Traveler's Guide to the Firearm Laws of the Fifty States

New Jersey

Total prohibition                                                                                      Total freedom

0 —— 10 —— 20 —— 30 —— 40 —— 50 —— 60 —— 70 —— 80 —— 90 —— 100


Traveler’s checklist:

  • Standard firearms ownership: restricted, firearms identification card required
  • Semi-auto / high capacity magazines: highly restricted, all firearms deemed “assault weapons” and any over 15 shot magazines are banned from entering the state
  • Machine gun ownership: individual ownership of machine guns is prohibited
  • Firearm law uniformity: firearm laws are uniformly strict throughout the state
  • Right of Self-Defense: no NRA-model castle doctrine, duty to retreat in public areas
  • Open carry: prohibited in all public areas unless one has New Jersey carry license
  • Concealed carry: license issued on a highly discretionary basis; no reciprocity for other state permits; but New Jersey will issue permits to non-residents
  • Vehicle carry by non-permittees: firearms may not be carried in a vehicle without a purchaser  identification card or NJ carry permit
  • State Parks: firearms possession or use prohibited
  • Restaurants serving alcohol: permittees may carry while eating in dining areas – see p.3
  • Duty to notify LEO of permit status: upon demand of police officer
  • Vehicle gun possession at colleges: prohibited by law


            Travelers to New Jersey should be prepared for highly restrictive firearm laws.  The state’s urban demographics and left-wing political bent have made it a hell house for gun owners.

New Jersey permittees: New Jersey requires a license to carry a loaded handgun
on your person or in a vehicle.  New Jersey residents may apply to their local police chief for such a permit.  Non-residents must apply directly to the Superintendent of State Police.  Such licenses are then issued by a state Superior court for a two-year term and are granted on a highly discretionary basis.  The state does not recognize any out-of-state permits.  Citizens have found it almost impossible to obtain a New Jersey carry permit absent a “compelling” need.

Person without New Jersey permits:  Handgun possession outside of one’s home or place of business generally requires a carry permit issued by a New Jersey Superior court.  Rifle and shotgun possession requires a firearm purchaser identification card issued by a  person’s local police chief or by the state police if the applicant is an out-of-state resident.   A card or permit is also required for vehicle transport of these firearms.  Strict exceptions to this prohibition allow the transport of unloaded and securely cased firearms without a card or permit if a person is traveling directly to a hunting engagement, firearms exhibition, repair facility or target range.  But general transport within the state is prohibited.  Travelers who lack an identification card or who  do not qualify for one of these exceptions should leave all firearms at home unless they qualify for “passing through” status per p.5.

Open carry of a handgun without a New Jersey license is strictly prohibited.  New Jersey
does not differentiate between open or concealed carry.  Both methods of personal carry are prohibited unless one is engaged in a hunting related activity in an area officially sanctioned for such pursuit.

All Persons: Personal ownership of military-pattern semi-automatic weapons, over 15 shot  magazines, full-auto machine guns and most hollow point handgun ammo is prohibited. Travelers should  take care to leave all such items behind when traveling to New Jersey.  An exception exists for residents to keep hollow point ammunition in their homes.  But importation of such ammunition by nonresident travelers is prohibited.