Carry Permits

Permit to Carry a Handgun

In order to carry a handgun, a permit is required. The procedure to purchase a handgun is similar to the procedure to apply to carry a handgun. However, applicants who are out of state residents, are employed by an armored car service or where there is no police chief in the Municipality in which the applicant resides must apply to the State Police. There is a $20 permit fee that must be paid upon issuance of the permit.

Once a completed application is received by the Superior Court, the matter is docketed and scheduled before the assigned gun permit judge. If the armored car service employer had not previously appeared before the judge, or if justifiable need has not been demonstrated, a hearing is required. Thus, it is vital for the police chief to agree that there is a justifiable need. The judge makes a determination by review of the applicant’s current circumstances based upon the statutory criteria. The court shall issue the permit to the applicant 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 N.J.S.A. 2C:58-3c, that he or she is thoroughly familiar with the safe handling and use of handguns, and that he or she has a justifiable need to carry a handgun.

Justifiable need may be proven by showing that there is an urgent necessity for self-protection, that the applicant is subject to a substantial threat of serious bodily harm, and that the carrying of a handgun is necessary to reduce the threat of unjustifiable serious bodily harm to any person. This is a very tough standard, especially due to the current climate towards guns in New Jersey. The judge can impose restrictions to carry a handgun and issue a limited-type permit. The permit is valid for two years. Renewal permits can be issued subject to the same procedures as the original permit was obtained. Change cards can also be issued where an applicant wants to change the present restriction, the employer or the type of weapon. Applicants who are not granted a permit by the chief of police or superintendent of the State Police may appeal to the Superior Court within 30 days of denial. Applicants who are denied a permit by the Superior Court may appeal to the Appellate Division.

Most people who want a carry permit will probably not be able to get one.  I have many people that call me for carry permits but if I do more than two a year, it is a lot.  Thus, I advise most people that they are probably throwing away good money if they choose to move forward.  In fact, we no longer do carry permits now because its too much trouble.  We will only do them if you work for an armored car company or you are a retired law enforcement officer.

The clients with the best chances of success are usually those are are seeking a carry permit for their work.   However, just having a dangerous job in theory doesn’t entitle you to get a carry permit.  If you are self employed, this is more difficult.  If you work for a company that can write you a letter, you will stand a better chance.  Because this is a very difficult process, I strongly suggest you get an attorney to help you.

For example, check out this post http://njgunpermitattorney.com/2009/02/25/the-carry-permit-case/

  1. For the last several years, I’ve been trying to re-new my permit to carry. I pay for the background check, but when I clear that hurdle, the police say I don’t have a “justifiable need.” The fact that I’m an armed security professional in DE, and now an armed bail enforcement agent in DE, doesn’t factor in. I even have a FL permit to carry, and I don’t even live there.

    The last time I applied, I waited till after the deadline for the police, and they denied it against the current statute. I don’t think this is far. I even copied the law that governs permits, and there is no definition as to what a “justifiable need” is. I think that the judiciary is just pulling it out of their butts.

    • SCOTUS will hear McDonald v. Chicago(expected February), at stake is incorporation of the Second Amendment. This case will shake things up in the few states without right-to-keep and bear arms constitutional amendments(NJ being one of them).
      There’s also a case in DC (Palmer v. DC) challenging DC’s carry law, which is similiar to NJ in requiring a vague “need” standard in order to get the permit(January). Favorable outcomes should spell the beginning of the end for “may-issue” schemes across the country.

  2. Jef, will the NRA v. Chicago case have an impact on NJ’s arbitrary carry permit issuance system?

    • whitecollarcrimenews

      I’m not an expert on State’s rights, but in my opinion, NJ’s crazy laws are here to stay. In fact, I think they will get worse because it has been getting worse. 5 years ago, this blog would have been pointless because gun permits were issued with little problems. Today? Totally different story.

      • I would think many of these laws could be challenged on Second Amendment grounds upon incorporation by SCOTUS. The carry permit standard of “justifiable need” could not IMO stand scrutiny, as fundamental rights cannot be simply dismissed because the state government thinks you won’t be a crime victim. The restrictions for ownership laid out in Heller make clear felons, mentally unstable individuals and minors can be barred, but not the whole population. Any Second Amendment claim made in NJ has only been defended by the fact that the Second Amendment has not yet been incorporated.
        The people elected to the NJ government will probably try to push for more of these “feel good” laws, as you rightly point out. But look at what’s happening in CA due to the Nordyke decision; their handgun roster and concealed weapons issuance systems are targeted for lawsuits.
        I predict SCOTUS will incorporate, with or without Sotomayor.

  3. Jef,

    With the McDonald case in now, what’s your take on what we can expect in NJ regarding carry permits?

  4. so what is the reality of $2500 out of pocket and a positive return?

  5. hey jeff question i live in nj im an unarmd security guard i want to go armd and poss go for armor transport but i have a p.r.o is it still poss for me to get a permit to carry only???

    thnx

  6. If the 2nd amendment gives us the right to own a gun for self protection how is NJ allowed to break the 2nd amendment? I can’t understand this?

    How is my gun going to help me if it’s not where I am?

    and how can a Police station break the law of 30 days on every single application and nothing is done about that?

    Free country my ass.

  7. Have you ever had a successful applicant for CC who was a landlord/real-estate investor?

  8. Yeah! I was shot as an inocent by stander in ’89 and I feel I have the right to carry but we have these NJ stupid law that won’t allow us to do so…. after the fact don’t help!!! I’m dying here and cops investigates while criminals are getting away.

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