NJ Gun Laws – Firearm Registration and Criminal Charges

NJ Firearms Defense Lawyers Bergen County with offices in Hackensack, New Jersey

NJ Gun Charge Attorneys

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.

The New Jersey gun lawyers at the Tormey Law Firm can assist you with firearms permit application and appeals if the State is refusing to respect your constitutional rights. We can also assist you in defending against weapons charges including unlawful possession of a weapon, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, and illegally pointing a firearm in Jersey City, Clifton, Elizabeth, Wayne, Paterson, and Newark.

Contact our firearms defense lawyers now for immediate assistance at 201-556-1571. The initial consultation is always provided free of charge.


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:

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 10 rounds, as of a law enacted recently to further limits magazine capacity.  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

While most states have passed laws that severely limit gun ownership in many instances, NJ lawmakers have gone even farther than most to not just limit the ability to legally possess a firearm or other gun, but also to impose harsh punishments for crimes related to guns. The idea behind these tough penalties is that anyone who might be thinking about committing a gun crime or other weapons offense might reconsider when they realize that prison time would be the likely result. The reality is that many gun-related offenses in New Jersey carry mandatory prison time for a conviction or guilty plea, especially when the offense is listed in the Graves Act.

The Graves Act is a New Jersey law that requires judges to sentence offenders in particular weapons offense cases to a minimum mandatory term of incarceration. Many of the most serious gun crimes are covered by the Graves Act, including illegal handgun possession, unlawful disposition of a firearm, and certain persons offenses. The Graves Act also applies to defendants who are charged with using a firearm during the commission of a violent crime such as aggravated assault, kidnapping, and robbery. Unfortunately, due to the Graves Act, there is a minimum of three years that must be served without parole on a gun charge in New Jersey.  If arrested and convicted for a gun charge in NJ, you can expect to spend at least three years in state prison. Basically, if you are convicted of a Graves Act offense, it is presumed that you will have to serve time in 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


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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.

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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.

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.

  • Hackensack Office

    254 State Street Hackensack, NJ 07601

    (201) 556-1570

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  • Morristown Office

    55 Madison Avenue Suite 400, Morristown, NJ 07960

    (908) 336-5008

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