South Jersey Gun Laws—What You Should Know
Former Prosecutor Explains What Clients Should Know About Gun Laws in Camden County, Burlington County and Throughout New Jersey
It’s no secret that New Jersey has some of the toughest gun laws in the country. The harsh penalties and strict rules for gun ownership and use in the state are trending upward—meaning that, if anything, we are likely to see even stronger laws in the future. If you own a gun, it’s crucial that you understand the registration requirements and ownership rules in South Jersey to keep yourself out of trouble.
At Gelman Law, our team is headed up by a former Burlington County prosecutor. We use the insight gained from his experience both at the prosecution’s table and on the defense side to our clients’ advantage. We can help you with your permit application to make sure you are compliant with New Jersey gun laws. We’re also here to protect your right to own your gun by appealing any denied application.
Those who have been arrested for violating one of New Jersey’s gun laws already know that they are facing an uphill battle. Our experienced, talented criminal defense lawyers can help you minimize the substantial damage these charges can cause. More importantly, we can help you avoid problems in the first place.
Contact our firearms defense lawyers at Gelman Law, LLC to schedule a free consultation today.
Gun Registration Requirements in South Jersey
Every single person who owns a firearm in South Jersey must register the weapon by obtaining a valid permit. Your gun must be licensed even to legally keep it in your home, although there is really no formal process to register a specific weapon. Instead, registration happens because a permit must be obtained to buy or transfer ownership of a gun. It is important to remember that the New Jersey definition of “firearm” is surprisingly broad. You must obtain a permit to buy:
- Paintball guns,
- Airsoft guns,
- BB guns,
- Pellet guns,
- Before 1990, certain assault rifles (note that now, most assault rifles are prohibited in New Jersey unless grandfathered in under the old pre-1990 law).
Generally, you must first obtain a gun permit that permits you to purchase a firearm in New Jersey. Every time you purchase a firearm after obtaining the initial permit, you must obtain an additional permit specific to that purchase. This gives the state a record of which specific guns you own. These permitting requirements apply whether you buy your gun in a store or from a private individual.
Understanding the Restrictive Camden County, NJ Gun Carry Permit Rules
Additional permitting is required if you ever want to take your gun out of your home. While the state has the ability to issue a carry permit, in reality, carry permits are almost never issued for guns in New Jersey. New Jersey gun carry permits are generally only available if:
- You are a law enforcement officer,
- You can demonstrate a life-threatening issue supporting the need to carry a firearm,
- In some cases, if you are a retired law enforcement officer.
Seasoned Criminal Defense Lawyer Fights Serious Penalties for Violation of South Jersey Gun Laws
New Jersey gun permitting requirements have to be taken extremely seriously because of the harsh penalties that apply for even one seemingly innocent violation. If you bought a gun without the proper permits and are caught, you will face between five and ten years in state prison—even if your criminal record is completely clear of any past offense.
Under the New Jersey Graves Act:
- A firearms offense carries a jail sentence of between five and ten years for first offenders,
- Parole eligibility, which would generally be available after about a year, is restricted so that you will serve a minimum three-year sentence if convicted.
These harsh penalties mean that you need the best possible lawyer by your side to help you fight the charges. Unfortunately, in many cases involving illegal possession of a gun, this means doing everything that we can to simply reduce the time you will spend in jail—because most illegal possession cases are built upon the fact that the gun owner did not obtain a permit for the weapon.
The Graves Act law also contains a complex procedure for obtaining what is known as a “Graves Act waiver”. Our lawyers have the experience necessary to build a strong case for a Graves Act waiver, which can reduce your jail sentence from three years to one year.
Contact Our Experienced Firearm Offense Lawyers to Learn More About What You Should Know About Gun Law in Burlington County, NJ
New Jersey gun laws are complex and penalties for violations are severe. If you want to own or carry a gun in South Jersey, you should consult with an experienced lawyer to learn more about your legal obligations. If you have already been charged with a firearm offense, an experienced criminal defense lawyer is not a luxury—it is a necessity.
At Gelman Law, LLC, our lawyers offer unmatched legal knowledge and advocacy for clients accused of violating New Jersey gun laws. Call our office or fill out this online contact form to learn more.
Frequently Asked Questions About What You Should Know About South Jersey Gun Laws
The fact is, for almost everyone in New Jersey, the simple act of transporting your gun from one place to another without a carry permit can be a crime. However, we may be able to challenge the way in which the gun was discovered—for example, if the officer lacked probable cause to search your vehicle and the gun was not in plain sight. Additionally, if you were carrying your gun in the trunk apart from the ammunition (out of your reach), gun charges may not stick absent other factors.
Yes. New Jersey does not recognize gun carry permits issued by other states. However, you may be able to escape arrest if you were simply traveling through New Jersey if the gun was unloaded and stored in some type of secure case or in the trunk.
If you reasonably believe that using your gun is necessary to protect you or your family from imminent harm from someone who has broken into your home, yes. However, use of “deadly force” is only allowed if you believe you or your family is at risk of being killed or seriously injured.