Hi, Evan Nappen here, U.S. LawShield Independent Program Attorney for New Jersey. Today, I want to talk to you about what happens if you get denied for a license or permit for a firearm.


In New Jersey, if you are denied there is an appeal process, and you should appeal your denial. Appeals are brought to the Superior Court and, in court, a judge will determine whether or not the state has proven that you are ineligible to have a firearm. There are many different bases in New Jersey to deny someone a firearm. It’s not just whether you’re a convicted felon, but it can include domestic violence, restraining orders, dishonorable discharge. It can include whether you’ve had a mental health commitment.

New Jersey even goes so far as to question whether you’ve ever been treated by any doctor or psychiatrist for any mental or physical condition, and then the burden switches to you to have to show that you’re safe for the handling of firearms.

Fighting the Denial

If you do decide to fight your denial, your best bet is always to bring an attorney. There are a lot of laws and a lot of arguments that need to be made under the law so the denial can be overturned. Otherwise, the denial will stay on your record that you have been denied your license.

Now, it’s one thing to be denied because of prohibitions or disqualifications. In terms of a carry license in New Jersey, you also must show justifiable need, which is virtually impossible for any citizen to show, because the court has essentially required that you show that you need to use deadly force, before you need to use deadly force. So basically, if you’ve just been shot and killed, you qualify for a carry license in Jersey.

But as far as the possessory licenses are concerned, those you can get, but you need to fight for your rights if you are denied. Many times, if there’s a basis for denial—maybe there’s some old conviction that you may have forgotten about from years ago and they’re trying to use it against you—New Jersey does offer expungement. You need to talk to an attorney who may be able to clear your record. You need to find out what the problem is in the denial. Take the steps necessary to address those and fight vigorously on your appeal.

If you have any more questions about what to do if your license is denied, feel free to call U.S. LawShield and ask to speak to your Independent Program Attorney.


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The information provided in this publication is intended to provide general information to individuals and is not legal advice. The information included in this publication may not be quoted or referred to in any other publication without the prior written consent of U.S. LawShield, to be given or withheld at our discretion. The information is not a substitute for, and does not replace the advice or representation of a licensed attorney. We strive to ensure the information included in this publication is accurate and current, however, no claim is made to the accuracy of the information and we are not responsible for any consequences that may result from the use of information in this publication. The use of this publication does not create an attorney-client relationship between U.S. LawShield, any independent program attorney, and any individual.