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In the State of New Jersey, you can easily get in trouble for using someone else’s gun for self-defense. Any transfer of a firearm must be done with the proper paperwork. There are only three very narrow exemptions for when a person can transfer a firearm belonging to another person.

The three exemptions are:

  1. While at an authorized target range;
  2. While hunting; or
  3. When receiving firearm training.

In all cases, the person who owns the firearm must be present with the person receiving the firearm, and the person receiving the firearm cannot be a prohibited person. Prohibited persons include but are not limited to someone who is a convicted felon, convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence, has a domestic violence restraining order against them, has a mental health commitment, etc. If you are not within these specific exemptions, you cannot temporarily transfer, loan, gift, borrow, receive, acquire, or rent a firearm for any reason. There are no exceptions for a spouse, significant other, friend, or a “Good Samaritan.”

For example, bad guys break into your home, you get into a firefight with them, and you get wounded. It is still unlawful to give your gun to your spouse or significant other; even in such a dire circumstance. If the scenario plays out, there are certain defenses such as “Competing Harms” or “Necessity” which might be raised. But, your attorney will have to sort out the legal ramifications later. Of course, it is more important to survive the encounter, than to be concerned with the transfer rules in New Jersey. But legally, such a transfer on its face is not permitted in the State of New Jersey.

If you have any questions regarding self-defense with someone else’s gun in the State of New Jersey, contact U.S. LawShield and ask to speak to your Independent Program Attorney.