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New Jersey Gun Laws

Like many states in the northeast region, New Jersey has very strict gun laws. Although the state generally accepts its citizens’ 2nd Amendment rights, there are many restrictions and regulations in place that make gun ownership difficult. New Jersey requires purchaser licensing and Universal Background Checks, while also strictly regulating certain types of hardware and ammunition. As a “may issue” state, obtaining a concealed carry permit in the state can be very difficult. Because of these restrictive laws, New Jersey is not a particularly gun-friendly state.

New Jersey Gun Laws at a Glance


Concealed Carry Premit Required Yes
Open Carry Premitted Yes
Waiting period before purchasing Yes
Lost and Stolen Firearm Reporting Yes
Firearms License Required for Purchasing Yes
Universal Background Check Yes
Firearm Registration No
Large Capacity Magazine Ban Yes

Firearm License Requirements


An individual must obtain a Firearms Purchaser Identification Card to buy a gun in New Jersey. The application for this ID card, known as the STS-033 form, is available at a local police station or at the business of a registered firearms dealer. Those who wish to purchase a handgun will need to apply for a Handgun Purchasing Permit, which can also be done using the STS-033 form. Applicants must submit two copies of the completed form, and should obtain a third copy for their personal records.

Along with the STS-033 form, an applicant must:

  • Submit a copy of his or her social security card and a copy of a government-issued ID, such as a driver's license or passport. The originals must be brought to the local police station for copies to be made.
  • Pay any applicable fees, including those for a background check, ID card, and fingerprinting.
  • Give their consent to be fingerprinted.
  • Submit the Consent for Mental Health Search, or form SP-66, which gives the state permission to conduct a mental health background check. Two copies of this form must be submitted.
  • New Jersey requires that the police station give Firearms Purchaser ID card applicants a response within 30 days. According to state law, qualified applicants should be approved without discretion. However, some authorities are known to require applicants to justify the need for owning a firearm before issuing permits. Individuals who are denied a permit have the right to appeal the decision.
  • A Firearm Purchaser ID card is not needed:
  • To own or possess a gun in the home.
  • On private premises or at the owner's place of business.
  • To transport firearms to and from target shooting at an authorized shooting range.
  • To transport a firearm for hunting or fishing with a license.
  • To carry a firearm to a gunsmith for repair.
  • Applicants must pass a mental health and criminal background check to qualify for a permit to purchase firearms. An individual will be denied a permit if he or she has a history of:
  • Domestic violence or any other violent crime.
  • Confinement to a mental institution or hospital for a mental health disorder.
  • Disease or physical disability which may prevent the safe handling of firearms.
  • Juvenile charges that involved the unlawful use or possession of a weapon or explosive device.
  • Applicants will also be denied a Firearms Purchaser ID card if they are addicted to drugs or alcohol, have knowingly falsified information on the application, are the subject of a restraining order, or may pose a safety risk to themselves or others.

Background Checks


At point-of-sale, background checks must be conducted on all firearms transferees. This includes transfers made through private sellers, which must be facilitated by licensed firearms dealers.

In addition, firearms purchasers must have a permit to purchase a handgun or a Firearms Purchaser Identification Card.

Gun Shows


Gun show restrictions No retail firearms dealer is permitted to conduct retail business in a mobile or temporary facility. This includes (but is not limited to) garage sales, flea markets, gun shows, and exhibitions.

Hardware and Ammunition Restrictions

Hardware Restrictions
Assault Weapons The possession of assault firearms is prohibited. See below for “assault firearms” definition. However, it is possible to apply for an assault firearms license in New Jersey.
50 Caliber Rifles Not restricted.
Machine Guns Prohibited without a state license.
Large Capacity Magazines Prohibited unless used for law enforcement purposes.
Ammunition Armor-piercing and hollow-nose ammunition are prohibited.

It is also prohibited to transfer handgun ammunition if the transferee is under the age of 21.
  • New Jersey defines the “possession of assault firearms” as including:
  • More than 50 specified firearms or their copies
  • A semi-automatic shotgun with a magazine capacity exceeding six rounds, a pistol grip, or a folding stock
  • A semi-automatic rifle with a fixed magazine capacity exceeding 15 rounds
  • A part or combination of parts designed or intended to convert a firearm into an assault firearm,

Prohibited Persons


New Jersey prohibits the following individuals from possessing firearms or ammunition:

  • Any person convicted of a crime associated with the following:
    • 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
  • Any person who has ever been committed to any hospital or institution for a mental disorder (unless he or she presents a certificate from a licensed doctor that he or she is no longer suffering from that condition)
  • Any person convicted of the unlawful use, possession, or sale or a controlled dangerous substance
  • Any person convicted of a disorderly persons or domestic violence offense
  • Any person subject to a domestic violence restraining order or any order that prohibits the possession of firearms
  • Any person convicted in another US jurisdiction of a crime comparable to any of those listed above

Prohibited Places

Location Restrictions Exceptions
Schools New Jersey prohibits the possession of any firearm in or on any buildings or grounds of any school, college, university, or other educational institution Firearms may be allowed with the written authorization of the institution’s governing officer.
Vehicles New Jersey prohibits any person from possessing a firearm in a motor vehicle. The firearm is permitted if it is unloaded and contained in a closed and fastened case, or locked in the trunk.

Firearms may be transported between the place of purchase and the purchaser’s residence or business.

Firearms are also permitted when transporting to or from shooting ranges, exhibitions, or hunting areas provided the firearms are unloaded and contained in a fastened case or locked in the trunk of the vehicle.

Concealed Carry Laws


Notify Officer No
“No Gun” Signs Not covered by New Jersey law
In-Vehicle Carry Yes with permit.
Restaurant Carry Yes
State Park Carry No

Obtaining a Concealed Carry License

New Jersey is a “may issue” state. This means that the governing body has the discretion to determine whether or not to issue a concealed carry permit to a given applicant.

Requirements for a Concealed Carry License
New Jersey requires any person seeking to carry a handgun to apply for a permit through the New Jersey State Police (NJSP). The applicant must:
  • Be at least 21 years of age
  • Have good character
  • Have demonstrated that he or she is familiar with the safe use of handguns
  • Not have any of the disabilities that would disqualify him or her from obtaining a permit to purchase a handgun or a Firearms Purchaser Identification Card
  • Have a justifiable need to carry a handgun
  • Have references from three persons who have known the applicant for at least three years
  • Meet all federal requirements

Concealed Carry Firearms Training

New Jersey requires that applicants demonstrate a “thorough familiarity” with the protocols for safe handgun usage and handling. This may be evidence by any of the following:

  • Completion of a firearms training course equivalent to the firearms training approved by the Police Training Commission
  • Submission of the applicant’s most recent handgun qualification results using the handgun that he or she intends to carry. These results should be determined by test firings, administered by a certified firearms instructor of a police academy, the National Rifle Association, or any other certified firearms instructor
  • Passage of any test of New Jersey state’s laws governing the use of force, administered by a certified firearms instructor of a police academy, the National Rifle Association, or any other certified firearms instructor

Concealed Carry Location Restrictions

Even with a valid concealed carry license, you may not possess any concealed firearms at, on, or in:

  • Educational institutions (including schools, colleges, and universities)
  • Casinos
  • State Parks
  • Statue Cruises ferry to Ellis Island, Liberty Island, and the Statue of Liberty National Monument
  • Any place where federal or state law prohibits firearms

Disclaimer: The information provided here is not to be construed as legal advice or acted upon as if it is legal advice: it is provided for informational and entertainment purposes only. While we strive to provide accurate, up-to-date content, we cannot guarantee the accuracy, completeness, or currency of the information. Gun laws can change frequently, especially at the state and local levels. Application of gun laws can be unique to an individual’s situation. We recommend that each individual consult with a competent and qualified legal professional before purchasing, transporting, or using any firearm or firearm-related product.