New Jersey’s gun licensing laws are considered among the more restrictive in the United States.
New Jersey requires the completion of a number of steps before issuing a license to possess a firearm in the state. A person must be granted a Firearms Purchaser Identification card to buy any firearm, and a Handgun Purchase Permit is needed for each handgun to be purchased. Applicants must complete a questionnaire, supply two references, be fingerprinted and undergo a background check as part of the application process. State law requires approval or denial of permits within 30 days of application, though the state may extend the period. Applicants may appeal the denial of a permit.
1. Obtain application form STS-33 for a Firearms Purchaser Identification Card and/or Handgun Purchase Permit from a municipal police department, the State Police or a licensed retail firearms dealer, or download the form from the official state website. Complete the application, sign it and supply contact information for two references. You will need to be fingerprinted at the time of your application; payment (as of 2010) of $60.25 must be made with a certified check or money order made out to the Division of State Police S.B.I.
Submit the application along with form SP 66 – the consent for mental health records search form, available on the official state website – and application fees (as of 2010) of $5 for a firearms identification card and $2 for each handgun purchase permit to the police department where you reside. If your area has no full-time police service, submit the application to the State Police office serving your area. A non-resident of New Jersey can submit the application to the nearest New Jersey State Police station.
2. Obtain a Certificate of Eligibility from a licensed firearms dealer to purchase a shotgun or rifle, including BB, pellet or black powder rifles. The certificate can be downloaded from the official state website. The purchase of any of these firearms also requires the Firearms Purchaser Identification Card and one additional form of identification.
3. Obtain a Concealed Carry permit if you want to carry a handgun on your person. New Jersey is a “may issue” state, so issuance of this permit is at the discretion of law enforcement. Download form SP-642 from the official state website, complete it in triplicate and deliver it to the Chief of Police for your local area or to the Superintendent of the State Police. Submit a money order for $20 (as of 2010) along with four photographs of yourself taken within the past 30 days. The photos must be one and one-half inch square, of your head and shoulders, with no hat, and taken against a light background.
The application also requires endorsements from three individuals the applicant has known for at least the past three years. Concealed Carry permits are issued by a Superior Court judge.