New Jersey – Making Felons Out of Law Abiding Citizens

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New Jersey Sucks
New Jersey - Making Felons Out of Law Abiding Citizens
AmmoLand Gun News
AmmoLand Gun News

Trenton, NJ –-( There has been much debate in recent weeks about the travel laws here in New Jersey involving firearms.

We are all aware of what the statutes say and how they have been twisted to be not in firearm owners’ favor.

In this article I am going to try to explore and exploit the errors in the laws and also to gain opinions of my readers. This should make for some intelligent debate and “what if” scenarios.

Let me pre-empt my views with this disclaimer that: I AM NOT A LAWYER AND NOTHING I WRITE SHOULD BE CONSTRUED TO BE LEGAL ADVICE.

First I will post the portion of the statute of what the New Jersey laws state:

e. Nothing in subsections b., c. and d. of N.J.S.2C:39-5 shall be construed to prevent a person keeping or carrying about his place of business, residence, premises or other land owned or possessed by him, any firearm, or from carrying the same, in the manner specified in subsection g. of this section, from any place of purchase to his residence or place of business, between his dwelling and his place of business, between one place of business or residence and another when moving, or between his dwelling or place of business and place where such firearms are repaired, for the purpose of repair. For the purposes of this section, a place of business shall be deemed to be a fixed location.

f. Nothing in subsections b., c. and d. of N.J.S.2C:39-5 shall be construed to prevent:

(1) A member of any rifle or pistol club organized in accordance with the rules prescribed by the National Board for the Promotion of Rifle Practice, in going to or from a place of target practice, carrying such firearms as are necessary for said target practice, provided that the club has filed a copy of its charter with the superintendent and annually submits a list of its members to the superintendent and provided further that the firearms are carried in the manner specified in subsection g. of this section;

(2) A person carrying a firearm or knife in the woods or fields or upon the waters of this State for the purpose of hunting, target practice or fishing, provided that the firearm or knife is legal and appropriate for hunting or fishing purposes in this State and he has in his possession a valid hunting license, or, with respect to fresh water fishing, a valid fishing license;

(3) A person transporting any firearm or knife while traveling:

(a) Directly to or from any place for the purpose of hunting or fishing, provided the person has in his possession a valid hunting or fishing license; or

(b) Directly to or from any target range, or other authorized place for the purpose of practice, match, target, trap or skeet shooting exhibitions, provided in all cases that during the course of the travel all firearms are carried in the manner specified in subsection g. of this section and the person has complied with all the provisions and requirements of Title 23 of the Revised Statutes and any amendments thereto and all rules and regulations promulgated thereunder; or

(c) In the case of a firearm, directly to or from any exhibition or display of firearms which is sponsored by any law enforcement agency, any rifle or pistol club, or any firearms collectors club, for the purpose of displaying the firearms to the public or to the members of the organization or club, provided, however, that not less than 30 days prior to the exhibition or display, notice of the exhibition or display shall be given to the Superintendent of the State Police by the sponsoring organization or club, and the sponsor has complied with such reasonable safety regulations as the superintendent may promulgate. Any firearms transported pursuant to this section shall be transported in the manner specified in subsection g. of this section;

(4) A person from keeping or carrying about a private or commercial aircraft or any boat, or from transporting to or from such vessel for the purpose of installation or repair a visual distress signaling device approved by the United States Coast Guard.

Now let us try to understand what all this legal jargon means to us as everyday common gun owners in New Jersey.

From my interpretation of the law quoted above I have complied a short list in plain speak of where I believe a NJ resident can transport or bring a firearm to:

Remember for each exemption below you can not make any additional stops, not to pickup friends, get gas or buy milk, all are excluded under the law.

  • From your home to your business and back.
  • From your home to a range or shooting event and back.
  • From your home to a hunting or fishing location  and back, provided you have a hunting or fishing license.
  • From your home to a retail gun smith/gun shop  and back.
  • From your current place of residence to a new place of residence.
  • From your home to a location for the purpose of exhibition or display of firearms and back. (note extra steps must be taken by the sponsoring organization)

Let’s be honest here, you have police officers, lawyers, prosecutors and judges that can’t decipher, once and for all, what these laws mean.  So I find it an absolute travesty and grave injustice for the State to think or assume it is right in its approach of arrest first and let a Judge or jury sort it out. I would like to get to bottom of this so the firearms owners of the State of New Jersey can live without fear when transporting their legally owned firearms.

These laws are so vague that the squeakiest clean of people can get confused as to where they are allowed to travel with their firearms.

One of the most prevalent questions in this debate is if one was to have a non-resident permit/license to carry a firearm from another state that is not NJ, how would they legally transport their firearm out of NJ? Some would say that in fact, any transport from your home in NJ that does not fit one of the exceptions spelled out exactly, even without any stops, and following the transport of firearms laws to the letter, would make this illegal and you could be charged. It is my belief, however, that if in fact I am legal to possess the firearm from my starting point, my home and go directly to my destination where I am also legal to possess my firearm, in this case a state with total reciprocity with the state that my CCW/LTCF/CPL is from. In effect I would be covered under FOPA (Firearms Owners Protection Act). I have searched high and low to find a definitive answer to this very question. So far I have only found what people seem to think would happen or could happen. There has been, to my knowledge, no established cases or arrests on record to date that I can find and that is what makes it more difficult as there is always more than one way to interpret law.

So what, if anything, do we as law abiding citizens have to do to get a legitimate answer to all of these questions?

I am disheartened to say, “I DON’T KNOW”! This is an ongoing question that needs to be addressed so not to make felons out of otherwise law abiding citizens.

I figured this to be an open conversation on the comments area below this article. I wait anxiously for everyone’s opinions and views. I will be checking back to follow up on everyone’s views. I have one rules on the comments you can make: Respect other people’s opinions as you would want yours to be respected.

How do you interpret these New Jersey gun laws?

About Joe Alessandrini:
Joe is a blue collar guy, active shooter, archer and Freemason, he is the typical New Jersey “Joe” Gun Owner and,  just like me and you, he is frustrated with people not up holding the Constitution and walking allover the Bill Of Rights. But rather than do nothing or keep it to himself Joe is doing something about it. He is putting it writing on AmmoLand Shooting Sports News and educating or changing peoples minds and making a difference for all of us. Be sure and comment on each of his articles.

  • 10 thoughts on “New Jersey – Making Felons Out of Law Abiding Citizens

    1. Well you are correct. These laws are excessive and actually cause crime to increase. If I lived in your state, and I don’t, I would move my business or my profession to the USA and where the Constitution is respected.

    2. Bob W. the laws here in NJ are NOT firearm owner friendly. I do not advise bringing a firearm into the state without having an attorney’s advice. I would also look into applying for a non-resident NJ firearms ID card, just to be on the safe side. Please err on the side of caution when dealing with it, it is a felony and mandatory jail time if convicted of unlawful possession of a firearm in this state. Hope this helps!

    3. I know most of you are not lawyers but generally speaking can I legally transfer a firearm from my permanent state of residence, Delaware, to NJ, where I have a summer residence (actually I am there on and off from March to November) and keep the firearm in my residence in NJ for personal protection while I am there?

    4. Bob, we are doing the best we can. Out of state support is always welcome. I am a member of multiple groups outside of NJ that I support. Though I didn’t mean “you” as in you personally. More of a broad and general statement.

    5. “Funny” is not the word I would use. I think it’s Tragic.

      I don’t live in NJ, so I’m not going to join the NJ2AS. I don’t think out-of-staters should try to influence another states policies/laws/elected officials/etc. The people of NJ need to fix NJ.

    6. You know it’s funny that we have to such extremes to practice a right we have guaranteed to us by the Constitution of the United States. We have to make up stories and reach for truths to make the LEO believe we are allowed to possess the firearm. If you are tired of it, join the NJ2AS and let your politicians know that it is TIME TO TEAR DOWN THAT WALL!

    7. If you want to pick up your fathedr for a day at the range, take a suitcase full of clothes with you and leave it at your father’s house before leaving for the range. Then you could claim that your father’s house will be a temporary residence for you. Travel from one of your residences to another of your residences, even a temporary residence, is allowed.

      I know. That’s really screwed up, but it might be a way to legally stretch the laws a bit.

    8. Ron A.,
      I agree with your post and that is the way the police and DA’s handle the illegal possession if you do not fit the exemption. That is part of the problem though, is picking my father up at his home for a day out at the range together not reasonable? There is just too much room for interpretation in these laws and they need much more clarity in the way they are enforced.

    9. I interpret the laws based on what I have read on the laws combined with speaking with NRA certified instructors. Basically it comes down to the fact that we here in New Jersey are faced with the unusual circumstances for the United States where possession of all firearms is illegal outside your home with exception. The exception is as you listed above and is under most circumstances up to the discretion of the law enforcement officer. In most cases, it’s arrest first and figure it out later.

      I understand that this is not related to the question and is my opinion as it relates to the second amendment in New Jersey…

      I have read copies of memos from the NJ Attorney General addressed to the state police requesting no leniency to any individual arrested for unlawful possession of a firearm. If an individual is arrested for illegal possession of a firearm, there are to be NO PLEA BARGAINS! All I know is that if you carry (on your person or locked, unloaded in a box your trunk), you better obey every letter of the law from the time you leave your house to the time you return or you could be facing years in prison.
      What the rest of the country, with exception to NY, DC, ILL, CA and MA, our legislators are completely blind to the reality of the lawfully armed public. Most of the rest of the country have realized how much crime drops, and how we as the citizens of New Jersey could help the police in our state to reduce violent crime simply because the perpetrator would not know if the potential victim is armed or not.

      In addition, our state has one of the highest LEO to person per capita than anywhere else in the country. Imagine the cost savings that we tax payers could enjoy if the state simply didn’t have to hire as many officers. I have nothing against the hard working men and women in blue, I just believe that there are way more than would be necessary if we were armed.

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