Permitting in New Jersey
References of New Jersey concealed carry laws circulated within news reports on proposed national concealed carry reciprocity movements in early 2017, given that New Jersey does not recognize other states’ permits.
In fact, New Jersey has no provision in its state constitution pertaining to the right to keep and bear arms and the 2010 case Crespo v. Crespo, 989 A.2d 827 (N.J. 2010) found that the right to possess firearms created by the Second Amendment and extended to the states through the Fourteenth clearly may be subject to reasonable limitations.
How To Get A New Jersey Concealed Carry Permit
There is no New Jersey “concealed carry” permit, because the state makes no distinction between open and concealed carry in its general purpose permit to carry.
It is up to the discretion of the issuing authority in New Jersey to approve an applicant’s permit to carry handguns, but note that the Supreme Court of New Jersey decided that permits tend to be restricted to “persons specifically employed in security work and to such other limited personnel who can establish an urgent necessity for carrying guns for self-protection,” according to In re Preis, 118 N.J. 564 (1990).
The state’s permit is valid for two years and is established by NJ Rev Stat § 2C:58-4 (2013). Applications (in triplicate with four 2x2 photos and a $50 money order payable to State of New Jersey - Treasurer) are submitted to the applicant’s respective Police Chief in their county of residence, or to the Superintendent of State Police if there is no Police Chief in their county if the applicant doesn’t reside in the state or if the applicant is an employee of an armored car company.
There are general requirements in order to qualify for the state permit. The applicant must prove they are “thoroughly familiar with the safe handling and use of handguns” through documented qualification (such as a firearms training course), that they have a justifiable need to carry a handgun and that they are not disqualified by the requirements of the Firearms Purchaser Identification Card and the Permit to Purchase a Handgun outlined in NJ Rev Stat § 2C:58-3(c)(1 - 8) (2013).
“Justifiable need” may sound vague, but was defined more thoroughly in a 2013 New Jersey Superior Court decision as an “urgent necessity for self-protection, as evidenced by specific threats or previous attacks which demonstrate a special danger to the applicant's life that cannot be avoided by means other than by issuance of a permit to carry a handgun.”
Those requirements in 2C:58-3(c)(1 - 8) boil down to domestic violence charges, citizenship, controlled substances, mental illness, commitment to mental institutions, physical defects making them a hazard to carry firearms, age (at least 21 years old), restraining orders issued and adjudications as a juvenile delinquent for weapons related charges.
A permit to carry will not be issued when it “would not be in the interest of the public health, safety or welfare.” Federal prohibitors will also apply.
The applicant will need three endorsements who have known them for at least three years. Fingerprints will be taken. According to the New Jersey State Police, current fingerprinting fees are $57.50. There will also be a mental health records search with a respective consent form (S.P. 66).
According to the state application (S.P. 642), it can be denied on specific criteria:
- Criminal record
- Public health, safety and welfare
- Medical, mental or alcoholic background
- Narcotics/dangerous drug offense
- Falsification of application
- Domestic violence
- Lack of justifiable need
- Or “other,” with the reason specified
According to New Jersey statute, if the permit is not approved by the respective police chief or superintendent within 60 days, it shall be deemed to have been approved, unless the applicant agrees to an extension on that time restraint.
If the applicant is denied, they may file a written request with their issuing authority within 30 days for a hearing in their county Superior Court. However, if all goes well and the police chief or superintendent approves the application, it will be sent to the applicant’s Superior Court in the county they reside within, or in the case of nonresidents in the county they intend to carry within. The court will then issue the permit and the applicant will pay a court fee.
The Superior Court must find the applicant is a “person of good character” and not subject to disqualifiers in 2C:58-3c.
However, according to state statute, “the court may at its discretion issue a limited-type permit which would restrict the applicant as to the types of handguns he may carry and where and for what purposes such handguns may be carried.”
New Jersey Gun Laws Restricts Firearms In Some Locations And Has Ammo Restrictions
That statute specifically pertains to firearms being prohibited in or on buildings or grounds of any school, college, university or other educational institution, unless one has written authorization of the governing officer of the institution.
Furthermore, N.J.A.C. 13:69D-1.13 restricts pistols and firearms within casinos without the appropriate license, a compelling need and an adequate training course. Firearms are restricted in state parks, unless one has written permission from the Director of the Division of Parks and Forestry or Assistant Director of the Division for the State Park Service, according to 7:2-2.17.
This is not an exhaustive resource for all New Jersey firearms laws, nor is any of this formal legal advice. There may be additional restrictions throughout the state, so be sure to check with local authorities.
Aside from location restrictions, hollow nose ammunition is restricted under 2C:39-3(f)(l) in the general public. That statute was tried as unconstitutionally vague, but State of New Jersey v. Brian D. Aitken upheld its application.
The state allows hollow point ammunition in one’s home, premises or the land they own. It also may be transported to a range for target practice and during lawful hunting. The state police provide an in-depth guide pertaining to hollow point ammunition use and transportation in New Jersey.
New Jersey Concealed Carry Reciprocity And Traveling Guidelines
New Jersey concealed carry reciprocity, as it stands, is currently nonexistent. The state does not recognize other states’ valid permits.
Almost half of the U.S. recognizes the New Jersey concealed carry permit, however, if one somehow manages to qualify for it. Because reciprocity changes often, a CCW reciprocity map will provide relevant information on this topic.
Those traveling through the state with a firearm may do so if they comply with 18 U.S.C.A. 926A, which is the federal statute on interstate transportation of firearms. Among other considerations in the statute, the firearm must be unloaded and neither it nor its ammunition can be readily accessible.
About The Author
Jake Smith (@notjakesmith) is a copywriter in his final year of studying public relations and apparel at the University of Idaho.