New Jersey

New Jersey does not have a “right to bear arms” constitutional provision.

*NOTE: Thanks to the Supreme Court’s decision on NYSRPA v. Bruen, “May Issue” states must affirm the right to bear arms in public, marking the end of these subjective and unconstitutional permitting schemes. Now these states are scrambling to figure out how to curtail the decision by passing new laws to effectively make it difficult, or even outright illegal, to conceal carry in public. For that reason, things are moving too fast to keep these specific states updated. Please be vigilant in staying updated with your state laws.


New Jersey is a may-issue state. A permit to purchase and a background check are required to buy from a private individual. Residents must obtain a Firearms Purchased Identification (FPID) card as well as a permit to purchase a handgun and ammunition. Open carry is not addressed in state law. Concealed carry is only legal with a New Jersey Permit to Carry a Handgun (PCH). PCH are rarely issued to the general populace. New Jersey does not honor permits from any other states. New Jersey is a Castle Doctrine state. There is no duty to retreat while in a person’s dwelling.

Reciprocal Carry

New Jersey does not recognize any other state’s CCW license.

Duty To Notify Police Officer

There is no duty to inform a LEO immediately on contact that you possess a firearm. You are required to have Your permit/license and proper identification with You at all times when You carry a concealed firearm and must present both if the LEO demands.

Carrying Firearms In Vehicles

New Jersey generally prohibits carry firearms in vehicles without a permit. People without permits may only carry a firearm if it is unloaded and either secured in a locked container or locked in the trunk. It is illegal to carry a loaded long gun in a vehicle. Furthermore, without a permit, firearms may only be carried to or from: the place of purchase or repair, Your home or business, a shooting range, or hunting activities.

NFA Items

The only NFA items legal in New Jersey are MGs and AOWs, and they are subject to additional state regulation. Possession of a MG requires a state license, which is granted on a “may-issue” basis by a county superior court judge. MG licenses are rarely granted.

Self-Defense Laws

New Jersey has a Castle Doctrine but no SYG law. There is no duty to retreat when in Your dwelling. You may use force, including deadly force, in defense of yourself or others if You reasonably believe it is necessary to prevent imminent death, SBI, the commission of a forcible felony, or to prevent an unlawful intruder in a dwelling from inflicting unlawful force against an occupant of the dwelling.

Carry In Restaurants That Serve Alcohol

New Jersey has no laws prohibiting the carrying of firearms in restaurants that serve alcohol. You can carry in a restaurant that serves alcohol. Places like Fridays or Chili’s unless they have a “No Gun Sign,” then it is suggested that You not carry into the establishment. This does not include a bar or the bar area of a restaurant – You are prohibited from carrying into these areas. You can carry Your firearm into a restaurant that serves alcohol, but You are prohibited from carrying while you consume alcohol.

Open Carry

Open carry is illegal in New Jersey. There is no law against open carry, but You must have a “License to Carry Firearm Concealed” to carry a firearm in New Jersey. The license gives You the ability to carry only a concealed firearm and not to open carry a firearm. Thus, You have to have a license to carry any firearm in New Jersey and that license is only for carrying a firearm concealed.

Assault Weapons Ban

It is illegal to possess an assault weapon, unless it was possessed before May 1, 1990 and registered with the state. Assault weapons may not be sold or transferred to any person other than a licensed gun dealer or any individual who is going to relinquish it to the police.

High-Capacity Magazine Ban

New Jersey bans the intrastate manufacture, sale, transportation, and possession of magazines with the capacity to hold more than 15 rounds of ammunition. In addition, possession and transportation of hollow point ammunition is generally prohibited except on or to one’s private property, a shooting range, or a gun club registered with the New Jersey state police.

Waiting Period

New Jersey imposes a seven (7) day waiting period before purchasing a firearm.

Background Checks

A person acquiring a handgun must have a permit to purchase a handgun. A person acquiring a long gun must have a Firearms Purchaser Identification Card. Private sale of a long gun does not require a background check.

DISCLAIMER: The Gun Laws by State Guide (GLBSG) was created to provide its readers with a general educational resource tool to explore the pertinent gun laws in Your jurisdiction.

However, the GLBSG was not researched and/or written by attorneys as a specific legal guide to rely upon. Instead, it is a starting point for your own research. In addition, all laws are always subject to reasonable, but different, legal interpretation as to meaning and application.

As such, the GLBSG is not intended to supplant, nor limit, Your need for independent verification of any and all material contained herein and consultation with competent counsel of choice regarding any specific issues.

This type of specific legal analysis is necessarily beyond the general educational objective of the GLBSG and for which a bar-admitted attorney in the particular state(s) is needed and required. The content of this GLBSG is a general restatement of the law.

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