What Disqualifies You from Owning a Gun in NJ?

In New Jersey, you need a permit to purchase and possess a firearm. Because New Jersey has some of the most restrictive firearms laws in the United States, you should know whether you might be disqualified from owning a gun before preparing an application.

Contact the legal team at Keith Oliver Criminal Law for more information on state laws that disqualify someone from possessing or purchasing a firearm or ammunition in New Jersey — and what you can do if you are denied a license or permit.

Disqualifications for a Gun Permit or License in New Jersey

Under New Jersey law, the circumstances that prohibit someone from obtaining an NJ gun license or permit can include:

  • Age – A person must be 18 or older to obtain a firearms purchaser ID authorizing them to buy rifles and shotguns. They must be at least 21 for a permit to purchase a handgun.
  • Criminal conviction – The law prohibits people convicted of certain felonies from possessing firearms and ammunition, whether the offense occurred in New Jersey or another state. Disqualifying crimes include aggravated assault, robbery, sexual crimes, weapons trafficking, and racketeering.
  • Convictions related to domestic violence – Those convicted of a disorderly persons offense related to domestic violence or other domestic violence charges are not permitted to own a firearm.
  • Controlled dangerous substance convictions – Those convicted of unlawfully possessing, using, or selling controlled substances are not able to purchase or own a weapon. There is an exception for those convicted of some lesser offenses, including simple marijuana possession under 50 grams or possession of drug paraphernalia.
  • Physical limitation or disability – A person who cannot safely use a firearm due to a physical restriction may not be able to obtain a New Jersey firearms license. In certain cases, credible medical evidence from a licensed physician can overcome this disqualification.
  • Substance dependency or mental health issues – Someone previously hospitalized for a psychiatric condition or mandatory inpatient treatment at a mental health facility may be disqualified from owning a weapon unless their doctor certifies they have fully recovered.
  • Restraining orders – If someone has an active restraining order against them, they cannot possess a firearm.

Misstatements or Frauds Contained in an Application

It is a crime to knowingly misstate or submit fraudulent information when applying for a gun permit in New Jersey. When preparing a weapons permit application, do not:

  • Use someone else’s identity or a fictitious identity
  • Leave out any previous criminal convictions, no matter how serious
  • Misstate history with alcohol or drugs
  • Neglect to declare physical or mental health conditions that would be disqualifying

You do not have to declare criminal charges on your application if your criminal record was sealed or expunged, as well as petty disorderly persons offenses.

Contact Keith Oliver Criminal Law to Handle Your NJ Firearms License Case

The weapon charges attorneys at Keith Oliver Criminal Law are well-versed in New Jersey’s weapons laws and can answer your questions about who is eligible to purchase and use a firearm in the state. If a previous conviction would disqualify you from owning a gun, we may be able to help you pursue expungement of your criminal record. Contact our office for a free consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney.

Keith Oliver

Founding partner Keith G. Oliver has a passion for helping people who are caught up in the criminal justice system. He believes that everyone has a right to be presumed innocent, and that one mistake shouldn’t define a person forever. This passion drives Mr. Oliver to tirelessly fight for his clients and pursue the best possible outcome in every case.