In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court decision striking down a New York law requiring people to demonstrate a particular need in order to get a permit to carry a handgun in public, Acting Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin today announced a directive clarifying requirements for carrying firearms in New Jersey.
Attorney General Directive No. 2022-07 clarifies that while the Supreme Court decision prevents New Jersey from continuing to require a demonstration of justifiable need in order to carry a handgun, it does not eliminate the enforcement of other permitting requirements under State law.
“I want to make it perfectly clear that carrying a handgun without a permit is still illegal in New Jersey and applicants must satisfy all other statutory and regulatory requirements – including a thorough background check – before obtaining a permit to carry here,” said Acting Attorney General Platkin. “New Jersey is leading the way by taking commonsense action to protect our residents and law enforcement officers from the daily threat of gun violence – and the Supreme Court decision will not change that.”
The Directive clarifies that in reviewing an individual’s application to carry, law enforcement agencies must continue to ensure that the applicant satisfies all requirements under the law, except that the applicant need not submit a written certification of justifiable need to carry a handgun.
Before issuing a carry permit, law enforcement agencies must continue to:
ensure that an applicant is not subject to any of the disabilities that by law would prevent them from obtaining a permit to purchase a handgun or firearms purchaser identification card;
conduct a background check to confirm that the applicant is qualified to carry a handgun, including by ensuring that the application is, among other things, endorsed by three reputable people who have known the applicant for at least three years and can verify that the applicant is a person of good moral character and behavior; and
ensure that an applicant has demonstrated that they are thoroughly familiar with the safe handling and use of handguns.