Citation(s) from the GunPolicy.org literature library
Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. 2022 ‘Domestic Violence & Firearms in New Jersey.’ Who Can Have a Gun. San Francisco, CA: Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. 23 May
Domestic Violence and Firearms in New Jersey
Firearm Prohibitions for Domestic Violence Misdemeanants
New Jersey prohibits the purchase, ownership, possession or control of a firearm by persons convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence offenses. The state also authorizes courts to prohibit defendants from purchasing or possessing firearms in cases where the defendant is charged with (but not yet convicted of) a domestic violence crime or offense.
Firearm Prohibitions for Persons Subject to Domestic Violence Restraining Orders
New Jersey prohibits issuance of a permit to purchase a handgun or a Firearms Purchaser Identification Card (FPIC) to any person subject to a domestic violence restraining order that prohibits the person from possessing any firearm.
New Jersey also prohibits the purchase or possession of a firearm by persons subject to ex parte domestic violence protective orders (i.e., orders issued without informing in advance the party to whom the protective order is directed), and authorizes judges to prohibit the purchase or possession of firearms in ex parte protective orders.
New Jersey allows victims of domestic violence to seek a protective order prohibiting the purchase, ownership, possession or control of a firearm against:
1) a spouse, former spouse, or any other person who is a present or former household member;
2) a former or current dating partner or anyone with whom the victim has had a romantic relationship; or
3) any person with whom the victim has a child in common or anticipates having a child in common, if one of the parties is pregnant.
Removal or Surrender of Firearms at the Scene of a Domestic Violence Incident
In New Jersey, law enforcement must seize and remove firearms observed at the scene of a domestic violence incident if the law enforcement officer reasonably believes domestic violence has occurred and the weapon would expose the victim to a risk of serious bodily injury. An officer must also seize any FPIC or permit to purchase a handgun issued to the person accused of the domestic violence.
A prosecutor has 45 days from the seizure in which to petition a court to take title of a seized firearm. If the prosecutor does not institute an action regarding the firearm within 45 days of seizure, the seized firearm shall be returned to the owner. Following a hearing concerning the owner of the seized firearm(s) that finds the weapons should not be returned because the defendant is guilty of the charges, the domestic violence situation persists, or the owner is found to be in a prohibited category under state law, the court may order the revocation of the owners FPIC or any permit, license or other authorization to own or possess a firearm, and order the owner to surrender any firearm seized and all other firearms possessed to the prosecutor and order the prosecutor to dispose of the firearms if the owner does not arrange for the sale of the firearm to a registered gun dealer within 60 days of the order.
Removal or Surrender of Firearms When Domestic Violence Restraining Orders Are Issued
New Jersey authorizes courts to order the removal of firearms by law enforcement officers from abusers subject to domestic violence protective orders, including ex parte protective orders. New Jersey authorizes a judge issuing a domestic violence protective order to require the search for and seizure of any firearm in the possession of a person subject to such an order. Any person whose firearm has been seized and not returned will be denied any permit to purchase a handgun or FPIC…
[Editor's note: The Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence regularly updates its webpages with new data as US gun regulation evolves state by state. For the most up-to-date information on US gun laws, please refer to the Giffords URL below]