New Jersey’s gun laws are complex. Some firearm laws clarify who is permitted to purchase, own, and carry a gun. Others address individuals who violate gun laws and the charges and penalties they may face. While gun ownership is a hot-button issue in the United States right now, New Jersey residents that meet certain criteria can obtain a license to carry:
- Assault weapons
You might be surprised to know you also need a license for airsoft guns, BB guns, paintball guns, and pellet guns, as well. Generally, anything that shoots a projectile that could injure a person is considered a firearm in this state. The state presumes you can carry a gun unless you fall under any of the exemptions listed in the statute. Drug dependents, men and women who are subject to a restraining order, or anyone convicted of domestic violence can not own a firearm in New Jersey.
If you 18 or older, you can register with the state to obtain a firearm purchaser ID card for a firearm. For handguns only, the minimum age is 21. Anyone wanting to carry their firearm in public must apply with the state Superior Court and appear in person. During this hearing, the applicant must prove they have a legitimate need to carry a gun and demonstrate they understand how to safely use, carry, and store a firearm.
Charges for Illegal Gun Possession in New Jersey
While New Jersey permits the legal ownership of a handgun when all necessary guidelines are met, state laws also penalize individuals who carry them illegally. A single offense of carrying a firearm without a permit can bring anywhere between five to 10 years in state prison. While a different five-year offense might offer the possibility of parole after a year or so, gun laws in New Jersey are much more severe. The Graves Act is the primary statute enforcing the unlawful or illegal use of a firearm bringing mandatory time in a state prison for:
- Unlawful possession of a machine gun, handgun, rifle, or shotgun, even if it is licensed in another state
- Possession of a sawed-off shotgun
- Possession of a firearm with drug possession or during a drug transaction
- Possession of a firearm by a person previously convicted of a specific offense
Violations of New Jersey’s gun laws range from fourth-degree offenses up to second-degree offenses. Second-degree gun crimes carry anywhere from five to 20 years in state prison.
Possible Defenses Against Gun Charges
In many cases involving guns, a law enforcement officer discovers a firearm during a motor vehicle search. If there are several people in the car, the question arises as to who brought the gun. Your defense attorney explores every possible option in preparing your defense. They will examine if the search was conducted legally, if your Miranda Rights were read, and if evidence points to another person carrying the gun. Every part of the legal process must be conducted according to the law during a police search. If not, there may be cause to challenge the state and potentially have the charges against you reduced or dismissed altogether.
South Jersey Criminal Defense Lawyers at Aita Law, LLC Represent Clients Facing Serious Gun Charges
Gun laws in New Jersey are among the most severe in the nation. Because a single charge can be devastating for your future, it is essential to enlist the counsel of an experienced South Jersey criminal defense lawyer at Aita Law, LLC. To get started, call us at 856-287-7800 or use the online contact form to schedule a free consultation. Located in Haddonfield and Marlton, New Jersey, we represent clients throughout South Jersey, including Cherry Hill and Camden County.
KENNETH D. AITA, ESQUIRE
Mr. Aita has successfully defended thousands of criminal cases. When you or a loved one is charged with a crime, it is an extremely daunting and frightening time. Criminal charges and convictions can have devastating effects on your life. You can be fired from your job, you can hurt your ability to get employment in the future, and most importantly could lose your precious freedom. Mr. Aita not only has the experience and expertise to represent you, but the compassion and understanding to help you through this difficult and confusing process. In a criminal case, everyone is against you; the police, the judge, and certainly the prosecutor, whose job is to get convictions. Mr. Aita is not only your skilled legal advocate, but is in your corner to protect you against the vast government resources that are against you. Make no mistake, fighting a criminal case is a war. You need an attorney willing to go to battle. Mr. Aita is in the trenches every single day tirelessly fighting for justice for his clients.