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Hi all,

I am new to both NewJerseyHunter and hunting in general, so I really appreciate the input and advice of the more seasoned members and hunters.

I currently live in NYC, but grew up in NJ, and have started enjoying hunting and clay shooting near where I grew up. I just purchased my first shotgun, and would like to bring it to NJ for my shooting, but often make a weekend out of the trip to see friends and family as well. The issue is that this would not constitute a "direct" trip to/from my residence in NY and the field/clays course.

I have been unable to find consistent information on the legality of this. I have searched the forums, and found some related information; the following post addresses the issues around making the direct trip and if a NJ FID is necessary: (http://www.newjerseyhunter.com/forums/77-nj-firearms-id-card-gun-permits/159594-taking-gun-ny-nj-shoot-range.html), however this does not address the concern of an indirect trip (e.g. staying in NJ for the weekend).

I sent the below email to the NJSP FIU (NJ State Police Firearms Investigations Unit) and received a response to call them to discuss:

Hi, I am a NY resident I have a couple questions about bringing a firearm into NJ. I have spent considerable time online looking for the answer to these questions with no concrete results, so I very much appreciate your time and assistance.

I own a shotgun (and have a NYC long gun permit), and would like to bring it to NJ for target shooting and hunting.

I understand it's permissible to bring my shotgun in as long as I am going directly to the range/field, and coming directly back. However, if I spend the weekend in NJ, I don't believe this would be considered "direct". Would I need a NJ FID to bring my shotgun to NJ for the weekend?

If so, as an out-of-state applicant, I understand that I must apply in person at the closest NJ State Police barracks. Can I submit my application to the East Rutherford barracks? I do not have a car, so I could take NJ Transit to that location.

For transportation, I understand that Amtrak has a policy in place for firearm transportation. Am I permitted to transport my shotgun (in a locked, opaque, hard case, with ammunition locked separately) on NJ Transit? I was unable to find information on that policy.

Again, thank you very much for your time and assistance. Please let me know if you need any further information or clarification.

Best,
Rory

When I called, the response was essentially that the FID would not be relevant, there is no way I can bring my shotgun to NJ for the weekend (only directly between my residence in NY and the field/clays course).

Does the answer I received sound correct and consistent with your understanding of the laws?

If this is the case, it's pretty disappointing, but so be it. However, given the inconsistency of information that people seem to receive regarding these types of questions, I wanted to seek the advice of the knowledgeable folks here before I give up on the idea.

Thanks again for taking the time to read all of this. Please don't hesitate to respond if you have any questions about the scenario.

Best,
Rory
 

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To me the key word you used is bring it for the week-end.That could mean have it with you at all times. You can bring it as stated to a trap/skeet range or to hunt during the season.If you are staying at a friends house for the week-end,as long as when you are finished shooting you can't ride around with it but can leave at the place you are staying. Hope this helps.Make sure it is cased,empty and keep ammo separated.Guys from NY go all the time to Thunder Mountain in Ringwood for trap and skeet.
 

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It is unreal. I live in jersey but shoot red wing and stay with a friend and come back next day. As a new shooter in jersey I called local PD to see if this is in fact legal. Turned into a joke. 4 local police departments gave different answers. As did the state police. So really what I learned was that nj laws are so convoluted that the police don't even understand them. Still havent gotten an answer....good luck.
 

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Careful. IANAL, but this could get tricky.

First off, if you have an FID, then why can't you have it with you? I don't get the police's answer there. With a NJ FID in your possession, you are allowed to possess a long gun even at a friend's house (yes, yes, I know its a "purchase card", but if you read 2C:39, it says you can't possess without one, too).

2C:39-5 Unlawful possession of weapons.

c.Rifles and shotguns. (1) Any person who knowingly has in his possession any rifle or shotgun without having first obtained a firearms purchaser identification card in accordance with the provisions of N.J.S.2C:58-3, is guilty of a crime of the third degree.
If you watched that video of Nappen, he makes this point. It is why he was allowed to hold that shotgun in his hand while giving a lecture - he had an FID, so is allowed to possess the long gun.

But it also takes you months to get a FID card, so, unless you are willing to wait forever, I'll assume you don't have an FID.

Second, without FID, you can't just "leave it at a friends house." To me, that would be considered a temporary transfer, and you can only transfer for "up to eight hours" while hunting or at the range (I recently posted the 2C criminal statutes on that in another thread). Cannot "transfer at a house." Even if you are there at the house, you don't have an FID, so you can't possess unless you are exempt as per 2C:39-6 (things like at a range, hunting, going to/from range, going to/from hunting).

So be careful. I don't think you can do what you want. That's just gut feelings I have based on the knowledge I have of the laws - again, IANAL, but I did sleep at a Holiday Inn last night. Your best bet is to go with what the police told you - other than what they told you about FID being irrelevent (which I question), I think what they said is sound. Sucks, but as always, welcome to NJ, always willing to push people away.
 

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All firearms transported into the State of New Jersey:
  • Shall be carried unloaded and contained in a closed and fastened case, gunbox, securely tied package, or locked in the trunk of the automobile in which it is being transported, and in the course of travel, shall include only such deviations as are reasonably necessary under the circumstances.
  • The firearm should not be directly accessible from the passenger compartment of the vehicle. If the vehicle does not have a compartment separate from the passenger compartment, the firearm and ammunition must be in a locked container other than the vehicle's glove compartment or console.
For additional exemptions refer to Chapter 39, namely 2C:39-6g.
[HR][/HR]All firearms transported through the State of New Jersey:The following guidelines are provided in order to assist law enforcement officers in applying New Jersey's firearms laws to persons who are transporting firearms through the State of New Jersey.

  1. New Jersey laws governing firearms permits, purchaser identification cards, registration and licenses do not apply to a person who is transporting the firearm through this State if that person is transporting the firearm in a manner permitted by federal law, 18 U.S.C.A. 926A.
  2. This federal law permitting interstate transportation of a firearm applies only if all of the following requirements are met:
    1. The person's possession of the firearm was lawful in the state in which the journey began;
    2. The person's possession of the firearm will be lawful in the state in which the journey will end;
    3. The person is transporting the firearm for lawful purpose
    4. The firearm is unloaded
    5. The firearm is not directly accessible from the passenger compartment of the vehicle
    6. The ammunition is not directly accessible from the passenger compartment of the vehicle
    7. If the vehicle does not have a compartment separate from the passenger compartment, the firearm and ammunition must be in a locked container other than the vehicle's glove compartment or console;
    8. The person is not
      1. a convicted felon
      2. a fugitive from justice an addict or unlawful user of drugs, or
      3. an illegal alien
    9. The person has not
      1. been adjudicated to be a mental defective
      2. been committed to a mental institution
      3. been dishonorably discharged from the armed forces, or
      4. renounced his United States Citizenship
  3. A person who is transporting a firearm though the State of New Jersey in the manner permitted by person's possession 18 U.S.C.A. 926A, see Section II above, need not give notice.
  4. Procedures for Investigation of Conduct Involving the Possession or Transportation of Firearms
    1. An officer who reasonably suspects that a person is transporting a firearm in violation of New Jersey law should make reasonable inquiries in order to confirm or dispel that suspicion.
    2. In a case where circumstances reasonably indicate that the person's possession and transportation of the firearms my be permitted by 18 U.S.C.A. 926A, the officer should make reasonable inquiries in order to determine whether the person's possession is permitted by that federal law.
    3. If reasonable inquiries lead an officer to conclude that the person's possession is lawful under either New Jersey law or 18 U.S.C.A. 926A, as described above in Section II, the officer should promptly allow the person to proceed.
    4. Whenever an officer has probable cause to believe that a person's possession of a firearm is in violation of New Jersey law and not permitted by 18 U.S.C.A. 926A, as described above in Section II, then the officer should make an arrest.
 

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NJ = cya

Forget about the enforcers of the laws who more often than not do not know them and are specifically instructed to make the arrest and have the matter sorted out in court later.

Take you questions to those who will decide your fate after you've traded the cuffs for vertical bars.

Try to contact the NJ AG office and get a definitive answer(probably won't respond with a hard answer). Then contact the county prosecutor's office for the county in which you'll be staying and try getting an answer.

If you do get a response stating that you're legal, and it is on an official letterhead, and includes a valid signature, print it and keep it in your pocket during your weekend in jersey. Then post a copy of it here and everywhere else on the internet for others to use while traveling.

Finally, even if you get a positive response, contact a lawyer and have him review the response for any discrepancies/loopholes and keep that lawyer's # readily available whenever you have the shotgun in you possession.

Yes, it's that bad. And after what I was able to glean from a discussion I had a party with some leos this past weekend, I'd say it's probably even worse than that.
 

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Ok so here's my suggestions:

First & foremost don't ever ask the NJSP for legal advice, unless they give it to you IN WRITING! They will never give you a straight answer anyway. If you call three different barracks and ask the same question you will receive three different answers. When you are stopped and say well trooper so and so from the Totowa barracks said XYZ to me over the phone, they are still going to arrest you!

In NJ your essentially guilty until proven innocent when it comes to firearms because in NJ all firearms are BANNED! Unless you fall under an exemption of the laws. & you alone bear the burden of proof. You ask a lawyer for that advice, preferably one well versed in NJ firearms laws (there are a few that have extensive knowledge and experience).

Next defiantly apply for a NJ FIDcard it will take time to get but it will also entitle you to more exemptions than you would have without it.

Another idea would be to join a range that has storage lockers ( you can legally travel directly there and store or retrieve your firearm without worry of breaking any laws if you spend the night). Such as RTSP in Randolph Twp. Morris county as one example of such a facility. Then you would have a membership card, and a place to legally possess your firearm under another exemption. With proof that you may actually be traveling directly to a range because you're in possession of a membership card.

Another suggestion would be to have your friend or family member you stay with write you up a rental agreement or lease. And carry it with you. Then your actually a part time resident and I believe now legally allowed to posses your long gun in that residence. But consult with an attorney on that idea to be sure.

Here is the Evan Nappen transport video again.

Transporting firearms in New Jersey:

And another produced by NJ2AS, that also explains in plain English a basic overview how our unconstitutional firearms laws work here.

The Never-ending Saga of Firearms Ownership in Ne…:

Keep in mind IANAL, just a dumb plumber, but this ^^^^ is solid advice from people that know much more than I do about the subject at hand.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Apologies for the delay. Thank you all for your responses. It sounds like the safest option (other than simply never bringing my shotgun into NJ for an overnight stay), is to apply for my out-of-state FID card. That video is very helpful as well. Thanks again all.
 

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You got the answer from the State Police and didn't like the response so you solicit answers from an Internet Forum where most advise about gun laws is wrong....brilliant. You do know that every agency in NJ follows what the NJSP advice ? Stay in NY please is my advice
 

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You got the answer from the State Police and didn't like the response so you solicit answers from an Internet Forum where most advise about gun laws is wrong....brilliant. You do know that every agency in NJ follows what the NJSP advise ? Stay in NY please is my advise
Every agency huh? Ask five different troopers and you'll get five different answers. I've called multiple barracks in NJ over the years and have found out that your answer often depends on whim of the trooper's firearm law ignorance or knowledge who answers the phone.
 

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Every agency huh? Ask five different troopers and you'll get five different answers. I've called multiple barracks in NJ over the years and have found out that your answer often depends on whim of the trooper's firearm law ignorance or knowledge who answers the phone.
The Firearms Unit specifically, not a barracks with road Troopers. Go back and re-read the original post. I would tell you that you dropped the ball as well by calling individual barracks instead of the Firearms Unit
 

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You got the answer from the State Police and didn't like the response so you solicit answers from an Internet Forum where most advise about gun laws is wrong....brilliant. You do know that every agency in NJ follows what the NJSP advise ? Stay in NY please is my advise
this post was useless. Advice is spelled with a C.
 
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