Reasons Your New Jersey Gun Rights Have Been Taken Away
New Jersey law prohibits certain individuals from possessing firearms under New Jersey State law. The things your New Jersey Gun Rights can be taken away for are not the same as those listed in the federal Gun Control Act. If you fall into any of the following categories, you may not own or possess a firearm under New Jersey State law:
- Being convicted of aggravated assault, arson, burglary, escape, extortion, homicide, kidnapping, robbery, aggravated sexual assault, sexual assault, bias intimidation, carjacking, gang criminality, racketeering, terroristic threats, unlawful possession of a machine gun, unlawful possession of a handgun, unlawful possession of an assault firearm, leading a firearms trafficking network, endangering the welfare of a child, stalking, domestic violence, or certain weapons-related offenses.
- If you have been committed to a mental hospital or hospital for psychiatric reasons, unless you have a certificate from a doctor saying you are no longer suffering from the condition.
- Convictions for the use, possession, or sale of controlled substances that are not low-level convictions (i.e., disorderly persons offenses or petty disorderly person offenses).
- Convictions for domestic violence.
- If you have a restraining or protective order against you that is currently active.
If you fit into any of the above categories, you may not have a gun under New Jersey State law. Thankfully, a New Jersey expungement will often restore your New Jersey gun rights under state law.
Federal Law and the Gun Control Act
New Jersey State law and federal law overlap in who they prohibit from owning firearms, but they do differ. We’re focusing on New Jersey in this article. The two most important groups of prohibited persons under the federal Gun Control Act include:
- Those convicted of a felony under state or federal law.
- Persons convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence.
It is important to emphasize that you must be able to legally own a firearm under both federal and state law to legally own a firearm in New Jersey. In most cases, an expungement under New Jersey State law will restore both your state and federal right to own a gun. However, the way that federal and state firearm laws work together can be very complicated. Due to the serious criminal consequences of illegal firearm ownership, it is advisable to consult with an experienced attorney when restoring your New Jersey gun rights.
Expungements Can Restore New Jersey Gun Rights
To purchase a gun in New Jersey you need either a Permit to Purchase a Handgun or a Firearms Purchaser Identification Card. Both of these can be obtained from local law enforcement or the New Jersey State Police.
The New Jersey firearm application allows expunged records to be omitted from being disclosed. However, under federal law, those convicted of domestic violence will still be barred from gun ownership. Even if you expunge the offense under New Jersey law, it would not clear you federally.
For all other expungements in New Jersey, it would no longer be necessary to disclose such convictions on a firearm application. The application also ask whether one is dependent upon the use of drugs or alcohol. It also requires applicants to disclose whether they have ever had a firearms license refused or revoked in New Jersey or any other state. In this case, individuals who have applied, been denied, and then received an expungement must explain that on the application.
If you can’t expunge each of the convictions that are restricting your firearm rights, your only available option for relief would be a pardon from the Governor. While this may be an option for some, it should be noted that New Jersey has traditionally issued very few pardons and hence, our firm does not typically offer this as a service. You can always download the forms for Executive Clemency (also known as a Governor’s Pardon), follow the instructions.
Related content: How to Restore Your Firearm Rights in New Jersey
Navigating firearm laws in New Jersey can be a difficult task, especially with a past conviction on your record. The good news is that expungements are available to those that wish to remedy past mistakes. Furthermore, it’s possible that there will soon be a trend toward looser gun laws for the State. In a recent move New Jersey Attorney General, Christopher Porrino, admitted that his state’s stun gun band is a violation of the Second Amendment.