By Evan F. Nappen, Attorney at Law
A new and much more difficult level of shooting proficiency is now required for citizens in New Jersey who wish a obtain a Permit to Carry a Handgun or continue to keep their Permit to Carry a Handgun. The new requirements demand timed firing from concealed holsters. Kneeling position shooting and accurately shooting at 25 yards are also incorporated into the course. It is hard to envision citizen self-defense scenarios justifying the use of deadly force at 25 yards! There are no exceptions for physically handicapped people. The new requirements are basically the same requirements utilized for retired police officers to get their New Jersey RPO handgun carry card. This means that any citizen who wishes to exercise their Second Amendment rights must now have the same skill level of proficiency as a veteran law enforcement officer who has trained and qualified with firearms for years!
If a person wants a Drivers License, should they be required to qualify as a NASCAR Racer before receiving it? Yet, driving is not a Constitutional right, but carrying a gun is one. Harsh requirements are not permitted for the exercise of Constitutional rights. New Jersey is using a variation out of the racist playbook of Southern Democrats who tried to stop Blacks from voting by demanding poll taxes and literacy tests. The anti-Constitutional rights NJ Democrats have done the same thing here for the exercise of Second Amendment rights by all citizens with the passage of the Murphy “Carry Killer” Anti-Civil Rights law.
By July 1, 2023, the Superintendent of State Police was required to establish training requirements for the lawful and safe handling and storage of firearms consisting of (1) an online course, (2) in-person classroom instruction, and (3) target training by a certified firearm instructor at approved ranges published on the State Police website.
The Superintendent of State Police failed to do this by July 1, 2023. Instead, on July 17, 2023, the Superintendent issued “Use of Force Interim Training For Private Citizens Concealed Carry” (https://nj.gov/njsp/firearms/pdf/PTC_use_of_force_and_Qual.pdf ).
The State Police also issued an online “Firearms Identification Card Safety & Awareness Interim Training”. Even though this online presentation is supposed to be for Carry Permits, the State Police apparently didn’t bother to proofread their online presentation and titled it for “Firearms Identification Card”. It is an indication of just how rushed and poorly executed this was in their attempt to comply with the law.
The required level of proficiency to pass the training requirements are as follows: qualification on a course of fire substantially similar to HQC2 (modified) included in the Private Citizen Concealed Carry Use of Force Training manual, utilizing a minimum of 50 rounds and receiving a minimum score of 80%. This is confirmed by the State Police “New Jersey Permit To Carry Safe Handling And Proficiency In The Use Of Handguns Certification” which may be viewed here:
This is the form that must be completed by October 1, 2023, for current Permit to Carry a Handgun holders and all for new applications.
The course of fire (HQC2 (modified) and Use of Force Training manual is found here:
Under N.J.S. 2C:58-4a., one permit is sufficient for all handguns owned by the permit holder. In the past with Judge issued permits, many Judges wrongfully limited permits to specific guns the permit holder could carry. Now that injustice has been addressed. To carry any handgun a permit holder owns, a person now simply submits the following form to the issuing authority (Chief or Superintendent) listing the guns intended to be carried. Here is the link to the form:
Most people who already have been issued a Permit to Carry a Handgun WILL HAVE TO REQUALIFY BY OCTOBER 1, 2023.
A person who obtained a NJ Permit to Carry a Handgun and whose permit does not expire before December 22, 2023, (typically, those whose permit was issued after December 22, 2021) shall comply with the new training requirements no later than October 1, 2023.
However, this does not apply to a person who obtained a NJ Permit to Carry a Handgun after July 1, 2023, except upon renewal of such permit. The person will have to meet the new training requirements, if it was previously not done. New applicants, of course, must meet the new training requirements.
For most people whose permit was issued before 12/22/21, their period is 2 years, which means it will expire before 12/22/23. This means they do not have to comply before October 1, 2023, but will have to comply for their renewal. NJ Permit to Carry a Handgun applications that were submitted before 12/22/22, were all judge-issued (unless remanded back the Chief or Superintendent for issuance), and on rare occasion, a judge may have forced someone’s permit to expire sooner or renew sooner… typically where someone is infirmed or older.
Please note that there has been rampant misinformation on this subject alleging that Permits to Carry a Handgun granted before December 22, 2022, are universally exempt. This is inaccurate.
For more information listen to Gun Lawyer Radio Episode #143-PTC Training Requirement Update which discusses this topic in detail. https://gun.lawyer/episode-143-ptc-training-requirement-update/ .