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What Are the Penalties for Unlawful Possession of a Gun in New Jersey?

February 28, 2022

Although all Americans have the right to “bear arms,” each of the 50 states has its own set of laws when it comes to owning a gun. In fact, New Jersey has the second strictest gun laws in all of the United States. 

New Jersey also sets itself apart from other states by making those who possess a state permit the only ones able to purchase guns. There are also many regulations on who can purchase a firearm, and where and when they can use one. For example, those who have been convicted of a crime are unable to legally possess a gun.

If you are permitted to carry a gun in New Jersey you must make sure it is unloaded and in a locked case. If you are transporting the gun in a car it must be locked in the trunk of the car. 

Gun Laws in New Jersey 

Here are some of the most common gun laws in New Jersey:

  • It is against the law to possess a handgun without a permit to carry. It is also against the law to possess a rifle or shotgun without a Firearms Purchaser Identification Card (FID). 
  • When it comes to carrying a gun, no distinction is drawn between a concealed and non-concealed weapon, meaning that the penalties you could be facing will be the same no matter what.
  • New Jersey restricts the ownership of specific semi-automatic weapons. 
  • It is against the law to possess a loaded rifle or shotgun in a vehicle or to shoot a gun from a vehicle across any roadway. 
  • It is against the law to possess a gun outside of or inside of a school unless you are a law enforcement officer. This includes any educational facility. 

Rules for Non-New Jersey Residents 

Even if you have a permit to carry from another state, you may be charged with unlawful possession if you’re caught carrying a gun over state lines. New Jersey will not recognize a permit from another state. This means if you are traveling in New Jersey with a gun with a permit from another state, you will be facing criminal penalties.

Penalties for Unlawful Possession of a Gun

Any individual who is caught with a handgun without a New Jersey permit will be charged with unlawful possession. This is a second degree crime according to state statute N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5b. If found guilty, the second degree penalties are between 5 and 10 years in jail.  

If you are charged with possession of a gun with the intention of  committing a crime against people or property you may be facing an additional 10 years in prison under statute N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4. This is also known as “Possession of a Firearm for an Unlawful Purpose.”

Lastly, if you are caught with a gun and you have previously been convicted of domestic violence, you may be facing a third charge known as “Certain Persons Not to be in Possession of a Firearm.” This can be found under Statute 2C:39-7.

Legal Defense 

As you can see, the gun laws in New Jersey are quite complex. It’s important that you speak with an experienced and knowledgeable criminal defense attorney if you are charged with gun possession. An aggressive and respectable lawyer can make all the difference in your case, all the while advocating for your rights as a New Jersey citizen.

Contact an Experienced Moorestown Criminal Defense Lawyer About Your Unlawful Possession Charges in Moorestown NJ

Were you arrested or charged with unlawful possession in New Jersey? The consequences of a conviction could be severe, leaving you with a permanent criminal record and possibly even sending you to jail. That is why you need to speak with a qualified criminal defense attorney as soon as possible about your case. The Law Office of Michele Finizio has successfully represented clients charged with unlawful possession in Moorestown, Cherry Hill, Evesham Township, Burlington, and throughout New Jersey. Call (856) 888-9059 or fill out the online contact form to schedule a consultation with a member of our legal team. We have an office conveniently located at 9 E. Main St, Moorestown, NJ 08057, as well as offices located in Cherry Hill.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.

Disorderly conduct consists of any improper behavior such as fighting, threats of violence, or creating a dangerous atmosphere.

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