No Added Gun Forms! -- Decision Binding On All NJ Towns Per Case Brought By Nappen Law Firm
In a published decision binding
upon all New Jersey municipalities, the New Jersey Appellate Division has
confirmed that New Jersey municipalities may NOT require added forms for
firearm permit applications beyond the state forms.
While the added municipal form at
issue in Z.K. was, for the most part, duplicative of questions asked
about juvenile delinquencies on the state form, the higher court found that
East Brunswick’s additional form was nonetheless contrary to the plain meaning
of two sections of the licensing statute.
One licensing statute section (N.J.S.
2C:58-3e) specifies that ONLY the New Jersey Superintendent of State Police may
prescribe the permit form. Another section states:
“There shall be no conditions or
requirements added to the form or content of the application, or required by
the licensing authority for the issuance of a permit or identification card,
other than those that are specifically set forth in this chapter.” (N.J.S.
Despite these provisions, over the
years municipalities across New Jersey have routinely violated the above laws
by adding wrongful paperwork and requirements to the licensing process. The
present published Z.K. decision is the first case on this topic that is
binding upon all New Jersey
municipalities and licensing authorities.
Last year, two unpublished
Appellate Division decisions overturned other municipalities that added forms
or conditions to the State application process. In IMO Perez Paterson’s requirement that all
applicants supply a passport photo was struck down as unlawful. In IMO McGovern, Jersey City’s requirement of
several pages of added forms and certifications were struck down as unlawful. Both
Perez and McGovern, however, were not “published” and, therefore –
while informative to other police departments regarding how they should behave –
the decisions were only officially binding upon those two cities.
Both Perez and the present Z.K.
matters were funded in part by the NRA Civil Rights Defense Fund.
All three appeals –Perez, Z.K.
and McGovern, – were handled by the law firm of Evan F. Nappen, Attorney
at Law PC, and argued upon briefs written by Louis P. Nappen, Esq.
In response to the Z.K.
decision, Louis Nappen said, “All New Jersey residents should be treated
equally under the law and with equal Due Process. I’m glad that the Appellate
Division recognized my arguments and did something positive to stop the rogue
behaviors of licensing authorities.”
This is also an important
development because the Superintendent of State Police has recently proposed Administrative
Code that would violate State Law in a similar manner.
Evan Nappen further stated, “A message
has finally been sent loud and clear for cities and towns to obey New Jersey
gun law. The Association of New Jersey Rifle & Pistol Clubs has previously
put all towns on notice regarding this issue by way of their operation ‘Permitting StrikeForce TM.’
Now, municipalities that continue to break the law will face consequences.”