Gun ownership is important to many people in our country and state. According to data from the Rand Corporation, nearly ten percent of New Jersey adults—approximately 805,000 in all—live in a household with at least one firearm. New Jersey has some of the most strict, comprehensive firearm application and licensing laws in the entire country.
Matthew V. Portella is an experienced gun permit application and appeals lawyer based in Haddonfield, New Jersey. With a deep understanding of criminal law, the gun ID application process, and gun permit appeals, Attorney Portella protects the rights of his clients. For a fully private consultation with a New Jersey gun permit denial appeals attorney, please contact our firm today.
An Overview of the New Jersey Firearms ID Application Process
The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution protects the right of people to keep and bear arms. That being said, state and local governments have the authority to put reasonable regulations on firearms. The New Jersey Office of the Attorney General emphasizes that there are “risks to public safety and to law enforcement” that stem from the “carrying of firearms.” Prior to purchasing a firearm, you have to go through an application process. New Jersey law requires people wanting to legally own a handgun to first acquire a New Jersey Permit to Purchase a Handgun. If one wishes to purchase a rifle or shotgun, they must obtain a New Jersey Firearms Purchaser Identification Card.
If you or someone you know is looking for the application for a firearm purchaser identification card or permit to purchase a handgun, you can follow this link. This application is fairly straightforward. However, there are a few sections where it requires the applicant to discuss any mental or psychiatric conditions, alcoholism, physical defects or diseases, narcotics dependencies, and other ailments that may affect their ability to obtain a permit to purchase a handgun or a firearm purchaser ID. You should answer these sections truthfully as those reviewing the applications take these sections very seriously and tend to make the decision of whether one will be able to obtain this permit.
You will also be required to submit this application to the Chief of Police or New Jersey State Police Superintendent, complete a background check, fingerprinting, mental health record check, and provide two references for any questions or concerns that may arise during the process. As may be expected, with the many moving parts in this process, the application may be rejected with little to no detailed reasoning as to why. If this has happened to you or someone you know, contact our firm today. Our attorney, Matthew V. Portella, will assess the application, help find reasoning as to why it was rejected and file an appeal of the decision and continue the application process for you.
A Permit to Carry a Firearm in New Jersey
New Jersey has created a separate process for its citizens to carry a firearm in public. This process requires an additional application and submission Form S. P. 642 (State of New Jersey Application For Permit To Carry A Handgun). The process also includes:
- Obtaining and submitting four valid passport-size photographs;
- Completing the supplemental form to consent to a mental health search;
- Providing a written justification/explanation of the need for a firearm in public; and
- Provide proof of qualification and ownership for firearms you intend to carry if approved.
When approved, the state does allow for concealed carry—but only in specific circumstances. New Jersey is known as a “shall-issue” state for concealed carry permits. An individual must first obtain a New Jersey Permit to Carry a Handgun (PCH). From there, they must also obtain approval from the local chief of police or the Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police.
You Have the Right to Appeal a Denial
As New Jersey has notoriously strict gun laws, it is not uncommon for people to be denied a firearm ID permit. You have the right to appeal an unfavorable decision on your application. Here are three key things to know about appealing a firearm ID application denial in New Jersey:
- You Must Act Quickly (30 Days): You should request an appeal formally, in writing. You have a limited amount of time to initiate an appeal after a firearm permit is denied. In New Jersey, the appeal should be started within 30 days of the denial.
- Understand and Challenge the Denial: A permit can be denied for a wide range of different reasons—from criminal history to substance abuse issues to mental health concerns to an alleged lack of justifiable need. Regardless of the reason for denial, you need to address the matter directly with reliable and comprehensive evidence.
- An Attorney Can Help: The gun ID appeals process is complicated. You do not have to navigate it alone. An experienced New Jersey gun permit appeal lawyer will help you gather and prepare all the evidence you need to make a compelling case.
Who May Be Prohibited from Purchasing and/or Carrying a Firearm in New Jersey?
If someone has been convicted of a felony or domestic violence misdemeanors, they are prohibited from purchasing and/or carrying a firearm in the state. Other restrictions have also been placed to restrict one from owning a firearm, such as if one:
- is dependent on drugs, alcohol, or been admitted to a mental clinic or institution for a mental disorder.
- has a physical defect or disease that makes it unsafe for them to handle a firearm. If this is the case, they must obtain confirmation from a medical professional (or professionals depending on the circumstances) approving or confirming their ability to possess a firearm with their disability, defect, or disease not making it unsafe for them to handle the firearm.
- knowingly lied or provided false information on the application for either the permit to purchase or the permit to carry the firearm. If this has been done, it may affect one’s ability to own or handle a firearm in the future and the appeals process may become even more difficult.
- is under the age of 21.
- has a juvenile record where the offenses could be considered crimes if they committed them as an adult.
- has had someone has file an “extreme risk protection” order against them or has received a restraining order that prohibits them from possessing firearms.
- have had their firearms seized as part of the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act of 1991. If they have not returned firearms as part of this act, they may also be prohibited from owning/purchasing a firearm in the state of New Jersey.
- is listed on the federal government’s terrorist watch list.
The state allows family members, members of your household, or law enforcement to petition the court to take away your firearms if you are in crisis. Those laws (sometimes known as “red flag” laws) also mean there’s a one-year ban on buying or possessing firearms if a court finds that you are at significant risk of harming yourself or others. This is where working with an experienced New Jersey firearm ID and permit to carry attorney can be crucial in your ability to keep your firearms and uphold your rights outlined in the Second Amendment.
Call Our New Jersey Firearm ID Application and Appeals Attorney Today
The Law Office of Matthew V. Portella, LLC proudly provides personalized, solutions-focused guidance and support to clients. If you are applying for a firearm permit or you were denied a permit and are preparing an appeal, we can help you navigate the process. Contact us today to arrange a strictly confidential initial consultation. From our law offices in Pleasantville and Haddonfield, we handle gun ID application and carry permit appeals throughout the state.