In these times of pandemic lockdowns, food and basic supply shortages, riots, looting, and civil strife, there has been a dramatic increase in demand for firearms and ammunition. Many concerned law-abiding gun owners want the lawful ability to carry a handgun for self-protection in New Jersey. Unfortunately, it is virtually impossible for any resident to obtain a carry permit. In a state of almost 9 million, New Jersey has issued carry permits to a tiny fraction of its residents. Most of those carry permits have been issued to elite politicians, mobsters, and even to anti-gun judges who routinely deny gun owners their 2nd Amendment rights.

The “Justifiable Need” Obstacle

“Justifiable need” is the main obstacle to getting a permit to carry in New Jersey, and it is the primary reason law-abiding gun owners are denied carry permits. The Courts and the Legislature have their anti-gun bias and put forward an academically dishonest, illogical, and arbitrary doctrine. This approach has contributed to needless murders, rapes, and violent assaults, which have occurred because New Jersey does not have a fair, objective “shall issue” carry permit system. New Jersey has decided that it would rather see its populace be victims instead of defenders.

To qualify for a carry permit, a person must show the Court that he or she is:

  1. A person of good character not subject to any of the disabilities set forth under state law to obtain a permit to purchase;
  2. Thoroughly familiar with the use and safe handling of the handgun; and
  3. Able to demonstrate “justifiable need.”

The Standard for “Good Character”

Overall “good character” is an objective standard based on the lack of disqualifications, such as having a felony conviction, domestic violence conviction, mental health commitment, dishonorable discharge, etc. However, it also includes the subjective standard of “in the interest of public health, safety, or welfare.”

Safe handling of a firearm is an objective standard which may be met by:

  • Completion of a firearms training course approved by the Police Training Commission;
  • Submission of recent handgun qualification scores; or
  • Testing administered by a certified firearms instructor of a police academy, the National Rifle Association, or any other recognized certified firearms instructor.

“Justifiable need” is the excuse used when the government denies residents the ability to defend themselves. It is an arbitrary and subjective standard made and signed into law by Governor Murphy. “Justifiable need” is defined as follows:

[T]he urgent necessity for self-protection, as evidenced by specific threats or previous attacks which demonstrate a special danger to the applicant’s life that cannot be avoided by means other than by issuance of a permit to carry a handgun. Where possible, the applicant shall corroborate the existence of any specific threats or previous attacks by reference to reports of the incidents to the appropriate law enforcement agencies.

Basically, a person has to be personally subjected to “specific threats or previous attacks which demonstrate a special danger.” Simply carrying large sums of money, valuable jewelry, fine art, legal drugs, or even firearms and thereby being a target for criminal attack does not qualify one under present New Jersey law. The New Jersey Carry Permit law is like the old Soviet Constitution where you appear to have rights that you actually do not have.

For any questions regarding carry permits in the State of New Jersey, call U.S. LawShield and ask to speak to your Independent Program Attorney.


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