The United States Constitution allows citizens the right to bear arms. This means they can own a firearm as long as they follow the proper legal process in doing so. The state of New Jersey has some of the strictest gun laws in the country. Residents are required to have a permit in order to purchase a gun. If they are in possession of a handgun without a permit, they can be charged with a weapons offense. When facing these matters, it is important to retain the services of an experienced attorney to assist your case.
Acquiring a Permit
In New Jersey, residents can obtain two different types of permits in order to purchase a gun. Both types of permits allow them to purchase different types of guns. They are as follows:
- Handgun Purchase Permit (HPP): This permit allows for the purchase of handguns.
- Firearm Purchaser Identification Card (FPIC): This permit allows for the purchase of a rifle, long gun, or shotgun. A person who possesses a handgun must also have this card on his person.
While they are different, there is only one application to apply for either of these permits. In doing so, the individual must submit the proper documentation. This includes a passport, driver’s license, two references, and an executed Consent for Mental Health Records Search. In addition to this, a full background check will be done by the local police department, state police or FBI. It is important to know that, in order to carry a firearm, a resident must obtain a separate permit to carry.
If a New Jersey resident does not legally acquire a permit before obtaining a gun, they are breaking the law. This can result in a wide range of penalties for their actions. In New Jersey, there are different ways a person can commit a weapons offense. This can include the following:
- Unlawful concealed or open carry of a firearm
- Possession of an unregistered or stolen firearm
- Possession of a firearm without a permit
- Possession of an assault rifle or sawed-off shotgun
- Transporting firearms through New Jersey from another state
When a person is charged with a weapons offense, there are different degrees of criminal activity depending on the circumstances. If the offender is in possession of an airsoft gun, spring gun, rifle, or shotgun, it is considered a third-degree crime. If they are in possession of a machine gun, handgun, or assault rifle, it is considered a second-degree crime. It is important to know that if the gun was used during a separate criminal act, the offense can be upgraded and penalties can increase.
Contact our Firm
If you or someone you know was charged with a weapons offense and needs the assistance of an experienced attorney, contact REM Katcher Law Group P.C. today.