Applying for a Carry Permit in New Jersey

A recent United States Supreme Court decision has made it much easier to obtain a carry permit in New Jersey.  Our firm represents responsible gun owners in a variety of gun permit matters, so this is an area of law that we monitor closely.  What follows is a non-exhaustive list of pointers for tackling the application process, as well as some other thoughts to be kept in mind by individuals seeking to carry a gun for personal protection.

Please note that the following instructions are the same for initial and renewal applications.

First, applicants must apply in person.  Out-of-State residents should apply at the non-toll road State police barracks closest to their residence.  In-State residents should apply at their local police department.  In any case, call the local police department or barracks before going there – do not just show up.

Applicants must provide the following documentation at the time of the application:

(a) Two forms of identification, as follows – driver’s license and birth certificate, or driver’s license and passport, or driver’s license and naturalization paperwork/green card;

(b) Three State of New Jersey Applications for Permit to Carry a Handgun – State police form SP642.  The form is available online.  Please note that each of the three forms must be “ribbon originals”.  Photocopies will not be accepted.  The references called for on the form can include relatives;

(c) Four color passport-size photographs of the applicant;

(d) A completed Consent for Mental Health Search form.  This is State police form SP066, and is available online;

(e) Written proof of ownership and qualification with the handgun(s) the applicant intend to carry.  The proof of ownership can be a purchase receipt or purchase permit or a notarized letter of ownership stating the make, model and serial number of the handgun(s); and

(f) A money order for $50.00 made payable to the “Treasurer – State of New Jersey”.

The applicant must be fingerprinted for all applications, regardless of whether they are initial applications or renewals.  Instructions for fingerprinting will be provided when the applicant submits their documents.

Applicants are required to demonstrate that they are qualified to carry a handgun.  Proof of qualification may be obtained at most shooting ranges throughout the State.  A list of ranges is also available on the New Jersey State police website.

A New Jersey carry permit is valid for two years from the time of approval.

If each of these steps is not properly complied with, the application will be returned and the applicant will have to re-apply.

Additionally, please note that the State Police is currently deluged with carry permit applications.  Further, at this time, the speed with which the process may be completed appears to be varying from county to county, at least to some extent.  Not surprisingly, the entire process will take time to complete.  Applicants therefore need to be patient.

Moreover, please note that a carry permit, once issued, may have the word “unrestricted” printed on it.  Some permit holders may interpret this to mean that they can carry their weapon wherever they desire.  This is not true.  There is a list of places where weapons may not be carried, and this will be discussed, along with other relevant legal issues, in future postings on this blog.  For now, suffice it to say that the word “unrestricted” on a carry permit does not mean that the permit holder may carry a gun literally anywhere in the State.  There will also be restrictions on the size of the magazine and type of ammunition – as of now, hollow-point bullets may not be used.

Finally, if you are issued a permit and you use your weapon to defend yourself, your family and/or your property, it is highly recommended that you explore immediately explore insurance options before you start carrying.  If you use your weapon against another person, either they or their family members will commence suit against you to recover any damages resulting from the underlying incident.  Your homeowners or automobile policy will probably not cover you.

An experienced New Jersey gun permit attorney can answer your questions about the process and represent you on an appeal if you are denied.

James S. Friedman, Esq., is a criminal defense attorney in New Brunswick, New Jersey.  Mr. Friedman represents responsible gun owners in firearms-related matters throughout the State.  If your application for a Firearms Identification Card or carry permit has been denied and you are seeking an experienced New Jersey gun permit lawyer for an appeal, contact us at 732-979-2259 or 800-361-6554.  You can also view the firm’s website at


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