I do not have a restraining order against the abuser and s/he has not been convicted of a crime. Can s/he have a gun?
It depends. There are other reasons (aside from a conviction of a crime and aside from having a restraining order issued against someone) why it would be illegal for a person to have a gun in New Jersey.
New Jersey state law says that a person cannot get a “handgun purchase permit” or a “firearms purchaser identification card” if:
- the issuance would not be in the interest of the public health, safety or welfare; or
- if any of the following are true - if s/he:
- s/he had a gun that was taken away due to a prior order and not returned;
- is addicted to drugs or is an alcoholic;
- is currently, or has ever been, confined for a mental disorder to a hospital or mental institution or sanitarium;
- suffers from a physical defect/disease, which would make it unsafe for him/her to handle firearms;
- knowingly falsifies any information on the application form for a handgun purchase permit or firearms purchaser identification card;
- is under the age of 18 years (for a firearms purchaser identification card) or under the age of 21 years (for a permit to purchase a handgun);
- was, as a juvenile, adjudicated delinquent for an offense which, if committed by an adult, would constitute a crime and the offense involved the unlawful use or possession of a weapon or explosive/destructive device; or
- is named on the consolidated Terrorist Watchlist maintained by Terrorist Screening Center administered by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.1
In addition, it is a crime of the 3rd degree under New Jersey state law for someone to possess a firearm or ammunition if:
- s/he is subject to an extreme risk protection order; or
- his/her firearm was seized (taken by police) pursuant to the “Prevention of Domestic Violence Act” and was not returned.2
If any of these fits your situation, please talk to a lawyer or advocate in your area about how this law is being enforced and what steps you can take to help enforce it.
If none of these situations apply, you can still make a plan for your safety. See our Safety Tips page for more information. You can also contact your local domestic violence organization for additional help. You may want to talk to them about whether leaving the area - either long term or for a little while - might help improve your safety. See our NJ Advocates and Shelters page to find a local domestic violence organization near you.
For additional information on gun laws in New Jersey, you can go to the Giffords Law Center website.
Also, federal laws, which apply to all states, restrict an abuser’s right to have a gun under other circumstances. Go to Federal Gun Laws to get more information.
1 NJ Stat. § 2C:58-3(c)
2 NJ Stat. § 2C:39-7(b)(3), (b)(4)