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Purchasing a Firearm in NJ

A simple breakdown of NJ's gun purchasing process.

I have been listening and participating in the Gun debate ever since it started and decided to write this little article after encountering many people who do not understand the gun laws in the state of New Jersey.

Most people I spoke with seemed to think that anybody could simply walk into a gun store in NJ and purchase a firearm! Some people understand that there is some sort of control governing that process but not sure of what it entails.

Here is a step by step break down of the process every NJ resident has to follow in order to be eligible to purchase a firearm:

1-You must apply for a "Firearm ID card" which you will need every time you purchase a firearm. In order to do so you will need to obtain an application package from your local "Township or Police station"

2-The application contains multiple forms that all must be completed "but not signed" before being submitted.

3-Each applicant must fill the forms and agree to a background check of his/her MENTAL RECORDS.

4-Each applicant must be finger printed and his prints sent to the FBI for approval.

5-Each applicant must provide the names and addresses of two acquaintances that could vouch for his/her character "Both will be contacted by the police and asked to fill a questioner about the character of the applicant.

6-Each applicant must provide his/her work contacts and "usually" the police contacts his/her supervisor and inform them about the applicant's intentions to purchase a firearm and inquire about his/her character.

7-Once all forms had been filled; they need to be signed before the person whom handles this process at your town/police department.

8-It, usually, takes anywhere between one month up to one year before you get a response back. 

9-The Firearm ID card "Once issued" is valid only for purchasing "LONG" Firearms such as: rifles and shotguns. 

10-Each time you need to purchase a firearm from a gun store you need to fill another application at the store and they will contact the "NICS" (which stands for the National Instant Criminal Background Check System) and charge you $15 for the process and wait to be approved for the purchase. Basically going over the process once again!

11-When purchasing a handgun, a person must apply for a separate permit for each handgun "Going through the original process each time"

12-Each handgun permit is valid for only one hand gun purchase and valid for 90 days and could, only, be renewed for another 90 days.

13-In the State of NJ residents can purchase one handgun per month only unless they obtain a special permit from the authorities.

14-A handgun permit is made up of 4 copies and upon the purchase of a hand gun the seller is responsible to sending one copy to the issuing authority.

The above is the process for purchasing firearms in the state in NJ. We are considered one of the strictest states in the country when it comes to Firearms. Those people that seek to impose more restrictions need to educate themselves firsthand before demanding even more regulations that basically are already in place.

I find it very interesting that the majority of those who seek to impose bans on firearms do not own any guns or even had ever fired one. 

It would be as if I advocate the banning of Minivans even though I do not own one, never driven one and don't know much about them in the first place.

We do not have to be so radical about each side of the issue. I believe that we could work together for the protection of both innocent people and the second Amendment. But we need to educate ourselves first and be reasonable at all times.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Jack Sprite January 30, 2013 at 01:50 PM
Ahmed, the correct title of the ID card is NJ Firearms Purchaser Identification Card or FPID. It is required to purchase firearms and ammunition. It is not required to own firearms in NJ since many firearms were owned in NJ before this ID card requirement were in place. It is also worth noting that "assault firearms" are banned in NJ as per legislation. In NJ you may not own an "assault firearm", an Assault firearm is defined in NJ by either of the following criteria. 1) An "assault firearm" can be any one of the guns listed by NJ. If the firearm is listed by name, it is illegal and you can NOT own it in NJ. 2) An "assault firearm" can also be any firearm that is "substantially identical" to the firearms listed by name. "Substantially identical" is defined by a group of characteristics, if a firearm is "substantially identical" you may not own it. Thanks for your post to help educate the NJ citizen.
Ahmed Shraim January 30, 2013 at 02:01 PM
Hey guys, I apologize for dropping the "Purchaser" from the post. Thanks Jack for your correction.
Amy Furnald January 31, 2013 at 04:17 PM
Wow, this was very informative post. I have shared this post myself and hope that others will as well so that more people can be educated on the subject as opposed to making snap judgments without the facts!
Ahmed Shraim January 31, 2013 at 06:59 PM
I agree. I think the biggest problems we face are ignorance and fear....If people spend some time on educating themselves in between "JerseyShore" episodes, we will have less things to argue about and more practical laws that would actually be effective in saving lives and preserving the Second Amendment.
Donkey Tales January 31, 2013 at 07:16 PM
This just in. Ruger is coming out with a new pistol in honor of Obama. It will be called the "Union Worker." It doesn't work and you can't fire it.
Sanford M Sherman January 31, 2013 at 09:05 PM
Ahmed, thank you for the well timed and well thought out article on NJ gun purchasing. The many misconceptions both in and out of state facing Jerseyans and 2nd amedment rights is alarming. Each state has their own rules for purchasing and carrying a weapon. I suggest that those persons that have never fired a weapon should do so. Heritage guns in Easton, PA (about 45 minutes from Bridgewater)is an excellent indoor gun range, that rents guns and equipment as well as gives instruction on the safe use and handling of firearms. Take a course to find out what law abiding citizens must do in order to purchase a firearm. Criminals don't need ID cards, documentation, registration forms or permission to obtain and fire a weapon. The Bridgewater police Dept. is very cooperative and helpful to any resident trying to obtain a NJ Firearms Purchasers Identification Card.
Ahmed Shraim February 01, 2013 at 06:49 PM
Agree with you Sanford. I actually have taken many "first time shooters" to the range most of them were females that never even held a gun before.... Their reactions were truly amazing. Every single one of them loved it and asked on how can she get her self a firearm! I think the whole opposition to firearms is due to the lack of experience and the natural fear most people have to anything that could cause harm. Elvis Presley wasn't allowed on TV in the 50's and 60's because his dancing was seducing girls all around the country. No one is denying the dangers of firearms in the hands of bad people or the inexperienced...I say, take a friend, a neighbor, or a co worker shooting and teach them the safe handeling of a firearm, perhaps they will understand.
LC February 11, 2013 at 08:03 PM
I have been intending to get an FID for some time, but never got around to it. Once the firestorm about more gun control began after the Sandy Hook tragedy, I finally got moving. It took 6 weeks to get my FID. Bernards Township was very good - I know people who've waited over 6 months! I might also add, Ahmed, that in many towns, they send you elsewhere to get fingerprinting done, at a substantial cost. As a licensed social worker, the state already has my prints on file, but I had to do it again - I believe the cost was $65. I just got the call from the gun shop that my NICS check has been done - that took another four days - and I have to drive 1.5 hours each way to pick up my new gun. It is next to impossible to find a Glock or ammunition because of the very real fear of new state and federal restrictions. The federal governemtn has bought up much of exiting ammo. I've been to the range once and am looking forward to taking a beginners handgun class with a couple of girlfriends - one, another newbie, and the other, considering getting a gun. I plan to become proficient with the use of my handgun. We are all law abiding, suburban moms who are increasingly concerned about the loss of liberty in NJ and the USA.
Ahmed Shraim February 11, 2013 at 08:49 PM
Hey LC, congratulations on getting your FID card. I am so glad to hear that more women are practicing their right to own and keep arms. I believe that we need to learn to protect ourselves and learn to handle a firearm if we are to own one. Sometimes, calling the police isn't an option when you are put in a life or death scenario and have to make a split second decision. It is usually the moms that are left to face home intruders and responsible of protecting their kids...It is peril that we help those moms and provide them all the training needed. This should be on top of our legislators' agenda if they are serious about protecting the law abiding citizens.. Liberty in NJ will prevail if we continue to have women such as your self standing up for their rights.
LC February 11, 2013 at 09:03 PM
Funny you should mention calling the police. I've had to do it twice and would have been dead if there was indeed an armed intruder, as both times the police took at least 10 minutes to arrive. Once - I was living in Brooklyn and called 911 as soon as the house alarm went off. My then husband waited at the top of the stairs while I hid in the bedroom with my infant daughter. When the cop arrived, he found the basement door open and called for backup because even he, an armed officer, would not enter alone. The perp got away in the time he went beck to his squad car. Another time, here in NJ, my alarm also went off and indicated the basement window was opened. I was petrified waiting for the police to come. Ten minutes felt like hours. It turned out to be a leak in the window that set it off. However - my point is that I KNOW the police cannot respond immediately. What is the saying: The police will be there in minutes when all you have is seconds?
Ahmed Shraim February 11, 2013 at 09:10 PM
As you have mentioned, the minutes felt like hours. People who never had such experiences do not understand how scary those scenarios are. Knowing that there is someone breaking into your home and not having the means to defend your self is the ultimate feeling of helplessness. Owning a firearm and knowing how to use it is the difference between becoming a victim or saving your family from harm. Thank you for sharing your scary experience and I hope you will never have to face that again.
Eric S February 11, 2013 at 09:18 PM
A great video that explains the trials and tribulations of purchasing and owning a firearm in NJ: http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?feature=related&v=5fC2iu3CTPc
Petro24 February 12, 2013 at 12:32 AM
Well done, Ahmed! I know many law-abiding citizens who own all types of firearms. Most of them happen to be your best neighbors; people who would do anything, anytime and anywhere to help others. NJ already has too many gun laws. We should allow those who wish to conceal carry to be qualified the same as law enforcement by accredited agencies and annouce it as a public policy. Let it be known to criminals and those that would do us harm that we have had enough. Measure that over ten years and you see violent crime go down. We need to stop demonizing guns and instead focus on putting away all criminals who commit crimes with firearms. We also need to provide better access and care for the mentally ill. I recently tried to help a family member and was shocked to find it almost impossible to get an appoinment that wasn't two or three months out. County services were all booked as well.
Ahmed Shraim February 12, 2013 at 01:30 AM
Thank you P24 for your kind words. I think that the time has come for people to openly talk about the 2nd Amendment on an educated level. It is time to have a mature conversation without too many emotions involved. Both sides of the debate feel passionately about this issue and I do not have a problem with that. However, I feel that the majority of the anti firearms lobby seem to be very ignorant to the laws that we already have in place or to the true facts regarding violence in America. My intention in this Blog was to show people how we already have many laws restricting ownership and controlling who is allowed to purchase a firearm. Perhaps if more people on the ANTI side realize these facts, more people will be willing to discuss enacting actual solutions to help reduce crimes using a firearm instead of putting in place more "Feel good" Measure that serve only criminals.
Petro24 February 12, 2013 at 01:59 PM
Agreed. Again, well said...
Carole Stiller February 12, 2013 at 07:56 PM
Sounds like the answer to all our problems to me!
I plead the 2nd tchk tchk February 21, 2013 at 11:39 PM
it is a common misconception that the police are there to protect you with their guns. The fact is the gun is to protect themselves. It is up to you to protect yourself. As everyone knows the police usually show up in time for rape kits, body bags, and to ask what was taken. It is your job to defend yourself, and you are suppose to be given the ability to do that. In NJ you are legally allowed to defend yourself while you are at home, but not when you go into public, you are not allowed to.
I plead the 2nd tchk tchk February 23, 2013 at 12:58 PM
Ahmed, you know what part of the application process I find really oppressive and unconstitutional? The part of the application process where the applicant has to find tow people in town to sign a letter of recommendation that it is ok for you to own a gun. This is really not fair. What if a person moves from out of state, say a muslim, to a christian neighborhood. Imediately, the American muslim, starts getting death threats from his neighbors. So this guy goes down to get an application for a firearm. He gets to this part of the application where he has to find 2 people to say he is ok to own a gun. Where is this person in this town going to find two people in this fictional town where all want him dead? Then there i that clause about being physically handicapped and you can't own a gun. The whole thing is totally ridiculous. i hate this state.
Mitch February 28, 2013 at 02:40 PM
Gun nuts don't have to answer to reason. They don't feel responsible for the easy access to guns. The legally purchased guns used in recent massacres are not their problem. They complain about how hard it is buy a gun in NJ but fear any tightening of lax controls elsewhere. All they care about is the sense of power they get packing heat.
LC February 28, 2013 at 02:47 PM
Mitch - another uninformed anti-gun NUT. (I'm using this sarcastically because you people have to resort to name calling because facts and reason are not on your side.) We are not responsible for the criminal activities of others. We cannot "pack heat" in NJ, as you ignorantly say. None of the recent massacres, which were committed by CRIMINALS with mental problems, by the way, were done with legally procured firearms, save the VT shooter. Who, by the way, could have been stopped if the campus was not a stupid "gun free zone."
I plead the 2nd tchk tchk February 28, 2013 at 03:08 PM
You know it all Mitch you stupid little bich. How about the feeling of being able to protect myself against prozac induced rages or simple theives breaking in my house. Prozac ridden massacres are not my fault. Now go take someone elses money and go buy some poor soul something useless and call your self a saint. I call you a pce of siht.
Mitch February 28, 2013 at 03:11 PM
Not legally procured? The Tucson shooter got his fine and dandy from his local gun shops. The Aurora madman received parcels ordered through the internet. The Newtown mom bought hers legally and no law prevented her from "sharing" them. If the zig-zagging bullets on campus fired by you gun nuts would only all hit the shooter, we'd be fine. The gun owner who rushed to the Tucson shooting almost hit the wrong person till he (later) realized it the *other* guy who had the gun. All your facts are wrong, but your owning guns makes you feel strong and right.
I plead the 2nd tchk tchk February 28, 2013 at 03:23 PM
Look at mitch, how holly he is. we should elect him our holly leader. Hey the pope is looking for a replacement. We need someone with his logic and goodness. Oh praise the Mitch, the onionted one. Give us all your wisdom so we too can glow with great brilliance.
I plead the 2nd tchk tchk February 28, 2013 at 03:24 PM
you fkn morron
LC February 28, 2013 at 03:31 PM
I should know better than arguing with retarded people on the internet. Lanza STOLE the guns and murdered his mother. He was a maniacal criminal. Loughner committed a crime by lying on the application to buy the gun. He was a maniacal criminal. Why are you so obsessed with these maniacs? Hmm? What about the hundreds of children killed every single year in Chicago, with the tightest gun laws in the country? Not to mention the hundreds killed in other NJ cities where there is strict gun control. John said it very well - you are what he said. (Zig zagging bullets? Ah ha ha - maybe you are a maniac, too ; )
I plead the 2nd tchk tchk February 28, 2013 at 03:36 PM
What about the basement windows at my house kicked in. Someone is trying to target my house for a break in. I found two of my basement windows kicked in. I fixed one and made it kick proof, and the next month I found another kicked in. Someone is slowly trying to quietly tap, my windows in little by little so they can at one point make a quiet break in. Yes I feel great owning my guns, You better believe I am a gun nut MITCH you fkn trd.
I plead the 2nd tchk tchk February 28, 2013 at 03:59 PM
I guarantee you that who ever is targeting my house for break in voted for Obama. I guarantee criminal minds always will vote the democratic ticket every time. How does that make you democrats feel?
Ahmed Shraim February 28, 2013 at 05:06 PM
Gentlemen, can we please cool it and be civil. Please refrain from name calling cause it won't do anything. How about we try to debate in order to find solutions instead of fighting over whose ideas are right or wrong! Perhaps Mitch has a suggestion that might actually work in both protecting all lives and the right to one self defense! Care to share Mitch?
Ahmed Shraim February 28, 2013 at 05:09 PM
I agree John, there is too many ridiculous requirement that don't actually work. I just wish there is a way to constantly modify and update the process. Keep what works and eliminate the nonsense.
Ahmed Shraim February 28, 2013 at 05:15 PM
Mitch the new proposed laws do not offer any real solutions. The criminals will still find a way. It seems that "Feel Good Politics" is what is being proposed in here. No one cares about the black kids in Chicago or Camden that get killed everyday by gang violence. Not one new legislation is proposing to increase prison time on a criminal using a firearm! Not one of those bills is targeting the gangs and the thugs!!! Instead they target everyday people that will purchase their firearms legally. Having said all of that, I do not believe that you can ever have a safe society free of crazy or evil! It is simply impossible. Why are our politicians keep trying to convince us that we can achieve utopia if we ban guns and limit magazines to 10 rounds???? Reason and common sense please, NOT FEEL GOOD POLITICS.

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