Prior to purchasing a firearm in New Jersey, all prospective purchasers must obtain either a permit to purchase a handgun (one permit per handgun purchase), or a Firearms Purchaser Identification Card (FPIC) (one card allows unlimited rifle and shotgun purchases),1 from local law enforcement or the New Jersey State Police (NJSP).2 As of February 1, 2023, any person who becomes a resident of New Jersey and brings with them a firearm that the person owned or acquired while residing in another state has 60 days of becoming a resident to apply for an FPIC or register a handgun.3
Applicants must provide their name, residence, place of business, age, date of birth, occupation, sex, physical description, distinguishing characteristics, as well as an extensive personal history.4 Both permits require the applicant to undergo a background check and waive confidentiality relating to any institutional confinement for a mental or psychiatric condition. For more on background checks and other criteria for obtaining a permit to purchase a handgun or FPIC, see the sections entitled Prohibited Purchasers Generally in New Jersey and Mental Health Reporting in New Jersey.
A handgun permit or FPIC shall not be denied to a person unless they known in the community in which they live as someone who has engaged in acts or made statements suggesting the person is likely to engage in conduct, other than justified self-defense, that would pose a danger to self or others.5 In 2022, New Jersey required an applicant for a handgun permit or FPIC to demonstrate that, within four years prior to the date of the application, the applicant satisfactorily completed an approved course in the lawful and safe handling and storage of firearms. An applicant is not required to take firearms safety training to obtain a subsequent permit to purchase a handgun or renew a FPIC.6 The applicant shall not be required to demonstrate completion of a course of instruction in order to obtain any subsequent permit to purchase a handgun or a firearms purchaser identification card , to replace an existing firearms purchaser identification card, or to renew a firearms purchaser identification card.
An applicant for a permit to purchase a handgun shall also certify as to each handgun whether the applicant is purchasing the handgun on the applicant’s own behalf or, if not, that the purchase is being made on behalf of a third party to whom the applicant may lawfully transfer the handgun.7
If an applicant qualifies for a permit to purchase a handgun or FPIC, the permit or FPIC shall be issued within 30 days from the date of receipt of the application, or within 45 days if the applicant is not a New Jersey resident.8 Beginning in 2023, FPICs must be electronically linked to the fingerprints of the permittee.9
Once issued, a permit to purchase a handgun is valid for 90 days, and may be renewed for good cause for another 90 days.10 Prior to the time a permittee receives a handgun, he or she shall deliver the permit to the seller, and the seller shall enter all the information required on the permit form.11 The seller shall keep a copy as a permanent record, and deliver the completed permit (or copies) to local law enforcement and NJSP within five days of the date of sale.12
A FPIC is valid so long as the holder remains eligible to possess a firearm.13
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- N.J. Admin. Code § 13:54-1.9.
- N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:58-3(a), 3(b), 3(f), 3(i).
- Id. at (o).
- N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:58-3(e).
- N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:58-3(c).
- Id. at (c)(11).
- Id. at (e).
- N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:58-3(f).
- Id. at (d).
- N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:58-3(h).
- N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:58-3b, 3f, 3i; N.J. Admin. Code § 13:54-1.7(a).