How to Get Your NJ Carry Permit – Includes the new Murphy “Carry-Killer” Anti-Civil Rights Law Passed 12/22/2022
By Evan F. Nappen, Attorney at Law
We can all thank President Trump for successfully nominating three conservative Justices to the U.S. Supreme Court. This helped make possible the victorious landmark 2nd Amendment decision achieved in N.Y. State Rifle & Pistol Assoc. v. Bruen.
Justice Thomas wrote the extraordinary majority opinion for the Court. He is by far the greatest modern hero to the Second Amendment. This decision removed the requirement of “showing need” for a carry permit. He makes it clear that Second Amendment Rights are Civil Rights.
Justice Thomas ruled that, “…the constitutional right to bear arms in public for self-defense is not ‘a second-class right, subject to an entirely different body of rules than the other Bill of Rights guarantees.” He goes further and points out, “We know of no other constitutional right that an individual may exercise only after demonstrating to government officers some special need…“That is not how the First Amendment works when it comes to unpopular speech or the free exercise of religion. It is not how the Sixth Amendment works when it comes to a defendant’s right to confront the witnesses against him. And it is not how the Second Amendment works when it comes to public carry for self-defense.”
“Justifiable need” was the main obstacle to getting a permit to carry in New Jersey, and it was the primary reason why law-abiding citizens were denied carry permits. New Jersey helped to facilitate preventable murders, rapes, and violent assaults, because New Jersey did not have a fair, objective “shall issue” carry permit system. This arbitrary unconstitutional requirement is now officially void.
However, in response to the outstanding civil rights victory in N.Y. State Rifle & Pistol Assoc. v. Bruen, Governor Murphy and Democrat controlled New Jersey legislature passed Assembly Bill A4769, aka the “Carry-Killer” Anti-Civil Rights Law. This new law is a blatant attempt to violate your civil rights and to deny you the most effective means of self-defense by making the New Jersey’s Permit to Carry virtually meaningless. This new law is now the subject at least two robust legal challenges brought by 1) the Association of New Jersey Rifle & Pistol Clubs and 2) by a coalition of the Second Amendment Foundation, Firearms Policy Coalition, the Coalition of New Jersey Firearm Owners, and the New Jersey Second Amendment Society.
Here is your FAQ guide to getting a New Jersey Carry Permit, incorporating the changes made by the new Murphy “Carry-Killer” Anti-Civil Rights Law which will hopefully be declared null and void by the courts without delay.
What are the general requirements to obtain a permit to carry a handgun under New Jersey law, now that the “need” requirement has been eliminated but the new Murphy “Carry-Killer” Anti-Civil Rights Law has passed?
A: Under N.J.S. 2C:58-4d., a person must demonstrate that he/she is:
- has not engaged in any acts or made any statements that suggest the applicant is likely to engage in conduct, other than lawful self-defense, that would pose a danger to the applicant or others and who is not subject to any of the disabilities set forth in subsection c. of N.J.S.2C:58-3;
- is thoroughly familiar with the safe handling and use of handguns;
- has completed the training requirements established. Classroom instruction and target training shall not be required for a renewal applicant who completed the instruction and training when obtaining a permit to carry a handgun issued within the previous two years; and
- has the required liability insurance. (This takes effect on July 1, 2023.)
What are the permit disqualifying disabilities of subsection c. of
A: A person shall not be denied a permit unless the person is known in the community in which the person lives as someone who has engaged in acts or made statements suggesting the person is likely to engage in conduct, other than justified self-defense, that would pose a danger to self or others, or is subject to the following disabilities:
- To any person who has been convicted of : (a) any crime in this State or its felony counterpart in any other state or federal jurisdiction; or (b) a disorderly persons offense in this State involving an act of domestic or its felony or misdemeanor counterpart involving an act of domestic violence as defined under a comparable statute in any other state or federal jurisdiction, whether or not armed with or possessing a weapon at the time of the offense;
- To any person who is presently confined for a mental disorder as a voluntary admission or who is presently involuntarily committed to inpatient or outpatient treatment;
- To any person who suffers from a physical defect or disease which would make it unsafe for that person to handle firearms, to any person with a substance use disorder involving drugs, or to any alcoholic unless any of the foregoing persons produces a certificate of a medical doctor, treatment provider, or psychiatrist licensed in New Jersey, or other satisfactory proof, that the person is no longer suffering from that particular disability in a manner that would interfere with or handicap that person in the handling of firearms;
- To any person who knowingly falsifies any information on the application form for a handgun purchase permit or firearms purchaser identification card;
- To any person under the age of 18 years for a firearms purchaser identification card and to any person under the age of 21 years for a permit to purchase a handgun;
- To any person where the issuance would not be in the interest of the public health, safety or welfare because the person is found to be lacking the essential character of temperament necessary to be entrusted with a firearm;
- To any person who is subject to or has violated a temporary or final restraining order issued pursuant to the “Prevention of Domestic Violence Act prohibiting the person from possessing any firearm or a temporary or final domestic violence restraining order issued in another jurisdiction prohibiting the person from possessing any firearm;
- To any person who as a juvenile was adjudicated delinquent for an offense which, if committed by an adult, would constitute a crime and the offense involved the unlawful use or possession of a weapon, explosive or destructive device, or was for murder, aggravated manslaughter or manslaughter, vehicular homicide, aggravated assault, disarming a law enforcement officer, kidnapping, aggravated sexual assault, sexual assault, robbery, carjacking aggravated arson, burglary, extortion, booby traps in manufacturing or distribution facilities, strict liability for drug induced deaths, terrorism, producing or possessing chemical weapons, biological agents or nuclear or radiological devices, racketeering, when it is a crime of the first degree, firearms trafficking, or causing or permitting a child to engage in a prohibited sexual act;
- To any person whose firearm is seized pursuant to the “Prevention of Domestic Violence Act and whose firearm has not been returned;
- To any person named on the consolidated Terrorist Watchlist maintained by the Terrorist Screening Center administered by the Federal Bureau of Investigation;
- To any person who is subject to or has violated a court order prohibiting the custody, control, ownership, purchase, possession, or receipt of a firearm or ammunition issued pursuant to the “Extreme Risk Protective Order Act of 2018”;
- To any person who is subject to or has violated a court order prohibiting the custody, control, ownership, purchase, possession, or receipt of a firearm or ammunition issued pursuant to Temporary Protection Order;
- To any person who is subject to or has violated a temporary or final restraining order issued pursuant to the “Sexual Assault Survivor Protection Act of 2015”;
- To any person who has previously been voluntarily admitted to inpatient treatment or involuntarily committed to inpatient or outpatient treatment unless the court has expunged the person’s record;
- To any person who is subject to an outstanding arrest warrant for an indictable crime in this State or for a felony, in any other state or federal jurisdiction. It does not include warrants for providing, receiving, assisting in providing or receiving, providing material support for, or traveling to obtain reproductive health care services that are permitted in New Jersey;
- To any person who is a fugitive from justice due to having fled from any state or federal jurisdiction to avoid prosecution for a crime, other than a crime to or to avoid giving testimony in any criminal proceeding. It does not include being a fugitive for providing, receiving, assisting in providing or receiving, providing material support for, or traveling to obtain reproductive health care services that are permitted in New Jersey;
What constitutes safe handling of a firearm under the Murphy Anti-Civil Rights law?
A: By July 1, 2023, the Superintendent of State Police must establish training requirements in the lawful and safe handling and storage of firearms, which shall consist of an online course of instruction, in-person classroom instruction, and target training administered by a certified firearm instructor on a firing range approved by the Superintendent and on the list of approved ranges published on the State Police website.
The training shall include, but not be limited to, demonstration of a level of proficiency in the use of a handgun in such manner as required by the superintendent and training, developed or approved in conjunction with the Police Training Commission, on justification in the use of deadly force under State law.
Note: A person who obtained an NJ Permit to Carry a Handgun prior to July 1, 2023, and such permit is not scheduled to expire until at least one year from December 22, 2022, shall comply with the new training requirements no later than October 1, 2023.
What are the training requirements under the Murphy Anti-Civil Rights law?
A: See above.
What is the liability insurance required under the Murphy Anti-Civil Rights law?
A: Every private citizen who carries a handgun in public in this State must have liability insurance coverage insuring against loss resulting from liability imposed by law for bodily injury, death, and property damage sustained by any person arising out of the ownership, maintenance, operation or use of a firearm carried in public. Such coverage shall be at least in an amount or limit of $300,000, exclusive of interest and costs, on account of injury to or death of more than one person and for damage to property, in any one incident.
Is proof of liability insurance required under the Murphy Anti-Civil Rights law?
A: Yes. Proof of the required liability insurance shall be produced by the person carrying a handgun in public, within a reasonable amount of time following any injury, death, or property damage alleged to have been caused by the person carrying the handgun in public. This requirement shall be satisfied by delivering a full and complete copy of the applicable policy or policies of insurance that meet the standards established and that were in force at the time of the injury, death, or property damage.
How is disclosure of policy information treated under the Murphy Anti-Civil Rights law?
A: Disclosure of policy information under this section shall not constitute an admission that the alleged injury, death, or property damage is subject to the policy. Information concerning the insurance policy shall not be admissible as evidence at trial by reason of disclosure. The disclosure shall be confidential and available only to the injured person, representative of the decedent, or owner of damaged property and the attorney representing the injured person, representative of the decedent, or owner of damaged property and personnel in the office of the attorney.
What is the penalty for not having the liability insurance required under the Murphy Anti-Civil Rights law?
A: It is a Crime of the Fourth Degree (Maximum 18 Months State Prison) and is complete grounds for revocation of a permit to carry a handgun.
How does one apply for a New Jersey Permit to Carry a Handgun?
A: There is a $200 application fee and shall in the first instance be submitted to the chief police officer of the municipality in which the applicant resides, or to the Superintendent if:
(1) the applicant is an employee of an armored car company;
(2) there is no chief police officer in the municipality where the applicant resides;
(3) the applicant does not reside in this State; or
(4) the applicant is a mayor or other elected member of the municipal governing body.
What occurs after applying for a New Jersey Permit to Carry a Handgun?
A: The chief police officer, or the Superintendent (hereafter “issuing authority”), shall determine whether the application is complete and, if so, shall cause the fingerprints of the applicant to be taken and compared with any and all records maintained by the municipality, the county in which it is located, the State Bureau of Identification and the Federal Bureau of Identification or; for an applicant who previously submitted fingerprints in order to apply for a Firearms Purchaser Identification Card or a Permit to Purchase a Handgun or a Permit to Carry a Handgun may solicit such other identification information as may be authorized by the superintendent for the conduct of a comparable criminal record check.
The issuing authority:
- shall determine and record a complete description of each handgun the applicant intends to carry;
- shall interview the applicant and the persons endorsing the application;
- shall investigate, whether the applicant is likely to engage in conduct that would result in harm to the applicant or others, including, but not limited to, whether the applicant has any history of threats or acts of violence by the applicant directed toward self or others or any history of use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force by the applicant against another person, or other incidents including but not limited to determining whether the applicant has been subject to any recent arrests or criminal charges for disqualifying crimes or has been experiencing any mental health issues such as suicidal ideation or violent impulses, and the applicant’s use of drugs or alcohol; and
- may require such other information from the applicant or any other person, including but not limited to publicly available statements posted or published online by the applicant, as the chief police officer or superintendent deems reasonably necessary to conduct the review of the application.
- shall not approve an application unless the applicant demonstrates that he or she is not subject to any of the disabilities set forth in subsection c. of N.J.S.2C:58-3, is thoroughly familiar with the safe handling and use of handguns, including providing proof of completion of any required training or proficiency requirements, and that the applicant is in compliance with the liabilityinsurance requirement.
What occurs once the application for a New Jersey Permit to Carry a Handgun is deemed complete?
A: Once the application is deemed complete by the issuing authority , if it is not approved or denied by issuing authority within 90 days of filing, it shall be deemed to have been approved ; provided, however, the issuing authority may, for good cause shown and upon written notification to the applicant, extend by up to an additional 30 days the time period for which the application may be approved or denied. The written notification sent to the applicant shall provide a detailed explanation of the reasons for the extension. An applicant also may agree in writing to an additional extension of time past the 120-day statutory time frame.
An issuing authority may delegate to subordinate officers or employees of the law enforcement agency the responsibilities established under the law.
How is a New Jersey Permit to Carry a Handgun issued?
A: If the application has been approved by the issuing authority, the issuing authority shall issue the permit to the applicant in the form prescribed by the Superintendent.
After July 1, 2023, the permit shall be issued to the applicant electronically through electronic mail or through the web portal established or designated for this purpose by the Superintendent, or in such form or manner as may be authorized by the Superintendent.
What about applications that were filed prior to December 22, 2022, for a New Jersey Permit to Carry a Handgun issued?
A: Application determinations for a permit to carry a handgun that were pending before the Superior Court and filed prior to December 22, 2022, shall be made by the Court. A Judge of the Superior Court may rely on the approval by the issuing authority, as the basis for issuing the permit.
Application determinations for a permit to carry a handgun that are submitted on or after December 22, 2022, shall be made by issuing authority pursuant to the new law.
What may a person do if he/she has been denied a New Jersey Permit to Carry a Handgun?
A: Under N.J.S. 2C:58-4e., an applicant who is denied a permit to carry a handgun shall be provided with a written statement of the reasons for the denial by the issuing authority. Any applicant denied may request a hearing in the Superior Court of the county in which the applicant resides or in any county in which the applicant intends to carry a handgun, in the case of a nonresident, by filing a written request for a hearing within 30 days of the denial. Copies of the request shall be served upon the Superintendent, the county prosecutor, and the chief police officer of the municipality where the applicant resides, if the applicant is a resident of this State. The hearing shall be held within 60 days of the filing of the request, and no formal pleading or filing fee shall be required. Appeals from the determination at the hearing shall be in accordance with law and the rules governing the courts of this State.
What is the scope and duration of a New Jersey Permit to Carry a Handgun under the Murphy Anti-Civil Rights law?
A: All permits to carry handguns shall expire two (2) years from the date of issuance or, in the case of an employee of an armored car company, upon termination of the employee’s employment.
One permit shall be sufficient for all handguns owned by the holder thereof, but the permit shall apply only to a handgun carried by the actual and legal holder of the permit and shall not be construed to authorize a holder to carry a handgun openly, provided that a brief, incidental exposure of a handgun while transferring it to or from a holster or due to the shifting of the person’s body position or clothing shall be deemed a de minimis infraction.
Any person who holds a valid permit to carry a handgun shall be authorized to carry a handgun in a holster concealed on their person in all parts of this State, except where prohibited.
Note: “Holster” means a device or sheath that securely retains a handgun which, at a minimum, conceals and protects the main body of the firearm, maintains the firearm in a consistent and accessible position, and renders the trigger covered and inaccessible while the handgun is fully seated in the holster.
What are the prohibited places for carrying a firearm under the Murphy Anti-Civil Rights law?
A: Here are the places where the carrying of a firearm is prohibited:
Except as otherwise provided and in the case of a brief, incidental entry onto property, which shall be deemed a de minimis infraction it shall be a crime of the third degree for any person, other than a person lawfully carrying a firearm within the authorized scope of an exemption set forth in N.J.S.2C:39-6, to knowingly carry a firearm in any of the following places, including in or upon any part of the buildings, grounds, or parking area of:
(1) a place owned, leased, or under the control of State, county or municipal government used for the purpose of government administration, including but not limited to police stations;
(2) a courthouse, courtroom, or any other premises used to conduct judicial or court administrative proceedings or functions;
(3) a State, county, or municipal correctional or juvenile justice facility, jail and any other place maintained by or for a governmental entity for the detention of criminal suspects or offenders;
(4) a State-contracted half-way house;
(5) a location being used as a polling place during the conduct of an election and places used for the storage or tabulation of ballots;
(6) within 100 feet of a place where a public gathering, demonstration or event is held for which a government permit is required, during the conduct of such gathering, demonstration or event;
(7) a school, college, university or other educational institution, and on any school bus;
(8) a child care facility, including a day care center;
(9) a nursery school, pre-school, zoo, or summer camp;
(10) a park, beach, recreation facility or area or playground owned or controlled by a State, county or local government unit, or any part of such a place, which is designated as a gun free zone by the governing authority based on considerations of public safety;
(11) youth sports events, during and immediately preceding and following the conduct of the event, except that this provision shall not apply to participants of a youth sports event which is a firearm shooting competition;
(12) a publicly owned or leased library or museum;
(13) a shelter for the homeless, emergency shelter for the homeless, basic center shelter program, shelter for homeless or runaway youth, children’s shelter, child care shelter, shelter for victims of domestic violence, or any shelter licensed by or under the control of the Juvenile Justice Commission or the Department of Children and Families;
(14) a community residence for persons with developmental disabilities, head injuries, or terminal illnesses, or any other residential setting licensed by the Department of Human Services or Department of Health;
(15) a bar or restaurant where alcohol is served, and any other site or facility where alcohol is sold for consumption on the premises;
(16) a Class 5 Cannabis retailer or medical cannabis dispensary, including any consumption areas licensed or permitted by the Cannabis Regulatory Commission;
(17) a privately or publicly owned and operated entertainment facility within this State, including but not limited to a theater, stadium, museum, arena, racetrack or other place where performances, concerts, exhibits, games or contests are held;
(18) a casino and related facilities, including but not limited to appurtenant hotels, retail premises, restaurant and bar facilities, and entertainment and recreational venues located within the casino property;
(19) a plant or operation that produces, converts, distributes or stores energy or converts one form of energy to another;
(20) an airport or public transportation hub;
(21) a health care facility, including but not limited to a general hospital, special hospital, psychiatric hospital, public health center, diagnostic center, treatment center, rehabilitation center, extended care facility, skilled nursing home, nursing home, intermediate care facility, tuberculosis hospital, chronic disease hospital, maternity hospital, outpatient clinic, dispensary, assisted living center, home health care agency, residential treatment facility, residential health care facility, medical office, or ambulatory care facility;
(22) a facility licensed or regulated by the Department of Human Services, Department of Children and Families, or Department of Health, other than a health care facility, that provides addiction or mental health treatment or support services;
(23) a public location being used for making motion picture or television images for theatrical, commercial or educational purposes, during the time such location is being used for that purpose;
(24) private property, including but not limited to residential, commercial, industrial, agricultural, institutional or undeveloped property, unless the owner has provided express consent or has posted a sign indicating that it is permissible to carry on the premises a concealed handgun with a valid and lawfully issued permit under N.J.S.2C:58-4, provided that nothing in this paragraph shall be construed to affect the authority to keep or carry a firearm established under subsection e. of N.J.S.2C:39-6; and
(25) any other place in which the carrying of a firearm is prohibited by statute or rule or regulation promulgated by a federal or State agency.
What about transporting a firearm in a vehicle with a New Jersey Permit to Carry a Handgun under the Murphy Anti-Civil Rights law?
A: A person, other than a person lawfully carrying a firearm within the authorized scope of an exemption set forth in subsection a., c., or l. of N.J.S.2C:39-6, who is otherwise authorized under the law to carry or transport a firearm shall not do so while in a vehicle in New Jersey, unless the handgun is unloaded and contained in a closed and securely fastened case, gunbox, or locked unloaded in the trunk of the vehicle.
A holder of a valid and lawfully issued permit to carry a handgun shall not leave a handgun outside of their immediate possession or control within a parked vehicle, unless the handgun is unloaded and contained in a closed and securely fastened case, or gunbox, and is not visible from outside of the vehicle, or is locked unloaded in the trunk or storage area of the vehicle.
The holder of a valid permit to carry under N.J.S.2C:58-4 who is otherwise prohibited from carrying a concealed firearm into the parking area of a prohibited location shall be permitted to:
(1) transport a concealed handgun or ammunition within a vehicle into or out of the parking area, provided that the handgun is unloaded and contained in a closed and securely fastened case, gunbox, or locked unloaded in the trunk or storage area of the vehicle;
(2) store a handgun or ammunition within a locked lock box and out of plain view within the vehicle in the parking area;
(3) transport a concealed handgun in the immediate area surrounding their vehicle within a prohibited parking lot area only for the limited purpose of storing or retrieving the handgun within a locked lock box in the vehicle’s trunk or other place inside the vehicle that is out of plain view; and
(4) transport a concealed handgun between a vehicle parked within a prohibited parking lot area and a place other than a prohibited place enumerated in subsection a. of this section, provided that the person immediately leaves the parking lot area and does not enter into or on the grounds of the prohibited place with the handgun.
The holder of a valid permit to carry shall not be in violation of this section while the holder is traveling along a public right-of-way that touches or crosses any of the prohibited places if the concealed handgun is carried on their person in accordance with the provisions of this act or is being transported in a vehicle by the permit holder in accordance with all other applicable provisions of law.
Nothing in this law shall be construed to prohibit the holder of a carry permit who is lawfully authorized to provide security at a place enumerated in subsection a. of this section from carrying a firearm, openly or concealed, provided that the authorization is set forth in writing, and only to the extent permitted by the entity responsible for security at the place in question.
Unless otherwise required or prohibited by law, the owner or entity in control of any prohibited place or owner or entity responsible for providing security may allow or prohibit retired law enforcement officers who are authorized to possess and carry a handgun pursuant to subsection l. of N.J.S.2C:39-6 or qualified retired law enforcement officers within the meaning of the federal “Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act of 2004,” to carry a concealed handgun on the premises of such place.
An employee of an armored car company who holds a valid permit to carry and who is contractually authorized to provide services for a client at a prohibited place may openly carry a firearm in the regular course of employment.
Nothing in this section shall prohibit the carrying or transporting of a firearm in accordance with subsections e. and f. of N.J.S.2C:39-6 or where it is otherwise expressly authorized by law.
What are the new “Safe carry” requirements for holders of a New Jersey Permit to Carry a Handgun under the Murphy Anti-Civil Rights law?
A: Safe carry requires that the holder of a permit to carry a handgun shall not:
(1) use or consume alcohol, a cannabis item, or a controlled substance while carrying a handgun;
(2) be under the influence of alcohol, cannabis, or a controlled substance while carrying a handgun;
(3) carry a handgun in public outside of a holster or carry a handgun in public in a holster that does not meet the requirements of subsection h. of N.J.S.2C:58-4;
(4) carry more than two firearms under the permittee’s control at one time; or
(5) engage in an unjustified display of a handgun.
A violation of “Safe carry”: a crime of the Fourth Degree (Maximum 18 months State Prison), and sufficient grounds for revocation of a permit to carry a handgun.
Is there “duty to disclose” for holders of a New Jersey Permit to Carry a Handgun under the Murphy Anti-Civil Rights law?
A: Yes. The holder of a permit to carry a handgun if stopped or detained by a law enforcement officer while carrying a handgun in public or traveling with a handgun in a motor vehicle, shall:
(1) immediately disclose to the law enforcement officer that they are carrying a handgun or that a handgun is stored in the vehicle; and
(2) display the permit to carry a handgun.
A violation of paragraph (1) of this section shall be a crime of the Fourth Degree (Maximum 18 months State Prison.) A person who violates paragraph (2) of this subsection shall be guilty of a disorderly persons offense (Maximum 6 months County Jail) for a first offense and subject to a $100 fine and a crime of the fourth degree for a second or subsequent offense.
A holder of a permit to carry a handgun who is carrying a handgun in public and is detained by a law enforcement officer as part of a criminal investigation shall provide the handgun to the law enforcement officer upon request for purposes of inspecting the handgun. The provisions of this subsection shall not be construed to affect or otherwise limit the authority of a law enforcement officer to conduct a lawful search or seizure. A violation of this subsection shall be a crime of the Fourth Degree (Maximum 18 months State Prison). For help with how to get your New Jersey carry permit Contact Attorney Nappen.
Copyright © Evan F. Nappen 2022 www.evannappen.com.