Posted on January 1, 2012
Last updated July 8, 2012
In our publication Gun Laws Matter 2012: Understanding the Link Between Weak Laws and Gun Violence, the Law Center ranked each state based on a review of state laws in 29 different firearms-related policy areas. New Jersey ranked 2nd out of 50 – having enacted nearly the strongest gun violence prevention legislation in the nation. Among other things, New Jersey:
- Requires permits for the purchase of any handgun, as well as a separate permit for persons purchasing long guns, both requiring a background check prior to issuance;
- Provides law enforcement discretion when issuing permits to carry concealed weapons;
- Prohibits the purchase or possession of a firearm by persons convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence offenses, and by persons subject to protective orders;
- Requires the licensing of all firearms dealers and their employees;
- Limits the number of handguns that may be purchased to one per month;
- Imposes a 7-day waiting period prior to the physical transfer of a handgun;
- Will require the sale of personalized handguns once such technology is available for retail sale;
- Prohibits the possession and transfer of assault weapons and large capacity ammunition magazines;
- Requires firearm owners to report the loss or theft of their firearms; and
- Requires all firearms dealers and ammunition sellers to maintain records of all acquisitions and dispositions of firearms and ammunition.
New Jersey does not, however:
- Prohibit the transfer or possession of 50 caliber rifles;
- Prohibit the open carrying of firearms in public (lawful if the possessor has a permit); or
- Regulate unsafe handguns.
Local governments in New Jersey have broad authority to regulate firearms and ammunition.
New Jersey ranks 45th among the states in number of gun deaths per capita. In 2009, 411 people died from firearm-related injuries in New Jersey. That year, New Jersey supplied the third lowest number of crime guns to other states per capita. New Jersey imports far more crime guns than it exports.
New Jersey Firearms Laws
For details about specific firearms laws in New Jersey, choose a topic below, or see all of the firearms laws in this state.