Handgun Permits and Serious ThreatsRevised regulations by New Jersey Governor, Chris Christie, could increase the likelihood that law enforcement will approve a greater number of permission-to-carry handgun applications. The revision relates to an element known as serious threats, which, though it doesn’t change the gun-carry permit process, does loosen the parameters within which permit applications will be taken into consideration by local law enforcement.

Serious Threats: What Are They?

Serious threats in this regulatory change refer to threats that are not specifically directed at the gun-carry applicant but that establish more than generalized fears or concerns. In other words, local law enforcement can take an applicant’s concerns about serious threats into consideration when establishing whether the individual is an appropriate candidate for a gun-carry permit. The reasoning behind this revision is to allow individuals whose lives are in special danger the protection of a handgun if that protection can’t be met by any other reasonable method.

Legal History of New Jersey Gun-Carry Permits

For decades, New Jersey has employed some of the strictest carry-permit regulations for handguns in the nation. Gun-carry regulations in New Jersey have a weighty legal history:

  • The New Jersey Supreme Court, in 1971, found that permits for gun carry could only be issued to those applicants who could establish an urgent necessity for carrying guns for self-protection. This included those individuals whose lives were in real danger, as evidenced by serious threats or earlier attacks.
  • In 1990, the same court clarified that the burden of urgent necessity relating to gun-carry permits meant specific threats or previous attacks demonstrating a special danger to the applicant’s life that cannot be avoided by other means.

Due to this legal trajectory, very few people – other than armored car guards and retired law enforcement personnel – can legally carry a firearm in New Jersey.

Small Legal Tweak

Governor Christie’s revision adds serious threats back into the regulation, which allows that circumstances that demonstrably illustrate that an applicant is experiencing a special danger to his or her safety should be given consideration in determining whether that individual should be allowed a handgun-carry permit. This revision will (at least theoretically) increase the number of qualifying gun-carry permit applicants in New Jersey.

Far from a Done Deal

This regulative revision is far from determined, however. New Jersey’s legislative body is fighting what they interpret as a non-constitutional easing on gun control.

If You’ve Been Charged with a Gun-Carry Violation in New Jersey, Call 732-204-7387 for More Information Today

If you are charged with a gun-carry violation in New Jersey, David C. Barry, Attorney at Law can explain your rights and expertly represent you throughout the legal process.  For a free initial consultation regarding your New Jersey gun-carry charge, call Attorney David C. Barry at 732-204-7387 or contact him online today.