As gun permit attorneys in New Jersey, we stay abreast of all the latest developments in this complex area of the law, which is constantly changing. A recent directive from the Courts, dated December 22, 2022, provides new information that applicants for firearms purchaser identification cards, handgun purchase permits, and carry permits, need to know.
Governor Murphy has signed new laws that amend several of the State’s statutes that regulate the purchase and ownership of firearms. These amendments were required by the recent United States Supreme Court decision in New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen, decided earlier this year. The amendments are effective immediately.
The major changes to the law (and those that our clients seem most concerned about) involve carry permits. The amendments remove the New Jersey Courts from the initial decision making process concerning applications for carry permits. State law previously required an applicant to submit a written certification of ‘justifiable need’ to the reviewing law enforcement officer as part of the carry permit application process. If the the law enforcement officer approved the application and certification, it would be presented to a Superior Court judge for further review. If the applicant successfully demonstrated, among other things, a ‘justifiable need’ to carry a handgun in accordance with applicable law, the judge would approve the application and issue the permit. As a result of the Bruen decision, this procedure was deemed unconstitutional; thus, the ‘justifiable need’ requirement has been eliminated and the Court is no longer part of the initial application and issuance process for carry permits.
Under the new procedure for obtaining carry permit in New Jersey, law enforcement will receive and review applications, and determine whether application should be approved. The Superior Court will, however, continue to hear appeals from from law enforcement denials of applications for firearms purchaser identification cards, handgun purchase permits, and carry permits. While the new procedure does not require the filing of a formal pleading with the Court in support of such an appeal, an applicant who has been denied should retain a New Jersey carry permit attorney in order to maximize the chances of success.
These appeals are filed through JEDS, or the Judiciary Electronic Document Submission system. Copies of the hearing request must be served on the Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police, the county prosecutor’s office in the county where the applicant resides, and the police chief of the applicant’s municipality. Failure to comply with the filing and service rules will result in a denial of the appeal. Because these procedures can appear deceptively simple, an applicant seeking to appeal an adverse decision will greatly increase their chances of success if they consult with and retain a gun permit lawyer in New Jersey to represent them at all stages of this process.
As to time frames and scheduling, it is anticipated that the Superior Court will hold a hearing on an appeal of a denial by law enforcement within sixty (60) days of the applicant’s request for same. Hearing on appeals filed by retired law enforcement officers must be held within thirty (30) days of the request. County prosecutors are not required to respond to the appeal but, if they wish to do so, must file their response within fourteen (14) days of the filing of the appeal. If the prosecutor’s office does not file its appeal within this period, the Court is supposed to proceed with the hearing.
James S. Friedman, Esq., is a New Jersey gun permit appeal attorney based in New Brunswick. Mr. Friedman represents responsible gun owners, as well as those seeking to purchase their first firearm, in appeals from denials of applications for firearms purchaser identification cards, handgun purchase permits, and carry permits. If you have been denied and want to appeal the decision, contact Mr. Friedman at 800-361-6554 immediately.