New Jersey has some of the strictest and most complex firearms laws in the United States. Often times, prospective clients have questions related to their right to bear arms within our State. This article endeavors to touch upon some issues that arise as considerations for New Jersey residents.
Is a replica air soft gun (sold at Dick’s sporting goods) a “Firearm” under New Jersey Law?
No, because air soft guns do not fire a solid projectile as required by the statute. N.J.S.A. 2C:39-1(f.) defines firearm as – means any handgun, rifle, shotgun, machine gun, automatic or semi-automatic rifle, or any gun, device or instrument in the nature of a weapon from which may be fired or ejected any solid projectable ball, slug, pellet, missile or bullet, or any gas, vapor or other noxious thing, by means of a cartridge or shell or by the action of an explosive or the igniting of flammable or explosive substances. It shall also include, without limitation, any firearm which 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.
What is the proper way to transport a firearm in New Jersey?
New Jersey’s criminal code provides that firearms should be carried unloaded and contained in a closed and fastened case, gun box, securely tied package or locked in the trunk of the automobile in which it is being transported, and in the course of travel shall include only deviations as are reasonably necessary under the circumstances. Regarding ammunition, New Jersey’s guidelines dictate that the ammunition and firearm should be kept in separate parts of the vehicle.
If the police stop me, should I advise them that I have a gun in my vehicle?
Legally, there is no obligation to reveal to the officer that you are lawfully transporting a firearm. Additionally, a conversation regarding said firearm could result in further questioning and discretionary decisions being made by an officer that are not beneficial to a motorist. However, if you have a concealed carry permit, you are obligated to advise the officer that you are carrying a firearm.
Is a permit to purchase and a firearms ID card the same thing?
Not really, the process for obtaining both documents is nearly identical but there is a distinction between the utility of the two documents. Generally, everyone purchasing a firearm, of any type, needs a firearms ID card. Those seeking to purchase a pistol, also need a permit to purchase.
The above-mentioned issues are just the tip of the iceberg regarding firearms laws in New Jersey. This blog will address additional issues in later posts. If you have additional questions, or have been charged with a weapons offense, please do not hesitate to schedule an appointment at our Jersey City or Secaucus offices.