In our next installment about New Jersey gun laws, we cover state laws regarding transportation of a firearm. Not knowing the law often doesn’t hold up in court as an adequate defense, so it’s important for you to know. Here’s everything you need to know about New Jersey gun laws and transportation. Check out our previous post about private gun sales in New Jersey, too.
In Your Car
With all of the news coverage and political talk about gun violence, it’s understandable why someone would feel unsafe. Let’s say you purchase a firearm for self-defense and keep it in your car just in case. Are you breaking the law?
If the weapon is loaded and out in the open you are! According to New Jersey law, a person can keep their gun in their car only if it is unloaded and secured in a fastened case. You may also store it in your trunk.
“What should I do if I’m pulled over?” Whenever you’re pulled over, it’s a good idea to have your license, registration, and proof of insurance out and ready. Furthermore, you should also have your glove box open, the window rolled all the way down, the car turned off, your eyes on the dashboard, and your hands visibly on the steering wheel. All of these measures communicate to the officer that you are cooperative and have nothing to hide. If you’re licensed to carry a weapon, the officer likely can see this after pulling up your information. Regardless, in addition to the other measures, you may want to calmly inform the officer that you have your firearm in the car, unloaded, and locked away.
Open and Concealed Carry
While Pennsylvania does not require a license to open carry, New Jersey gun laws do. The process can be long and expensive. Usually only hunters apply for it.
In addition to an open carry license, New Jersey gun laws also require a concealed carry permit. While most states require you to list a reason for acquiring a concealed carry permit in the paperwork, simply listing something like “home defense” will suffice. However, in New Jersey, you must have a “justifiable need.” This means you must be facing specific and serious threats which cannot be reasonably avoided by other means. For example, you have to demonstrate you’ve been a victim of a home robbery or something like that.
Across State Lines
If you’re simply traveling through New Jersey, you don’t need to follow all of New Jersey’s gun transportation laws. However, you do need to follow those from your own state, as well as all federal gun transportation laws.
With this in mind, though, it’s important to know New Jersey has some of the strictest reciprocity laws. New Jersey does not honor any gun permits from any other state. So, if you plan on living or staying in New Jersey with your firearm, you need to get a New Jersey license.