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Gun Charges

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2C:39-3. Prohibited Weapons and Devices.

a. Destructive devices. Any person who knowingly has in his possession any destructive device is guilty of a crime of the third degree.

b. Sawed-off shotguns. Any person who knowingly has in his possession any sawed-off shotgun is guilty of a crime of the third degree.

c. Silencers. Any person who knowingly has in his possession any firearm silencer is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree.

d. Defaced firearms. Any person who knowingly has in his possession any firearm which has been defaced, except an antique firearm or an antique handgun, is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree.

e. Certain weapons. Any person who knowingly has in his possession any gravity knife, switchblade knife, dagger, dirk, stiletto, billy, blackjack, metal knuckle, sandclub, slingshot, cestus or similar leather band studded with metal filings or razor blades imbedded in wood, ballistic knife, without any explainable lawful purpose, is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree.

f. Dum-dum or body armor penetrating bullets. (1) Any person, other than a law enforcement officer or persons engaged in activities pursuant to subsection f. of N.J.S. 2C:39-6, who knowingly has in his possession any hollow nose or dum-dum bullet, or (2) any person, other than a collector of firearms or ammunition as curios or relics as defined in Title 18, United States Code, section 921 (a) (13) and has in his possession a valid Collector of Curios and Relics License issued by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, who knowingly has in his possession any body armor breaching or penetrating ammunition, which means: (a) ammunition primarily designed for use in a handgun, and (b) which is comprised of a bullet whose core or jacket, if the jacket is thicker than .025 of an inch, is made of tungsten carbide, or hard bronze, or other material which is harder than a rating of 72 or greater on the Rockwell B. Hardness Scale, and (c) is therefore capable of breaching or penetrating body armor, is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree. For purposes of this section, a collector may possess not more than three examples of each distinctive variation of the ammunition described above. A distinctive variation includes a different head stamp, composition, design, or color.

g. Exceptions. (1) Nothing in subsection a., b., c., d., e., f., j. or k. of this section shall apply to any member of the Armed Forces of the United States or the National Guard, or except as otherwise provided, to any law enforcement officer while actually on duty or traveling to or from an authorized place of duty, provided that his possession of the prohibited weapon or device has been duly authorized under the applicable laws, regulations or military or law enforcement orders. Nothing in subsection h. of this section shall apply to any law enforcement officer who is exempted from the provisions of that subsection by the Attorney General. Nothing in this section shall apply to the possession of any weapon or device by a law enforcement officer who has confiscated, seized or otherwise taken possession of said weapon or device as evidence of the commission of a crime or because he believed it to be possessed illegally by the person from whom it was taken, provided that said law enforcement officer promptly notifies his superiors of his possession of such prohibited weapon or device.

(2) a. Nothing in subsection f. (1) shall be construed to prevent a person from keeping such ammunition at his dwelling, premises or other land owned or possessed by him, or from carrying such ammunition from the place of purchase to said dwelling or land, nor shall subsection f. (1) be construed to prevent any licensed retail or wholesale firearms dealer from possessing such ammunition at its licensed premises, provided that the seller of any such ammunition shall maintain a record of the name, age and place of residence of any purchaser who is not a licensed dealer, together with the date of sale and quantity of ammunition sold.

b. Nothing in subsection f.(1) shall be construed to prevent a designated employee or designated licensed agent for a nuclear power plant under the license of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission from possessing hollow nose ammunition while in the actual performance of his official duties, if the federal licensee certifies that the designated employee or designated licensed agent is assigned to perform site protection, guard, armed response or armed escort duties and is appropriately trained and qualified, as prescribed by federal regulation, to perform those duties.

(3)Nothing in paragraph (2) of subsection f. or in subsection j. shall be construed to prevent any licensed retail or wholesale firearms dealer from possessing that ammunition or large capacity ammunition magazine at its licensed premises for sale or disposition to another licensed dealer, the Armed Forces of the United States or the National Guard, or to a law enforcement agency, provided that the seller maintains a record of any sale or disposition to a law enforcement agency. The record shall include the name of the purchasing agency, together with written authorization of the chief of police or highest ranking official of the agency, the name and rank of the purchasing law enforcement officer, if applicable, and the date, time and amount of ammunition sold or otherwise disposed. A copy of this record shall be forwarded by the seller to the Superintendent of the Division of State Police within 48 hours of the sale or disposition.

(4)Nothing in subsection a. of this section shall be construed to apply to antique cannons as exempted in subsection d. of N.J.S. 2C:39-6.

(5)Nothing in subsection c. of this section shall be construed to apply to any person who is specifically identified in a special deer management permit issued by the Division of Fish and Wildlife to utilize a firearm silencer as part of an alternative deer control method implemented in accordance with a special deer management permit issued pursuant to section 4 of P.L. 2000, c.46 (C.23:4-42.6), while the person is in the actual performance of the permitted alternative deer control method and while going to and from the place where the permitted alternative deer control method is being utilized. This exception shall not, however, otherwise apply to any person to authorize the purchase or possession of a firearm silencer.

h. Stun guns. Any person who knowingly has in his possession any stun gun is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree.

i. Nothing in subsection e. of this section shall be construed to prevent any guard in the employ of a private security company, who is licensed to carry a firearm, from the possession of a nightstick when in the actual performance of his official duties, provided that he has satisfactorily completed a training course approved by the Police Training Commission in the use of a nightstick.

j. Any person who knowingly has in his possession a large capacity ammunition magazine is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree unless the person has registered an assault firearm pursuant to section 11 of P.L. 1990, c.32 (C .2C:58-12) and the magazine is maintained and used in connection with participation in competitive shooting matches sanctioned by the Director of Civilian Marksmanship of the United States Department of the Army.

k. Handcuffs. Any person who knowingly has in his possession handcuffs as defined in P.L. 1991, c.437 (C. 2C:39-9.2), under circumstances not manifestly appropriate for such lawful uses as handcuffs may have, is guilty of a disorderly persons offense. A law enforcement officer shall confiscate handcuffs possessed in violation of the law.

Amended 1979, c.179, s.2; 1983, c.58, s.1; 1983, c.479, s.2; 1985, c.360, s.2; 1987, c.228, s.2; 1989, c.11; 1990, c.32, s.10; 1991, c.437, s.1; 1999, c.233, s.2; 2000, c.46, s.5; 2003, c.168, s.1.

2C:39-4. Possession of weapons for unlawful purposes 2C:39-4. Possession of weapons for unlawful purposes.

a. Firearms. Any person who has in his possession any firearm with a purpose to use it unlawfully against the person or property of another is guilty of a crime of the second degree.

b. Explosives. Any person who has in his possession or carries any explosive substance with a purpose to use it unlawfully against the person or property of another is guilty of a crime of the second degree.

c. Destructive devices. Any person who has in his possession any destructive device with a purpose to use it unlawfully against the person or property of another is guilty of a crime of the second degree.

d. Other weapons. Any person who has in his possession any weapon, except a firearm, with a purpose to use it unlawfully against the person or property of another is guilty of a crime of the third degree.

e. Imitation firearms. Any person who has in his possession an imitation firearm under circumstances that would lead an observer to reasonably believe that it is possessed for an unlawful purpose is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree.

Amended 1979, c.179, s.3; 1989, c.120, s.2.

2C:39-4.1 Weapons; controlled dangerous substances and other offenses, penalties.

2C:39-4.1. Weapons; controlled dangerous substances and other offenses, penalties.

1. a. Any person who has in his possession any firearm while in the course of committing, attempting to commit, or conspiring to commit a violation of N.J.S. 2C:35-3, N.J.S. 2C:35-4, N.J.S. 2C:35-5, section 3 or section 5 of P.L. 1997, c.194 (C. 2C:35-5.2 or 2C:35-5.3), N.J.S. 2C:35-6, section 1 of P.L. 1987, c.101 (C. 2C:35-7), section 1 of P.L. 1997, c.327 (C. 2C:35-7.1), N.J.S. 2C:35-11 or N.J.S. 2C:16-1 is guilty of a crime of the second degree.

b. Any person who has in his possession any weapon, except a firearm, with a purpose to use such weapon unlawfully against the person or property of another, while in the course of committing, attempting to commit, or conspiring to commit a violation of N.J.S. 2C:35-3, N.J.S. 2C:35-4, N.J.S. 2C:35-5, section 3 or 5 of P.L. 1997, c.194 (C. 2C:35-5.2 or 2C:35-5.3), N.J.S. 2C:35-6, section 1 of P.L. 1987, c.101 (C. 2C:35-7), section 1 of P.L. 1997, c.327 (C. 2C:35-7.1), N.J.S. 2C:35-11 or N.J.S. 2C:16-1 is guilty of a crime of the second degree.

c. Any person who has in his possession any weapon, except a firearm, under circumstances not manifestly appropriate for such lawful uses as the weapon may have, while in the course of committing, attempting to commit, or conspiring to commit a violation of N.J.S. 2C:35-3, N.J.S. 2C:35-4, N.J.S. 2C:35-5, section 3 or section 5 of P.L. 1997, c.194 (C. 2C:35-5.2 or 2C:35-5.3), N.J.S. 2C:35-6, section 1 of P.L. 1987, c.101 (C. 2C:35-7), section 1 of P.L. 1997, c.327(C. 2C:35-7.1), N.J.S. 2C:35-11 or N.J.S. 2C:16-1 is guilty of a crime of the second degree.

d. Notwithstanding the provisions of N.J.S. 2C:1-8 or any other provision of law, a conviction arising under this section shall not merge with a conviction for a violation of any of the sections of chapter 35 or chapter 16 referred to in this section nor shall any conviction under those sections merge with a conviction under this section. Notwithstanding the provisions of N.J.S. 2C:44-5 or any other provision of law, the sentence imposed upon a violation of this section shall be ordered to be served consecutively to that imposed for any conviction for a violation of any of the sections of chapter 35 or chapter 16 referred to in this section or a conviction for conspiracy or attempt to violate any of those sections.

e. Nothing herein shall be deemed to preclude, if the evidence so warrants, an indictment and conviction for a violation of N.J.S. 2C:39-4 or N.J.S. 2C:39-5 or any other provision of law.

f. Nothing herein shall prevent the court from also imposing enhanced punishments, pursuant to N.J.S. 2C:35-8, section 2 of P.L. 1997, c.117 (C. 2C:43-7.2), or any other provision of law, or an extended term.

L. 1998, c.26, s.1; amended 2001, c.443, s.4.

2C:39-5. Unlawful possession of weapons 2C:39-5. Unlawful Possession of Weapons.

a. Machine guns. Any person who knowingly has in his possession a machine gun or any instrument or device adaptable for use as a machine gun, without being licensed to do so as provided in N.J.S. 2C:58-5, is guilty of a crime of the third degree.

b. Handguns. Any person who knowingly has in his possession any handgun, including any antique handgun without first having obtained a permit to carry the same as provided in N.J.S. 2C:58-4, is guilty of a crime of the third degree.

c. Rifles and shotguns. (1) Any person who knowingly has in his possession any rifle or shotgun without having first obtained a firearms purchaser identification card in accordance with the provisions of N.J.S. 2C:58-3, is guilty of a crime of the third degree.

(2)Unless otherwise permitted by law, any person who knowingly has in his possession any loaded rifle or shotgun is guilty of a crime of the third degree.

d. Other weapons. Any person who knowingly has in his possession any other weapon under circumstances not manifestly appropriate for such lawful uses as it may have is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree.

e. Firearms or other weapons in educational institutions.

(1)Any person who knowingly has in his possession any firearm in or upon any part of the buildings or grounds of any school, college, university or other educational institution, without the written authorization of the governing officer of the institution, is guilty of a crime of the third degree, irrespective of whether he possesses a valid permit to carry the firearm or a valid firearms purchaser identification card.

(2)Any person who knowingly possesses any weapon enumerated in paragraphs (3) and (4) of subsection r. of N.J.S. 2C:39-1 or any components which can readily be assembled into a firearm or other weapon enumerated in subsection r. of N.J.S. 2C:39-1 or any other weapon under circumstances not manifestly appropriate for such lawful use as it may have, while in or upon any part of the buildings or grounds of any school, college, university or other educational institution without the written authorization of the governing officer of the institution is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree.

(3)Any person who knowingly has in his possession any imitation firearm in or upon any part of the buildings or grounds of any school, college, university or other educational institution, without the written authorization of the governing officer of the institution, or while on any school bus is a disorderly person, irrespective of whether he possesses a valid permit to carry a firearm or a valid firearms purchaser identification card.

f. Assault firearms. Any person who knowingly has in his possession an assault firearm is guilty of a crime of the third degree except if the assault firearm is licensed pursuant to N.J.S. 2C:58-5; registered pursuant to section 11 of P.L. 1990, c.32 (C .2C:58-12) or rendered inoperable pursuant to section 12 of P.L. 1990, c.32 (C .2C:58-13).

g. (1) The temporary possession of a handgun, rifle or shotgun by a person receiving, possessing, carrying or using the handgun, rifle, or shotgun under the provisions of section 1 of P.L. 1992, c.74 (C .2C:58-3.1) shall not be considered unlawful possession under the provisions of subsection b. or c. of this section.

(2)The temporary possession of a firearm by a person receiving, possessing, carrying or using the firearm under the provisions of section 1 of P.L. 1997, c.375 (C .2C:58-3.2) shall not be considered unlawful possession under the provisions of this section.

Amended 1979, c.179, s.4; 1990, c.32, s.2; 1992, c.74, s.2; 1992, c.94, s.1; 1995, c.389; 1997, c.375, s.2.

2C:39-6. Exemptions 2C:39-6. a. Provided a person complies with the requirements of subsection j. of this section, N.J.S. 2C:39-5 does not apply to:

(1)Members of the Armed Forces of the United States or of the National Guard while actually on duty, or while traveling between places of duty and carrying authorized weapons in the manner prescribed by the appropriate military authorities;

(2)Federal law enforcement officers, and any other federal officers and employees required to carry firearms in the performance of their official duties;

(3)Members of the State Police and, under conditions prescribed by the superintendent, members of the Marine Law Enforcement Bureau of the Division of State Police;

(4)A sheriff, undersheriff, sheriff's officer, county prosecutor, assistant prosecutor, prosecutor's detective or investigator, deputy attorney general or State investigator employed by the Division of Criminal Justice of the Department of Law and Public Safety, investigator employed by the State Commission of Investigation, inspector of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Enforcement Bureau of the Division of State Police in the Department of Law and Public Safety authorized to carry such weapons by the Superintendent of State Police, State park ranger, or State conservation officer;

(5)A prison or jail warden of any penal institution in this State or his deputies, or an employee of the Department of Corrections engaged in the interstate transportation of convicted offenders, while in the performance of his duties, and when required to possess the weapon by his superior officer, or a correction officer or keeper of a penal institution in this State at all times while in the State of New Jersey, provided he annually passes an examination approved by the superintendent testing his proficiency in the handling of firearms;

(6)A civilian employee of the United States Government under the supervision of the commanding officer of any post, camp, station, base or other military or naval installation located in this State who is required, in the performance of his official duties, to carry firearms, and who is authorized to carry such firearms by said commanding officer, while in the actual performance of his official duties;

(7) (a) A regularly employed member, including a detective, of the police department of any county or municipality, or of any State, interstate, municipal or county park police force or boulevard police force, at all times while in the State of New Jersey;

(b)A special law enforcement officer authorized to carry a weapon as provided in subsection b. of section 7 of P.L. 1985, c.439 (C. 40A:14-146.14);

(c)An airport security officer or a special law enforcement officer appointed by the governing body of any county or municipality, except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, or by the commission, board or other body having control of a county park or airport or boulevard police force, while engaged in the actual performance of his official duties and when specifically authorized by the governing body to carry weapons;

(8)A full-time, paid member of a paid or part-paid fire department or force of any municipality who is assigned full-time or part-time to an arson investigation unit created pursuant to section 1 of P.L. 1981, c.409 (C. 40A:14-7.1) or to the county arson investigation unit in the county prosecutor's office, while either engaged in the actual performance of arson investigation duties or while actually on call to perform arson investigation duties and when specifically authorized by the governing body or the county prosecutor, as the case may be, to carry weapons. Prior to being permitted to carry a firearm, such a member shall take and successfully complete a firearms training course administered by the Police Training Commission pursuant to P.L. 1961, c.56 (C. 52:17B-66 et seq.), and shall annually qualify in the use of a revolver or similar weapon prior to being permitted to carry a firearm;

(9)A juvenile corrections officer in the employment of the Juvenile Justice Commission established pursuant to section 2 of P.L. 1995, c.284 (C. 52:17B-170) subject to the regulations promulgated by the commission;

(10) A designated employee or designated licensed agent for a nuclear power plant under license of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, while in the actual performance of his official duties, if the federal licensee certifies that the designated employee or designated licensed agent is assigned to perform site protection, guard, armed response or armed escort duties and is appropriately trained and qualified, as prescribed by federal regulation, to perform those duties. Any firearm utilized by an employee or agent for a nuclear power plant pursuant to this paragraph shall be returned each day at the end of the employee's or agent's authorized official duties to the employee's or agent's supervisor. All firearms returned each day pursuant to this paragraph shall be stored in locked containers located in a secure area. b. Subsections a., b. and c. of N.J.S. 2C:39-5 do not apply to:

(1)A law enforcement officer employed by a governmental agency outside of the State of New Jersey while actually engaged in his official duties, provided, however, that he has first notified the superintendent or the chief law enforcement officer of the municipality or the prosecutor of the county in which he is engaged; or

(2)A licensed dealer in firearms and his registered employees during the course of their normal business while traveling to and from their place of business and other places for the purpose of demonstration, exhibition or delivery in connection with a sale, provided, however, that the weapon is carried in the manner specified in subsection g. of this section.

c. Provided a person complies with the requirements of subsection j. of this section, subsections b. and c. of N.J.S. 2C:39-5 do not apply to:

(1)A special agent of the Division of Taxation who has passed an examination in an approved police training program testing proficiency in the handling of any firearm which he may be required to carry, while in the actual performance of his official duties and while going to or from his place of duty, or any other police officer, while in the actual performance of his official duties;

(2)A State deputy conservation officer or a full-time employee of the Division of Parks and Forestry having the power of arrest and authorized to carry weapons, while in the actual performance of his official duties;

(3)(Deleted by amendment, P.L. 1986, c.150.)

(4)A court attendant serving as such under appointment by the sheriff of the county or by the judge of any municipal court or other court of this State, while in the actual performance of his official duties;

(5)A guard in the employ of any railway express company, banking or building and loan or savings and loan institution of this State, while in the actual performance of his official duties;

(6)A member of a legally recognized military organization while actually under orders or while going to or from the prescribed place of meeting and carrying the weapons prescribed for drill, exercise or parade;

(7)An officer of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, while in the actual performance of his duties;

(8)An employee of a public utilities corporation actually engaged in the transportation of explosives;

(9)A railway policeman, except a transit police officer of the New Jersey Transit Police Department, at all times while in the State of New Jersey, provided that he has passed an approved police academy training program consisting of at least 280 hours. The training program shall include, but need not be limited to, the handling of firearms, community relations, and juvenile relations;

(10) A campus police officer appointed under P.L. 1970, c.211 (C. 18A:6-4.2 et seq.) at all times. Prior to being permitted to carry a firearm, a campus police officer shall take and successfully complete a firearms training course administered by the Police Training Commission, pursuant to P.L. 1961, c.56 (C. 52:17B-66 et seq.), and shall annually qualify in the use of a revolver or similar weapon prior to being permitted to carry a firearm;

(11) (Deleted by amendment, P.L. 2003, c.168).

(12) A transit police officer of the New Jersey Transit Police Department, at all times while in the State of New Jersey, provided the officer has satisfied the training requirements of the Police Training Commission, pursuant to subsection c. of section 2 of P.L. 1989, c.291 (C.27:25-15.1);

(13) A parole officer employed by the State Parole Board at all times. Prior to being permitted to carry a firearm, a parole officer shall take and successfully complete a basic course for regular police officer training administered by the Police Training Commission, pursuant to P.L. 1961, c.56 (C. 52:17B-66 et seq.), and shall annually qualify in the use of a revolver or similar weapon prior to being permitted to carry a firearm;

(14) A Human Services police officer at all times while in the State of New Jersey, as authorized by the Commissioner of Human Services;

(15) A person or employee of any person who, pursuant to and as required by a contract with a governmental entity, supervises or transports persons charged with or convicted of an offense;

(16) A housing authority police officer appointed under P.L. 1997, c.210 (C. 40A:14-146.19 et al.) at all times while in the State of New Jersey; or

(17) A probation officer assigned to the "Probation Officer Community Safety Unit" created by section 2 of P.L. 2001, c.362 (C. 2B: 10A-2) while in the actual performance of the probation officer's official duties. Prior to being permitted to carry a firearm, a probation officer shall take and successfully complete a basic course for regular police officer training administered by the Police Training Commission, pursuant to P.L. 1961, c.56 (C. 52:17B-66 et seq.), and shall annually qualify in the use of a revolver or similar weapon prior to being permitted to carry a firearm.

d. (1) Subsections c. and d. of N.J.S. 2C:39-5 do not apply to antique firearms, provided that such antique firearms are unloaded or are being fired for the purposes of exhibition or demonstration at an authorized target range or in such other manner as has been approved in writing by the chief law enforcement officer of the municipality in which the exhibition or demonstration is held, or if not held on property under the control of a particular municipality, the superintendent.

(2)Subsection a. of N.J.S. 2C:39-3 and subsection d. of N.J.S. 2C:39-5 do not apply to an antique cannon that is capable of being fired but that is unloaded and immobile, provided that the antique cannon is possessed by (a) a scholastic institution, a museum, a municipality, a county or the State, or (b) a person who obtained a firearms purchaser identification card as specified in N.J.S. 2C:58-3.

(3)Subsection a. of N.J.S. 2C:39-3 and subsection d. of N.J.S. 2C:39-5 do not apply to an unloaded antique cannon that is being transported by one eligible to possess it, in compliance with regulations the superintendent may promulgate, between its permanent location and place of purchase or repair.

(4)Subsection a. of N.J.S. 2C:39-3 and subsection d. of N.J.S. 2C:39-5 do not apply to antique cannons that are being loaded or fired by one eligible to possess an antique cannon, for purposes of exhibition or demonstration at an authorized target range or in the manner as has been approved in writing by the chief law enforcement officer of the municipality in which the exhibition or demonstration is held, or if not held on property under the control of a particular municipality, the superintendent, provided that performer has given at least 30 days' notice to the superintendent.

(5)Subsection a. of N.J.S. 2C:39-3 and subsection d. of N.J.S. 2C:39-5 do not apply to the transportation of unloaded antique cannons directly to or from exhibitions or demonstrations authorized under paragraph (4) of subsection d. of this section, provided that the transportation is in compliance with safety regulations the superintendent may promulgate. Nor do those subsections apply to transportation directly to or from exhibitions or demonstrations authorized under the law of another jurisdiction, provided that the superintendent has been given 30 days' notice and that the transportation is in compliance with safety regulations the superintendent may promulgate.

e. Nothing in subsections b., c. and d. of N.J.S. 2C:39-5 shall be construed to prevent a person keeping or carrying about his place of business, residence, premises or other land owned or possessed by him, any firearm, or from carrying the same, in the manner specified in subsection g. of this section, from any place of purchase to his residence or place of business, between his dwelling and his place of business, between one place of business or residence and another when moving, or between his dwelling or place of business and place where such firearms are repaired, for the purpose of repair. For the purposes of this section, a place of business shall be deemed to be a fixed location.

f. Nothing in subsections b., c. and d. of N.J.S. 2C:39-5 shall be construed to prevent:

(1)A member of any rifle or pistol club organized in accordance with the rules prescribed by the National Board for the Promotion of Rifle Practice, in going to or from a place of target practice, carrying such firearms as are necessary for said target practice, provided that the club has filed a copy of its charter with the superintendent and annually submits a list of its members to the superintendent and provided further that the firearms are carried in the manner specified in subsection g. of this section;

(2)A person carrying a firearm or knife in the woods or fields or upon the waters of this State for the purpose of hunting, target practice or fishing, provided that the firearm or knife is legal and appropriate for hunting or fishing purposes in this State and he has in his possession a valid hunting license, or, with respect to fresh water fishing, a valid fishing license;

(3)A person transporting any firearm or knife while traveling:

(a)Directly to or from any place for the purpose of hunting or fishing, provided the person has in his possession a valid hunting or fishing license; or

(b)Directly to or from any target range, or other authorized place for the purpose of practice, match, target, trap or skeet shooting exhibitions, provided in all cases that during the course of the travel all firearms are carried in the manner specified in subsection g. of this section and the person has complied with all the provisions and requirements of Title 23 of the Revised Statutes and any amendments thereto and all rules and regulations promulgated thereunder; or

(c)In the case of a firearm, directly to or from any exhibition or display of firearms which is sponsored by any law enforcement agency, any rifle or pistol club, or any firearms collectors club, for the purpose of displaying the firearms to the public or to the members of the organization or club, provided, however, that not less than 30 days prior to the exhibition or display, notice of the exhibition or display shall be given to the Superintendent of the State Police by the sponsoring organization or club, and the sponsor has complied with such reasonable safety regulations as the superintendent may promulgate. Any firearms transported pursuant to this section shall be transported in the manner specified in subsection g. of this section;

(4)A person from keeping or carrying about a private or commercial aircraft or any boat, or from transporting to or from such vessel for the purpose of installation or repair a visual distress signaling device approved by the United States Coast Guard.

g. All weapons being transported under paragraph (2) of subsection b., subsection e., or paragraph (1) or (3) of subsection f. of this section shall be carried unloaded and contained in a closed and fastened case, gunbox, securely tied package, or locked in the trunk of the automobile in which it is being transported, and in the course of travel shall include only such deviations as are reasonably necessary under the circumstances.

h. Nothing in subsection d. of N.J.S. 2C:39-5 shall be construed to prevent any employee of a public utility, as defined in R.S. 48:2-13, doing business in this State or any United States Postal Service employee, while in the actual performance of duties which specifically require regular and frequent visits to private premises, from possessing, carrying or using any device which projects, releases or emits any substance specified as being noninjurious to canines or other animals by the Commissioner of Health and Senior Services and which immobilizes only on a temporary basis and produces only temporary physical discomfort through being vaporized or otherwise dispensed in the air for the sole purpose of repelling canine or other animal attacks.

The device shall be used solely to repel only those canine or other animal attacks when the canines or other animals are not restrained in a fashion sufficient to allow the employee to properly perform his duties.

Any device used pursuant to this act shall be selected from a list of products, which consist of active and inert ingredients, permitted by the Commissioner of Health and Senior Services.

i. Nothing in N.J.S. 2C:39-5 shall be construed to prevent any person who is 18 years of age or older and who has not been convicted of a felony, from possession for the purpose of personal self-defense of one pocket-sized device which contains and releases not more than three-quarters of an ounce of chemical substance not ordinarily capable of lethal use or of inflicting serious bodily injury, but rather, is intended to produce temporary physical discomfort or disability through being vaporized or otherwise dispensed in the air. Any person in possession of any device in violation of this subsection shall be deemed and adjudged to be a disorderly person, and upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine of not less than $100.00.

j. A person shall qualify for an exemption from the provisions of N.J.S. 2C:39-5, as specified under subsections a. and c. of this section, if the person has satisfactorily completed a firearms training course approved by the Police Training Commission.

Such exempt person shall not possess or carry a firearm until the person has satisfactorily completed a firearms training course and shall annually qualify in the use of a revolver or similar weapon. For purposes of this subsection, a "firearms training course" means a course of instruction in the safe use, maintenance and storage of firearms which is approved by the Police Training Commission. The commission shall approve a firearms training course if the requirements of the course are substantially equivalent to the requirements for firearms training provided by police training courses which are certified under section 6 of P.L. 1961, c.56 (C. 52:17B-71). A person who is specified in paragraph (1), (2), (3) or (6) of subsection a. of this section shall be exempt from the requirements of this subsection.

k. Nothing in subsection d. of N.J.S. 2C:39-5 shall be construed to prevent any financial institution, or any duly authorized personnel of the institution, from possessing, carrying or using for the protection of money or property, any device which projects, releases or emits tear gas or other substances intended to produce temporary physical discomfort or temporary identification.

l. Nothing in subsection b. of N.J.S. 2C:39-5 shall be construed to prevent a law enforcement officer who retired in good standing, including a retirement because of a disability pursuant to section 6 of P.L. 1944, c.255 (C. 43:16A-6), section 7 of P.L. 1944, c.255 (C. 43:16A-7), section 1 of P.L. 1989, c.103 (C. 43:16A-6.1) or any substantially similar statute governing the disability retirement of federal law enforcement officers, provided the officer was a regularly employed, full-time law enforcement officer for an aggregate of five or more years prior to his disability retirement and further provided that the disability which constituted the basis for the officer's retirement did not involve a certification that the officer was mentally incapacitated for the performance of his usual law enforcement duties and any other available duty in the department which his employer was willing to assign to him or does not subject that retired officer to any of the disabilities set forth in subsection c. of N.J.S. 2C:58-3 which would disqualify the retired officer from possessing or carrying a firearm, who semi-annually qualifies in the use of the handgun he is permitted to carry in accordance with the requirements and procedures established by the Attorney General pursuant to subsection j. of this section and pays the actual costs associated with those semi-annual qualifications, who is less than 70 years of age, and who was regularly employed as a full-time member of the State Police; a full-time member of an interstate police force; a full-time member of a county or municipal police department in this State; a full-time member of a State law enforcement agency; a full-time sheriff, undersheriff or sheriff's officer of a county of this State; a full-time State or county corrections officer; a full-time county park police officer; a full-time county prosecutor's detective or investigator; or a full-time federal law enforcement officer from carrying a handgun in the same manner as law enforcement officers exempted under paragraph (7) of subsection a. of this section under the conditions provided herein:

(1)The retired law enforcement officer, within six months after retirement, shall make application in writing to the Superintendent of State Police for approval to carry a handgun for one year. An application for annual renewal shall be submitted in the same manner.(2)Upon receipt of the written application of the retired law enforcement officer, the superintendent shall request a verification of service from the chief law enforcement officer of the organization in which the retired officer was last regularly employed as a full-time law enforcement officer prior to retiring. The verification of service shall include:

(a)The name and address of the retired officer;

(b)The date that the retired officer was hired and the date that the officer retired;

(c)A list of all handguns known to be registered to that officer;

(d)A statement that, to the reasonable knowledge of the chief law enforcement officer, the retired officer is not subject to any of the restrictions set forth in subsection c. of N.J.S. 2C:58-3; and

(e)A statement that the officer retired in good standing.

(3)If the superintendent approves a retired officer's application or reapplication to carry a handgun pursuant to the provisions of this subsection, the superintendent shall notify in writing the chief law enforcement officer of the municipality wherein that retired officer resides. In the event the retired officer resides in a municipality which has no chief law enforcement officer or law enforcement agency, the superintendent shall maintain a record of the approval.

(4)The superintendent shall issue to an approved retired officer an identification card permitting the retired officer to carry a handgun pursuant to this subsection. This identification card shall be valid for one year from the date of issuance and shall be valid throughout the State. The identification card shall not be transferable to any other person. The identification card shall be carried at all times on the person of the retired officer while the retired officer is carrying a handgun. The retired officer shall produce the identification card for review on the demand of any law enforcement officer or authority.

(5)Any person aggrieved by the denial of the superintendent of approval for a permit to carry a handgun pursuant to this subsection may request a hearing in the Superior Court of New Jersey in the county in which he resides by filing a written request for such a hearing within 30 days of the denial. Copies of the request shall be served upon the superintendent and the county prosecutor. The hearing shall be held within 30 days of the filing of the request, and no formal pleading or filing fee shall be required. Appeals from the determination of such a hearing shall be in accordance with law and the rules governing the courts of this State.

(6)A judge of the Superior Court may revoke a retired officer's privilege to carry a handgun pursuant to this subsection for good cause shown on the application of any interested person. A person who becomes subject to any of the disabilities set forth in subsection c. of N.J.S. 2C:58-3 shall surrender, as prescribed by the superintendent, his identification card issued under paragraph (4) of this subsection to the chief law enforcement officer of the municipality wherein he resides or the superintendent, and shall be permanently disqualified to carry a handgun under this subsection.

(7)The superintendent may charge a reasonable application fee to retired officers to offset any costs associated with administering the application process set forth in this subsection.

m. Nothing in subsection d. of N.J.S. 2C:39-5 shall be construed to prevent duly authorized personnel of the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife, while in the actual performance of duties, from possessing, transporting or using any device that projects, releases or emits any substance specified as being non-injurious to wildlife by the Director of the Division of Animal Health in the Department of Agriculture, and which may immobilize wildlife and produces only temporary physical discomfort through being vaporized or otherwise dispensed in the air for the purpose of repelling bear or other animal attacks or for the aversive conditioning of wildlife.

n. Nothing in subsection b., c., d. or e. of N.J.S. 2C:39-5 shall be construed to prevent duly authorized personnel of the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife, while in the actual performance of duties, from possessing, transporting or using hand held pistol-like devices, rifles or shotguns that launch pyrotechnic missiles for the sole purpose of frightening, hazing or aversive conditioning of nuisance or depredating wildlife; from possessing, transporting or using rifles, pistols or similar devices for the sole purpose of chemically immobilizing wild or non-domestic animals; or, provided the duly authorized person complies with the requirements of subsection j. of this section, from possessing, transporting or using rifles or shotguns, upon completion of a Police Training Commission approved training course, in order to dispatch injured or dangerous animals or for non-lethal use for the purpose of frightening, hazing or aversive conditioning of nuisance or depredating wildlife.

Amended 1979, c.179, s.5; 1979, c.332, s.8; 1981, c.108, s.1; 1981, c.219, s.1; 1981, c.294, s.1; 1981, c.409, s.2; 1981, c.480, s.1; 1981, c.511, s.4; 1982, c.154, s.1; 1982, c.173, s.1; 1983, c.479, s.3; 1983, c.552; 1985, c.76, s.8; 1985, c.150, s.1; 1985, c.324, s.1 (s.3 eff. date amended 1986, c.64); 1985, c.376, s.1; 1985, c.439, s.13,(s.15 eff. date amended 1986, c.2); 1986, c.150, ss. 7,8; 1987, c.139; 1987, c.172; 1989, c.291, s.4; 1991, c.327, s.2; 1991, c.386, s.3; 1992, c.94, s.2; 1993, c.246, s.2; 1995, c.273, s.2; 1995, c.280, s.21; 1997, c.67, s.1; 1997, c.210, s.6; 1997, c.393; 2001, c.79, s.15; 2001, c.362, s.4; 2003, c.168, s.2.

   
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