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Gun And Weapon Offenses In New Jersey


Are You Allowed To Have A Loaded Gun In Your Car?

No – even if the law allows you to own a gun in the state of New Jersey, you can never have a loaded gun in your vehicle. The gun must be in a secure box in the trunk, separate from any ammunition.

Penalties For Firearms Offense Charges In New Jersey

If you are arrested for a firearms (gun) charge in New Jersey, you are facing some of the most serious gun laws in the country. Recently, New Jersey has made significant changes in their gun laws by creating stiffer penalties for the charge of unlawful possession of a firearm. The charge has been elevated from a third-degree crime to a second-degree crime, so for any firearms possession charge, you are facing a presumption of incarceration for maximum five years, depending on the circumstances – even if you are in possession of an airsoft gun.

Further, unlike some other indictable offenses, the Graves Act (N.J.S.A. 2C:43-6) requires mandatory periods of lengthy incarceration and parole ineligibility upon conviction of a firearms charge, even for someone who has no criminal history. An experienced criminal defense attorney can request the State, also known as the Prosecutor, apply to the Attorney General’s Office for a Graves Act Waiver, which allows the State to offer lower terms of incarceration and parole ineligibility from the mandatory requirements.

Mandatory Three Years’ Incarceration For Firearms Possession In NJ

It is important to understand that, because of the Graves Act, the length of incarceration and parole ineligibility may vary. This means that the State and the Judge cannot use their discretion to set the sentence for someone convicted of a weapons charge.

Are There Any Defenses To A Gun Charge?

Yes, there are defenses against a weapons violation charge. A possession offense can be straightforward for a Prosecutor to prove, an experienced attorney will be prepared to find the holes in their evidence. Most often, the defense to firearms possession case will come in the form of a Motion to Suppress Evidence based on the unconstitutionality of the stop or search.

Being Unaware Of The Law Is Not Considered A Defense

There have been many occasions where a person has legally purchased a gun with a valid permit; however, they are completely unaware that they have illegally possessed their gun by transporting it in a glove compartment while loaded, rather than correctly stored unloaded in a locked box in the truck, with the ammunition stored separately. When possessing a firearm, there is no room for mistakes or misunderstandings of the law, because someone who lawfully purchased a firearm but transported unlawfully is subject to the same stringent penalties as someone who has illegally purchased a firearm.

What Weapons Are Considered Illegal In NJ?

New Jersey has taken action to criminalize the possession of most items that have no purpose other than to cause physical harm. These items range from simple brass knuckles to the possession of hollow-point bullets and can include stun guns, most knives, and even slingshots.

What To Do If You Have Been Charged With Possession Of A Firearm Or Weapon?

Any person charged with a firearms or weapons offense should consult with a qualified and experienced attorney immediately, as penalties are severe.

For more information on Gun & Weapons Offenses in New Jersey, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (908) 210-9755 today.

The Law Offices of James A. Abate LLC

Get your questions answered – call me for your free, 20 min phone consultation (908) 210-9755