NJ Unlawful Possession of Handguns – N.J.S. 2C:39-5b – What are the penalties for Unlawful Possession of Handguns in NJ
“Unlawful Possession of a hand gun in New Jersey is punished by a very serious legal statute. Those convicted of these charges are facing significant jail time, with long mandatory minimum sentences.”
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… oddly enough even if that gun happens to be an assault rifle. Sometimes the law doesn’t really make sense, and in these cases it’s even more important to protect yourself when you end up on the wrong side of the legal system. Any firearms offense in New Jersey carries a minimum of 5 years in state prison with 10 years being the maximum.
Illegal possession of handguns in NJ is highly frowned upon since handguns can easily be concealed. The process to legally obtain a handgun in NJ is far more stringent than even powerful shotguns. Typically handgun charges are either second or third degree charges. Third degree charges are reserved for air and spring related handguns (BB, or airsoft guns) with second degree charges involving guns that shoot “real bullets”. The following excerpt from the NJ Weapons Statute clarifies:
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 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.
The Tormey Law firm has a series of advanced defense strategies for gun charges and we have implemented these defenses with great success in New Jersey. Please watch our video series on “How to Beat Gun Charges” and feel free call us to discuss the specific details of your case: (201) 556-1571.
Additional details on sentencing in gun charges:
Usually, on a 5 year offense, an offender will be eligible for parole in about a year to a year and a half. Unfortunately, due to the Graves Act, there is a minimum of three years that must be served without parole on a gun charge. The Graves Act basically establishes the minimum mandatory sentence on NJ gun charges. 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 would be sparing yourself 2 years in state prison, but let’s be honest… no one wants to spend a year behind bars.
Call The Tormey Law Firm for a free consultation with experienced criminal defense attorneys, and current NJ prosecutors.
Our firm is absolutely dedicated to providing the best criminal defense for your legal issues, and we are available for free consultations regarding your criminal matter. We are happy to talk to you about the methods that we will use to fight your case, and give you all of the information that you might need. Feel free to call us any time: (201) 556-1571