of Crime Compensation Board and Safe Neighborhoods Service Fund. A defendant must also give a DNA sample at their own cost if convicted.
Another law applicable to false gun permit application information is N.J.S.A. 2C:29-1, obstruction. Since the application goes to the police department and subsequently the Superior Court, lying on a gun application is considered an intentional and unlawful act of obstructing, or otherwise interfering with, a governmental function or administration of law. The state police department or local law enforcement is a governmental entity that reviews applications in compliance with New Jersey gun laws. It is their function to process applications, including facilitating background checks and identifying potential disqualifications of any applicants, such as a past or current restraining order against them. In the process to approve or reject applications for obtaining, possessing, or carrying firearms, the act of offering fake information fundamentally prevents the proper operation of law. Thus, an obstruction charge is a possibility if you lied on your application.
Obstruction is a disorderly persons offense. If an applicant is guilty of violating this law, they could go to jail for six months and pay $1,000.00 in fines, Victims of Crime Compensation Board, and Safe Neighborhoods Service Fund fees. They also pay for the DNA sample they must submit. Though it is not a felony, it is still punishable by imprisonment and financial penalties that could cost an individual more than just money and time. It could cost them their jobs or other losses when a conviction shows up on a background check.
What if I Mistakenly Provided False Information on my Application for a Gun?
While providing false or misleading information is presumably an intentional act that prevents or complicates their job of processing firearm complications under the laws of New Jersey, an applicant may make an honest mistake. The questions may be confusing to an applicant who is not familiar with the terminology on the application. For example, the application asks an applicant about their criminal history in separate questions using terms like disorderly persons offense, a criminal offense in another jurisdiction, or crime in New Jersey. An applicant may not realize that the application asks for out-of-state and New Jersey convictions for two types of violations, a crime and an offense. An applicant from out of state may not know the difference or how to answer correctly.
An applicant may also confuse convictions with prison or jail sentences. Realistically, a convicted individual may have a conviction without imprisonment by securing probation or completing a diversionary program. However, sentencing has no bearing on whether a person has a conviction or not. Since incorrectly filling out an application and submitting it is a potential crime, you should know how to answer questions on an application. To be safe, it is integral to request help from an experienced New Jersey gun attorney when filling out a permit application. If you need assistance understanding the questions or completing the necessary steps in the application process, contact our lawyers today. We can clarify what the questions mean so you know how to answer on the application. We can also help walk you through the entire process to assemble the most complete and positive application so you have the best chance of being approved.
With decades of combined experience defending gun charges and assisting clients with all aspects of gun permits and permitting issues, our attorneys can help you submit an application that does not get rejected. Since it is the law that those with certain convictions cannot obtain a firearms permit, you want to ensure you qualify. For example, you cannot get a gun permit if you have criminal or indictable crime or disorderly persons convictions involving domestic violence. Domestic violence is not merely physical violence against an intimate partner. It also includes stalking, harassment, lewdness, and other less violent crimes. Thus, you want to make sure you answer knowing what the question asks of you and that you do not have convictions on your record. Even a petty disorderly persons offense for harassment becomes a problem when the case occurred in a domestic violence context.
Clear Your Record before You Start Applying for a Gun Permit
Fortunately, you can get your record cleared of many other convictions under specific conditions. Gun permit applications do not require you to report expunged convictions. However, you cannot expunge every offense and some people have records rendering them ineligible for expungement. For instance, the most severe crimes stay on your record. You cannot expunge convictions for homicide, kidnapping, and many others. Ask a gun law attorney on our team about expunging convictions from your record before applying for a permit. It can take several months to expunge your record, but it is smart to begin the process before applying for a firearm permit if you want to truthfully answer questions about your background and position yourself for approval.
We can help you with the expungement process, which requires an application to the court and a series of legal steps. This is something you are best advised to have professional legal help to prepare and execute. Contact us today if you are interested in getting an expungement before applying for a gun permit. A lawyer is available now to discuss your eligibility and what we do to submit the correct paperwork and handle every step and requirement to prevent further delay in getting your record cleared of convictions.
Not only that, our firearm lawyers have successfully handled hundreds of gun permit appeals in counties across the state of New Jersey. If you want to appeal a decision to reject your application that was already made, we can review the entirety of your case and advocate for you throughout the complex process of appealing a gun permit denial.
Avoid the Penalties for Lying on a Firearm Application in NJ
If you are facing criminal charges for lying on a NJ gun permit application, contact a gun defense lawyer quickly. Convictions for both false applications and obstruction could land you in jail or prison. If you have been charged with unlawful possession of a handgun, unlawful possession of a rifle or shotgun, illegal possession of an assault firearm, unlawfully possessing a machine gun, or illegally possessing another weapon as well, our skilled attorneys understand the gravity of the situation and we use all of our past experience defending weapons cases to take action immediately. Call (201)-556-1570 today for a free consultation.