Possible changes to how New Jersey Carry Permits are issued

Possible changes to how New Jersey Carry Permits are issued

Recently, the New Jersey State Police proposed a change to the State’s administrative code that would allegedly make it easier for residents to obtain a carry permit. The amendment clarifies that justifiable need can be shown if there is evidence of serious threats that are not directed specifically at an individual and that establish more than just generalized fears or concerns.

You can read the proposed changes here:


Right now, the justifiable need standard is nearly impossible to meet which has led to absurd results. For example, when an applicant applies for a carry permit because their job is dangerous, the response has been that since you can always just quit your job, you don’t need a carry permit. The amendment would eliminate these absurd results. The amendments still makes it clear that you cannot obtain a carry permit if there are reasonable means to avoid the harm. However, the term you don’t have to take unreasonable measures such as having to never leave your house or having to leave the state.

However, I have serious concerns about how effective these changes will be.

The proposed amendment indicates on one hand that the NJSP wants to loosen this standard, it states on the other hand that the proposed amendment will bring the regulations more in line with New Jersey Supreme Court precedent. This however doesn’t make any sense since the regulations and the case law work hand in hand to make the justifiable need standard impossible.  Its not as if the regulations say one thing and the case law says another. Perhaps this language was included to prevent anti-gun types from objecting to this language but I think this can cause serious harm moving forward. Clearly this issue will be litigated as trial courts may err on the side of caution forcing these cases up on appeal. The first few courts to deal with these cases will set the precedent for all future cases. Since the new regulations make reference to the old case law, it may be difficult to determine that any change has really occurred.

Of course, all hope is not lost.

The two examples given are a little helpful. The first is a taxi driver who works nights in a particular precinct where numerous drivers were shot and robbed. The second is an eyewitness to a murder committed by a street gang that has engaged in witness intimidation. In both examples, neither application has been harmed or threatened with harm. However, both examples are very specific. If you are a taxi driver during the day, you may not qualify because no one has been robbed during the day (yet). In the other, if you witness a murder committed by a violent street gang who has yet to murder witnesses, you might be out of luck.

Hopefully these examples can be expanded.  Otherwise, us lawyers will have to work hard to expand these examples in the courts.

So what happens next?

Because this is a proposed change to the regulatory code, nothing is done yet. There are 12 steps to adopt a change to the administrative code and the public comment period is step 9. It is not until step 12 will we know the effective date of these change. In addition, the proposed amendments can be changed based upon the comments.

See this link for more information on the process:


How you can help

You have until May 6 to submit comments. They can be emailed. See the notice for more information. Please keep your comments professional and constructive.

Posted on April 10, 2016, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Possible changes to how New Jersey Carry Permits are issued.

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