Obtaining a New Jersey Gun Carry Permit (updated June 27, 2022)
On June 23, 2022, the United States Supreme Court issued a landmark U.S. Constitution Second Amendment decision, N.Y. State Rifle & Pistol Assoc. v. Bruen, nullifying the effect of the 1911 Sullivan Act.
Sullivan, a New York state law, required a license for New Yorkers to carry a concealed firearm. A license required demonstration of “proper cause” or ‘special need’.
The majority opinion penned by Justice Clarence Thomas removed the causal requirement and in turn establishes a precedent which can catalyze the legal standing or establishment of many other gun laws.
Justice Thomas stated, “…the constitutional right to bear arms in public for self-defense is not ‘a second-class right, subject to an entirely different body of rules than the other Bill of Rights guarantees.”
Justice Thomas further states, “We know of no other constitutional right that an individual may exercise only after demonstrating to government officers some special need…“That is not how the First Amendment works when it comes to unpopular speech or the free exercise of religion. It is not how the Sixth Amendment works when it comes to a defendant’s right to confront the witnesses against him. And it is not how the Second Amendment works when it comes to public carry for self-defense.”
New Jersey Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin has recognized this decision stating:
“…while the Supreme Court decision prevents New Jersey from continuing to require a demonstration of justifiable need in order to carry a handgun, it does not eliminate the enforcement of other permitting requirements under State law.”
As a result the ‘special need’ clause will be removed from New Jersey Revised Statutes, Title 2C – THE NEW JERSEY CODE OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE, Section 2C:58-4 – Permits to carry handguns.
Now under N.J.S. 2C:58-4d., a person must satisfy the Court that: “The court shall issue the permit to the applicant if, but only if, it is satisfied that the applicant is a person of good character who is not subject to any of the disabilities set forth in section 2C:58-3c”.
The New Jersey Revised Statutes criteria for “good character” is detailed in Title 2C:58-3c.
c. Who may obtain. No person of good character and good repute in the community in which he lives, and who is not subject to any of the disabilities set forth in this section or other sections of this chapter, shall be denied a permit to purchase a handgun or a firearms purchaser identification card, except as hereinafter set forth. No handgun purchase permit or firearms purchaser identification card shall be issued:
(1) To any person who has been convicted of any crime, or a disorderly persons offense involving an act of domestic violence as defined in section 3 of P.L.1991, c.261 (C.2C:25-19), whether or not armed with or possessing a weapon at the time of such offense;
(2) To any drug dependent person as defined in section 2 of P.L.1970, c.226 (C.24:21-2), to any person who is confined for a mental disorder to a hospital, mental institution or sanitarium, or to any person who is presently an habitual drunkard;
(3) To any person who suffers from a physical defect or disease which would make it unsafe for him to handle firearms, to any person who has ever been confined for a mental disorder, or to any alcoholic unless any of the foregoing persons produces a certificate of a medical doctor or psychiatrist licensed in New Jersey, or other satisfactory proof, that he is no longer suffering from that particular disability in such a manner that would interfere with or handicap him in the handling of firearms; to any person who knowingly falsifies any information on the application form for a handgun purchase permit or firearms purchaser identification card;
(4) To any person under the age of 18 years for a firearms purchaser identification card and to any person under the age of 21 years for a permit to purchase a handgun;
(5) To any person where the issuance would not be in the interest of the public health, safety or welfare;
(6) To any person who is subject to a restraining order issued pursuant to the “Prevention of Domestic Violence Act of 1991,” P.L.1991, c.261 (C.2C:25-17 et seq.) prohibiting the person from possessing any firearm;
(7) To any person who as a juvenile was adjudicated delinquent for an offense which, if committed by an adult, would constitute a crime and the offense involved the unlawful use or possession of a weapon, explosive or destructive device or is enumerated in subsection d. of section 2 of P.L.1997, c.117 (C.2C:43-7.2); or
(8) To any person whose firearm is seized pursuant to the “Prevention of Domestic Violence Act of 1991,” P.L.1991, c.261 (C.2C:25-17 et seq.) and whose firearm has not been returned.
The safe handling requirement is detailed in New Jersey Administrative Code 13:54-2.4(b) as:
1) Completion of a firearms training course substantially equivalent to the firearms training approved by the Police Training Commission as described by N.J.S.A. 2C:39-6j;
2) Submission of an applicant’s most recent handgun qualification scores utilizing the handgun(s) he or she intends to carry as evidenced by test firings administered by a certified firearms instructor of a police academy, a certified firearms instructor of the National Rifle Association, or any other recognized certified firearms instructor; or
Passage of any test in this State’s laws governing the use of force administered by a certified instructor of a police academy, a certified instructor of the National Rifle Association, or any other recognized certified instructor.
How to Apply for a New Jersey Permit to Carry a Handgun
1) Reside in New Jersey
2) Apply at the municipal police department where you reside.
If the municipality where you reside is serviced by the New Jersey State Police, you must apply at the station which covers your municipality. Out of state residents must apply to the New Jersey State Police station nearest to their geographic location.
Detailed information about applying for a firearm is available at:
New Jersey Permit to Carry a Handgun online applications are available at https://nj.gov/njsp/firearms/forms.shtml
The steps to both apply and renew a New Jersey Permit to Carry a Handgun are:
• Complete, in triplicate, a State of New Jersey Application for Permit to Carry a Handgun.
• References must have a relationship with the applicant of a minimum of three (3) years prior to the application date.
• Notarize all original copies.
• Submit four copies of a color passport size photograph with the application.
• Complete the Consent for Mental Health Search form as per N.J.S.A. 30:4-24.3 (N.J.S.A. 30:4-24.3 provides that all records of any individual’s commitment to a noncorrectional institution for mental health reasons shall be confi dential and shall not be disclosed except in limited circumstances or with the consent of the in dividual.)
• Written proof of qualification and ownership with the handgun(s) you intend oncarrying if your application is approved. This must be recent at the time of the application and must also be obtained from a certified firearms instructor.
• A $50 money order payable to: “Treasurer, State of New Jersey”
• Armored car guard applications must be submitted to the appropriate New Jersey State Police Barracks.
How long does it take for the application to be processed?
Applications are reviewed, and can be denied, by a Police Chief or Superintendent within 60 days of filling. Should the review time exceed 60 days the application is automatically deemed approved unless the applicant agrees in writing to an extension.
If the application is approved the Police Chief or Superintendent requests final approval from a New Jersey Superior Court Judge.
What is my application for a New Jersey Permit to Carry a Handgun is denied?
A: Under New Jersey Statute 2C:58-4e., a person who has been denied a permit to carry a handgun may request a hearing in Superior Court in the County in which he/she is a resident. The request must be made in writing within 30 days of the denial. A copy is served upon the Superintendent of the State Police, County Prosecutor and Chief of Police of the municipality in which he/she resides if he is a resident of New Jersey. Under New Jersey law, the hearing shall be held within 30 days of the receipt of the request