Denied a Gun Permit in Monmouth County
It is well known by now that New Jersey has some of the toughest gun laws in the Country. So it should be no surprise to hear that they also make it extremely difficult for their residents, especially when compared to other states, to lawfully obtain a firearm. In New Jersey, to lawfully purchase and subsequently possess a firearm, an individual must first obtain a valid Firearms Purchase Identification Card. All firearms identification cards will be issued through the individuals local police department. The decision to grant or deny an individual’s application will be entirely up to the chief of police of that municipality. As one would imagine, these applications, especially in this day and age, are carefully scrutinized. If the chief of police seeks to deny an individual their firearms identification card or a permit to purchase a handgun, that individual than has the right appeal that decision to the Superior Court. If you or a loved one has been denied a firearms purchasers identification card in Monmouth County, in towns like Freehold, Holmdel, Middletown, Millstone, Hazlet, Atlantic Highlands, Wall Township, Ocean Township, Colts Neck or Aberdeen we can help. If you would like to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your options, please contact our Middletown office at 732.858.6959. Now here is some information on firearm purchaser identification card denials.
How Do I get a Firearms Identification Card in NJ?
As previously stated, in order to obtain a firearms purchasers identification card, the applicant must first make application through the chief of police in their town. Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:58-3f, the chief of police must grant a permit or an identification card unless good cause for the denial thereof appears. When it comes to defining “Good Cause”, the chief of police will generally guided by N.J.S.A. 2C:58-3(c), which lists eight factors for them to considering when determining if the applicant should be granted a firearms Id card. N.J.S.A. 2C:58-3(c) states in pertinent part that … “No handgun purchase permit or firearms purchaser identification card shall be issued:
- To any person who has been convicted of any crime, or a disorderly persons offense involving an act of domestic violence … whether or not armed with or possessing a weapon at the time of such offense;
- To any drug dependent person.., to any person who is confined for a mental disorder to a hospital, mental institution or sanitarium, or to any person who is presently an habitual drunkard;
- To any person who suffers from a physical defect or disease which would make it unsafe for him to handle firearms, to any person who has ever been confined for a mental disorder, or to any alcoholic unless any of the foregoing persons produces a certificate of a medical doctor or psychiatrist licensed in New Jersey, or other satisfactory proof, that he is no longer suffering from that particular disability in such a manner that would interfere with or handicap him 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;
- To any person who is subject to a restraining order issued pursuant to the “Prevention of Domestic Violence Act of 1991,” … 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
- To any person whose firearm is seized pursuant to the “Prevention of Domestic Violence Act of 1991,” … and whose firearm has not been returned.
One of the most common reasonings that we see being cited too in deny a firearm identification cards is “the issuance would not be in the interest of the public health, safety or welfare”. This is obviously extremely broad and as a result, it can lead to clear errors in judgement by Chief of Polices. Fortunately, any applicant denied their firearms purchasers identification card or a permit to purchase a handgun will have an ability to appeal that decision if they so choose.
Can I Appeal a Denial of a Firearms Identification Card?
Yes. The initial application process is relatively informal. The Chief of police is not required to hold a trial type of hearing when vetting out firearms purchaser identification cards applications. However, they should give the applicant the opportunity to discuss the matter with them and the applicant should be informed of the specific reasons behind the denial. Once the denial is formally given, the applicant then has the right to appeal the chief of police’s decision to the Superior Court. On appeal, the Judge will conduct a hearing de novo, which would require the introduction of relevant and material testimony regarding not only the application but the denial as well. This will allow for the Judge to make an independent judgement of the testimony presented by the applicant and the chief of police. Both parties will be subject to cross examination on their testimony as well. The burden will rest on the Chief of Police to establish by a preponderance of the evidence that good cause existed for the denial. It is important to note here that this is a formal hearing and the rules of evidence are applicable but they can be relaxed in certain situations.
Looking to Appeal Denial of a Gun Permit in Monmouth County
An individuals right to bear arms is something that our office takes very seriously. Based on the current climate of society we are finding all too often applicants applications are being denied on flawed reasonings. If you have made application for a firearms purchasers identification card or for a permit for a handgun and have been denied, the Keith Oliver Criminal Law can help. We serve all of Monmouth County, including towns like Hazlet, Belmar, Highlands, Long Branch, Matawan, Manalapan, Red Bank, Rumson and Middletown. If you would like to come into our office and have a discussion with one of our Monmouth County gun lawyers, then please contact our office at 732.858.6959 or you can try contacting us online.