New Jersey has passed some strict gun laws that citizens must follow or be prosecuted. The penalties for incurring a NJ weapons offense can be substantial and not a mere slap on the wrist. It is so very important to get a criminal defense attorney that handles gun charges and is familiar with current New Jersey gun laws and statutes. Not retaining a lawyer could mean severe penalties that often include serious jail time and ongoing probation afterwards.
History of New Jersey’s Strict Gun Laws & Common Gun Related Charges
New Jersey is known for its extensive and strict gun laws and related criminal charges. These weapons laws are designed to monitor and regulate the possession, sale and usage of guns and weapons along with use and sale of gun ammunition. This has resulted in a bevy of weapons charges that do change as the political climate and concerns over gun rights versus gun safety laws change.
Common gun/weapon charges in New Jersey include:
- Possession of an illegal weapon
- Possession of a weapon that a felon or another is not currently permitted to own or have
- Possession of a weapon or gun by a juvenile
- Possession of any imitation types of guns/weapons – paintball, airsoft guns & BB guns
- Possession of a gun/weapon without the proper license or weapons permit
- Possession of a firearm for an unlawful purpose
- Possession of a gun on school property
- Possession of a gun/weapon during the commission of a crime
- Possession of a gun/weapon during a robbery etc.
It is important to note that almost all of the possible gun charges in the state of New Jersey will require a mandatory prison sentence.
Possession of a Firearm Without the Proper/Valid Permit in NJ
Getting caught while being in possession of a firearm without having the proper or valid permit in NJ is by far the most common gun/weapon criminal offense that a citizen of New Jersey is likely to find themselves facing. New Jersey law considers this offense a second-degree criminal offense. If the accused is convicted, they could face a sentence that carries a minimum of five years inside of a federal prison. Again, if convicted, the defendant wouldn’t even be eligible for parole for three years.
The strict gun laws on the books in New Jersey certainly makes it almost impossible to obtain the necessary legal permit required before carrying even a handgun in public or outside the permit holder’s home. It should be clear that New Jersey residents should be diligent about ensuring that their guns and weapons that they possess have the required permits that are up to date.
There are regulations about safe storage of any weapon or gun, and laws that govern the sale and use of both a gun/weapon and the ammunition that is needed to operate these weapons.
What Are Some of the Possible Defenses of Gun Charges?
Just like anywhere else in the country, there are going to be some commonly used possible defenses when someone finds themselves charged with a weapon related criminal offense.
These common gun charge potential defenses include:
- Case of mistaken identity
- Having an alibi at the time of the offense
- Absent, improper or otherwise inadequate Miranda warnings by authorities
- Improper questioning by police or other investigators
- Illegal search & seizure of a weapon/ammunition
There are other potential gun related defenses that could be legally pursued. Anyone accused or charged of any gun related crime should immediately contact an experienced NJ weapons defense lawyer to discuss the specifics of their case.
The Possibility of Being Charged With a Federal Gun Charge
There are a number of federal gun laws that are found in federal statutes at any given time. These laws are designed to regulate the manufacture, sale, possession, record-keeping, transfer of weapons for firearms, ammunition and any gun/weapon related accessory use. All gun and weapon related crimes are covered under the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution.
There is also the Federal Firearms Act of the year 1938 that requires all gun manufacturers and others who sell those firearms to have a current and valid federal firearms licenses under the current laws.
The Gun Control Act of 1968 prohibits certain firearms and gun transfers or transports that cross state lines or International boundaries outside of those manufacturers, gun dealers or traders that do carry up-to-date valid federal gun related licenses.
Any resident of New Jersey charged with a gun offense should seek legal counsel from a qualified NJ weapons offense lawyer immediately.