Carrying a firearm for self-defense comes with a lot of responsibility. Knowing the laws where you carry is just one important task you must undertake as an armed American. To help with that, we will be providing you with a summary of basic carry laws for several states. Learn about the most important things to know when carrying in New Jersey, the Garden State, below.

Permitting in New Jersey

Open carry is not addressed in New Jersey state law, although a New Jersey Permit to Carry a Handgun (PCH) is required to carry a firearm in the state. Concealed carry is only legal with a PCH. New Jersey is one of just nine may-issue states in the U.S. Therefore, law enforcement has discretion in determining whether or not to issue a concealed weapons permit to an applicant. An applicant in New Jersey must demonstrate urgent necessity based on a special danger to his or her life and must first obtain the approval of the local police chief. An applicant must then present his or her application to a superior court judge in order to obtain a PCH. PCHs are issued to residents and non-residents. A firearms training course is required for new applicants, who must be at least 21 years old. In terms of reciprocity, New Jersey does not honor permits from any other states.

A Firearms Purchaser Identification (FPID) card and a National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) check conducted through a federally licensed firearms dealer are required to buy a handgun. At least seven days must elapse from the date of application for the FPID to the purchase. Firearms registration is voluntary, but since handgun purchase permit records are maintained by the New Jersey State Police Firearms Investigation Unit, there is de facto mandatory handgun registration for handguns purchased in-state. There is a magazine-capacity limit of no more than 10 rounds for handguns.

You must have an FPID, a permit to purchase a handgun or a PCH in order to buy handgun ammunition. The minimum age to purchase or possess handgun ammunition is 21 years old. In addition, hollow-point and armor-piercing ammunition is prohibited.

Stun guns and Tasers are legal to purchase and possess without a permit. The minimum age is 18 years old. The possession of one pocket-sized self-defense spray device by a person who is not a felon and who is at least 18 years old is also allowed.

Where Can One Carry in New Jersey?

New Jersey PCH holders must have an approved legal purpose in order to carry a concealed handgun in a vehicle. Without a New Jersey PCH, all firearms must be transported in a securely fastened case, unloaded and separate from the ammunition.

Locations where a person with a New Jersey PCH can carry a concealed handgun include:

  • Restaurants that serve alcohol (unless posted)

Locations where carry is prohibited, even for New Jersey PCH permit holders, include:

  • Schools, colleges, universities or other educational institutions
  • Casinos
  • State parks
  • Wildlife Management Areas, state forests and national forests
  • Statue Cruises ferry to Ellis Island & Liberty Island, and the Statue of Liberty National Monument
  • Any place where the carrying of firearms is prohibited by federal law or state law or regulation

Visit the USCCA New Jersey gun laws page now…