New Jersey defines all non-powder guns as firearms, subjecting these guns to all regulations and restrictions applicable to firearms.1 To obtain a BB or pellet handgun, a person must obtain a permit to purchase a handgun.
The state prohibits the knowing possession of a handgun in any place other than one’s own property or place of business without a permit to carry if the handgun is an air gun, spring gun or pistol or other similar weapon in which the propelling force is a spring, elastic band, carbon dioxide, compressed or other gas or vapor, air or compressed air, or is ignited by compressed air, and ejects a bullet or missile smaller than three-eighths of an inch in diameter, with sufficient force to injure a person.2
New Jersey prohibits the sale of toy guns and imitation firearms that appear to be genuine firearms. An “imitation firearm” is defined in New Jersey’s firearm statutes as an object or device that is reasonably capable of being mistaken for a firearm. “Toy gun” is defined as a facsimile or reproduction of a firearm that is marketed as a product intended for children or is substantially similar in appearance, size, and shape to a genuine firearm.3
Toy guns or imitation firearms must: 1) Be a color other than black, blue, silver, or aluminum; 2) Be marked with a non-removable orange stripe that is at least one inch in width and runs the entire length of each side of the gun’s barrel; and 3) Have a barrel that is at least one inch in diameter and closed at a distance of at least one-half inch from the barrel’s front end with the same material of which the toy gun or imitation firearm is made.4
A toy gun or imitation firearm that does not meet these standards is required to meet the federal standards for the appearance and configuration of toy guns and imitation firearms established pursuant to 15 C.F.R. 272.1 et seq. Under federal law, it is unlawful to manufacture, enter into commerce, ship, transport, or receive a toy gun or imitation firearm unless it has one of the following characteristics:
- A blaze orange or orange color permanently affixed to the muzzle end of the barrel as an integral part of the entire device and recessed no more than six millimeters from the muzzle end of the barrel;
- A blaze orange or orange color permanently affixed to the exterior surface of the barrel, covering the circumference of the barrel from the muzzle end for a depth of at least six millimeters;
- Is entirely constructed of transparent or translucent materials which permits unmistakable observation of the device’s complete contents; or
- The entire exterior surface of the device is colored in white, bright red, bright orange, bright yellow, bright green, bright blue, bright pink, or bright purple, either singly or as the predominant color in combination with other colors in any pattern.
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- N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:39-1f defines firearm to include “without limitation, any…air gun…or pistol or other weapon of a similar nature in which the propelling force is a spring, elastic band, carbon dioxide, compressed or other gas or vapor, air or compressed air, or is ignited by compressed air, and ejecting a bullet or missile smaller than three-eighths of an inch in diameter, with sufficient force to injure a person.”
- N.J. Stat. Ann. §§ 2C:39-5b, 2C:39-6e.
- N.J. Stat. § 56:17-1.