N.J. Admin. Code § 13:54-2.4

Current through Register Vol. 54, No. 15, August 1, 2022
Section 13:54-2.4 - Application for a permit to carry a handgun
(a) Every person applying for a permit to carry a handgun shall furnish such information and particulars as set forth in the application form designated SP 642. The application shall be signed by the applicant under oath and shall be endorsed by three reputable persons who have known the applicant for at least three years preceding the date of application, and who shall also certify thereon that the applicant is a person of good moral character and behavior. Applications can be obtained at police departments and State Police stations.
(b) Each applicant shall demonstrate a thorough familiarity with the safe handling and use of handguns by indicating in the space provided therefor on the application form, and on any sworn attachments thereto, any relevant information. Thorough familiarity with the safe handling and use of handguns shall be evidenced by:
1. Completion of a firearms training course substantially equivalent to the firearms training approved by the Police Training Commission as described by N.J.S.A. 2C:39-6j;
2. Submission of an applicant's most recent handgun qualification scores utilizing the handgun(s) he or she intends to carry as evidenced by test firings administered by a certified firearms instructor of a police academy, a certified firearms instructor of the National Rifle Association, or any other recognized certified firearms instructor; or
3. Passage of any test in this State's laws governing the use of force administered by a certified instructor of a police academy, a certified instructor of the National Rifle Association, or any other recognized certified instructor.
(c) The information in (b) above shall be accompanied and validated by certifications of the appropriate instructor(s).
(d) Each application form shall also be accompanied by a written certification of justifiable need to carry a handgun, which shall be under oath and which:
1. In the case of a private citizen, shall specify in detail the urgent necessity for self-protection, as evidenced by specific threats or previous attacks, which demonstrate a special danger to the applicant's life that cannot be avoided by means other than by issuance of a permit to carry a handgun. Where possible, the applicant shall corroborate the existence of any specific threats or previous attacks by reference to reports of such incidents to the appropriate law enforcement agencies; or
2. In the case of employees of private detective agencies, armored car companies and private security companies, that:
i. In the course of performing statutorily authorized duties, the applicant is subject to a substantial threat of serious bodily harm; and
ii. That carrying a handgun by the applicant is necessary to reduce the threat of unjustifiable serious bodily harm to any person.
(e) The completed application together with two sets of the applicant's fingerprints and fees as established by N.J.A.C. 13:59 in accordance with N.J.S.A. 53:1-20.5 et seq., four photographs (1 1/2 x 1 1/2 square), a consent for mental health records search form designated S.P. 66, and a permit fee of $ 20.00 payable to the County Clerk where the permit is to be issued shall be submitted to the chief police officer of the municipality in which the applicant resides, or the Superintendent:
1. If there is no chief police officer in the municipality where the applicant resides; or
2. If the applicant is a non-resident of this State or if the applicant is an employee of an armored car company.
(f) An application for a permit to carry a handgun shall be prioritized and be investigated on an expedited basis and approved or disapproved without undue delay, within 14 days if possible, under the following circumstances:
1. The applicant is a private citizen who applies for a permit to purchase a handgun and/or a firearm purchaser identification card contemporaneously with the application for a permit to carry a handgun or who has previously obtained a handgun purchase permit from the same licensing authority; and
i. Has been the victim of an act of violence that resulted in the infliction of serious or significant bodily injury, or was credibly threatened with an act of violence that if carried out would result in the infliction of serious or significant bodily injury, or subjected to an incident in which the actor was armed with and used a deadly weapon or threatened by word or gesture to use a deadly weapon as defined in N.J.S.A. 2C:11-1.c against the applicant, and there is a substantial likelihood, based on the information presented in the applicant's State of New Jersey Request for Expedited Firearms Application form (S.P. 398), and any other information revealed in the investigation of the application, that the applicant will in the foreseeable future be subjected to another such incident; or
ii. Is protected by a court order or under a condition imposed by the court restraining another person from contact with the applicant, and there is a substantial likelihood, based on the information presented in the applicant's State of New Jersey Request for Expedited Firearms Application form and any other information revealed in the investigation of the application, that the applicant will in the foreseeable future be subjected to an act of violence that if carried out would result in the infliction of serious or significant bodily injury, or be subjected to an incident in which the actor is armed with and would use a deadly weapon or threaten by word or gesture to use a deadly weapon as defined in N.J.S.A. 2C:11-1.c against the applicant;
2. An applicant who meets the criteria in (f)1i or ii above shall be deemed to have demonstrated justifiable need (as set forth in N.J.A.C. 13:54-2.3(a)3); and
3. Approval of an expedited firearms application request does not automatically denote approval for a permit to carry a handgun. All applicants are subject to the provisions set forth in this chapter for final approval and issuance of cards and permits.

N.J. Admin. Code § 13:54-2.4

Amended by R.2007 d.378, effective 12/17/2007.
See: 39 N.J.R. 2324(a), 39 N.J.R. 5349(a).
In the introductory paragraph of (b), substituted "shall" for "may"; in (b)2, inserted "and" at the end; deleted (b)3; recodified (b)4 as new (b)3; in (c), substituted "The" for "Where available, the" and deleted the second sentence; in the introductory paragraph of (d), substituted "justifiable need to carry a handgun," for "need"; and in the introductory paragraph of (e), deleted "( P.L. 1985, c.69)" following the N.J.S.A. reference, and substituted "SP 66" for "STS-1" and "chief police officer" for "chief of police".
Amended by R.2015 d.094, effective 6/15/2015.
See: 46 N.J.R. 2393(a), 47 N.J.R. 1328(a).
In (b)2, substituted "or" for "and" at the end; and in the introductory paragraph of (e), substituted "S.P." for "SP" and "chief police officer" for "full-time police department".
Amended by R.2016 d.015, effective 2/16/2016.
See: 47 N.J.R. 2243(a), 48 N.J.R. 281(a).
Added (f).
Amended by R.2017 d.063, effective 4/3/2017.
See: 48 N.J.R. 377(a), 49 N.J.R. 668(a).
In (d)1, inserted "serious threats," and "reasonable", and inserted a comma following the second occurrence of "threats" and following "attacks".
Amended by R.2018 d.192, effective 11/5/2018.
See: 50 N.J.R. 1424(a), 50 N.J.R. 2240(b).
In (d)1, inserted a comma following "citizen" and "possible", substituted "specific threats" for "serious threats, specific threats,", and deleted "reasonable" preceding "means". .
ANNOTATION: On June 16, 2016, and December 19, 2016, the Concurrent Resolutions below were passed by the New Jersey Legislature concerning N.J.A.C. 13:54-2.4. This annotation is provided by the New Jersey Office of Administrative Law pursuant to N.J.S.A. 52:14B-4.3.)
[First Reprint]
SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION No. 101
STATE OF NEW JERSEY
217th LEGISLATURE
INTRODUCED MAY 2, 2016
Sponsored by:
Senator LORETTA WEINBERG
District 37 (Bergen)
Senator NIA H. GILL
District 34 (Essex and Passaic)
Assemblyman LOUIS D. GREENWALD
District 6 (Burlington and Camden)
Assemblywoman JOANN DOWNEY
District 11 (Monmouth)
Assemblyman ERIC HOUGHTALING
District 11 (Monmouth)
Assemblywoman GABRIELA M. MOSQUERA
District 4 (Camden and Gloucester)
Co-Sponsored by:
Senators Vitale, Stack, Gordon, Turner and Cunningham
SYNOPSIS
Determines that State Police rule to expand definition of justifiable need for purpose of handgun carry permit is inconsistent with legislative intent.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
As reported by the Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism & Historic Preservation Committee on May 5, 2016, with amendments.
EXPLANATION-Matter enclosed in bold-faced brackets [thus] in the above bill is not enacted and is intended to be omitted in the law. Matter underlined thus is new matter. Matter enclosed in superscript numerals has been adopted as follows: 1Senate SSG committee amendments adopted May 5, 2016.
A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION concerning legislative review of Division of State Police rules and regulations pursuant to Article V, Section IV, paragraph 6 of the Constitution of the State of New Jersey and prohibiting the adoption of certain proposed Division of State Police rules and regulations concerning justifiable need to carry a handgun.
WHEREAS, Pursuant to Article V, Section IV, paragraph 6 of the Constitution of the State of New Jersey, the Legislature may review any rule or regulation adopted or proposed by an administrative agency to determine if it is consistent with the intent of the Legislature, and invalidate an adopted rule or regulation or prohibit the adoption of a proposed rule or regulation if it finds that the rule or regulation is not consistent with legislative intent; and
WHEREAS, Upon finding that a rule or regulation, either proposed or adopted, is not consistent with legislative intent, Article V, Section IV, paragraph 6 provides that the Legislature shall transmit its findings in the form of a concurrent resolution to the Governor and the head of the Executive Branch agency which promulgated, or plans to promulgate, the rule or regulation, and the agency shall have 30 days from the time the concurrent resolution is transmitted to amend or withdraw the rule or regulation; and
WHEREAS, If the agency does not amend or withdraw the existing or proposed rule or regulation, Article V, Section IV, paragraph 6 provides that the Legislature may invalidate or prohibit the adoption of the proposed rule or regulation, following a public hearing held by either House on the invalidation or prohibition, the placement of a transcript of the public hearing on the desks of the members of each House of the Legislature in open meeting followed by the passage of at least 20 calendar days, and a vote of a majority of the authorized membership of each House in favor of a concurrent resolution invalidating or prohibiting the adoption of the rule or regulation; and
WHEREAS, New Jersey's gun safety laws are among the strongest in the nation; the state's regulatory and legislative provisions draw careful lines between possessing a gun in one's home or place of business and carrying a gun for protection outside of the home or business; and
WHEREAS, New Jersey citizens are prohibited from carrying a handgun in public unless they have obtained a permit to carry that handgun; a violation constitutes a crime of the second degree, which is punishable by a term of imprisonment of five-to-10 years, a fine of up to $ 150,000, or both; and
WHEREAS, The limited exceptions to the carry permit requirement include: members of the armed forces, federal law enforcement officers, State Police officers, members of municipal and county police departments, sheriff's officers, and corrections officers at all times; railway police, park rangers, and campus police while in the actual performance of their duties; certain security personnel in the official performance of their duties; retired law enforcement officers, and employees of armored car companies; and
WHEREAS, To obtain a permit to carry a handgun, an applicant is required to provide with the application a written certification of justifiable need; and
WHEREAS, Justifiable need is defined in regulation, specifically N.J.A.C. 13:54-2.4, as "the urgent necessity for self-protection, as evidenced by specific threats or previous attacks which demonstrate a special danger to the applicant's life that cannot be avoided by means other than by issuance of a permit to carry a handgun"; and
WHEREAS, While there have been several legal challenges to the justifiable need standard, including that the standard violates the right to bear arms under the Second Amendment, to date, both State and federal courts have upheld the constitutionality of the State's justifiable need requirement, and the United States Supreme Court has denied certiorari on the constitutional challenge; and
WHEREAS, The Division of State Police is proposing to amend N.J.A.C. 13:54-2.4 to add "serious threats" to the circumstances that could demonstrate a special danger to the applicant's life that could be specified in the written certification of justifiable need; further, the proposed amendment also specifies that a permit to carry a handgun can be issued based on a special danger to the applicant's life that cannot be avoided by other "reasonable" means; and
WHEREAS, The proposed amendments are premised on an inaccurate reading of the applicable New Jersey Supreme Court precedent interpreting the justifiable need standard, misstating the standard articulated in Siccardi v. State, 59 N.J. 545 (1971), which is actually consistent with the current regulations; and
WHEREAS, Examples provided by the State Police of a private citizen who could establish a justifiable need based on "serious threats" suggest that these amendments could potentially authorize taxi drivers, bus drivers, pizza delivery drivers, United Postal Service drivers, and anyone working or living in a high-crime neighborhood to qualify to carry a firearm; and
WHEREAS, Current law and judicial interpretations of the justifiable need standard clearly require demonstration of an urgent necessity for protection from a specific threat to one's life rather than from a mere generalized fear or concern; and
WHEREAS, The proposed amendment to N.J.A.C. 13:54-2.4 expanding the scope of the right to carry well beyond that authorized under current law and judicial interpretation is inconsistent with the Legislature's intent to establish who may carry a handgun outside the home in this State; now, therefore,
BE IT RESOLVED by the Senate of the State of New Jersey (the General Assembly concurring):
1. The Legislature declares that the rules and regulations proposed and made available for public comment in the New Jersey Register on March 7, 2016 at 48 N.J.R. 377(a) by the Division of State Police in the Department of Law and Public Safety to revise the rule governing Application for a Permit to Carry a Handgun, N.J.A.C. 13:54-2.4 are not consistent with the intent of the 15 Legislature.
2. Copies of this concurrent resolution, as filed with the Secretary of State, shall be transmitted by the Clerk of the General Assembly and the Secretary of the Senate to the Governor, the Attorney General, and the Superintendent of State Police.
3. Pursuant to Article V, Section IV, paragraph 6 of the Constitution of the State of New Jersey, the Superintendent of State Police shall have 30 days following transmittal of this resolution to amend or withdraw the adopted rules and regulations or the Legislature may, by passage of another concurrent resolution, exercise its authority under the Constitution to invalidate the rules and regulations in whole or in part
SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION No. 117
STATE OF NEW JERSEY
217th LEGISLATURE
INTRODUCED SEPTEMBER 8, 2016
Sponsored by:
Senator LORETTA WEINBERG
District 37 (Bergen)
Senator NIA H. GILL
District 34 (Essex and Passaic)
Assemblyman LOUIS D. GREENWALD
District 6 (Burlington and Camden)
SYNOPSIS
Prohibits adoption of State Police proposed rule expanding justifiable need standard for issuing handgun carry permits.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
As introduced.
A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION concerning legislative review of rules and regulations pursuant to Article V, Section IV, paragraph 6 of the Constitution of the State of New Jersey and prohibiting the adoption of certain proposed Division of State Police rules and regulations.
WHEREAS, Pursuant to Article V, Section IV, paragraph 6 of the Constitution of the State of New Jersey, the Legislature may review any rule or regulation adopted or proposed by an administrative agency to determine if it is consistent with the intent of the Legislature, and invalidate an adopted rule or regulation or prohibit the adoption of a proposed rule or regulation if it finds that the rule or regulation is not consistent with legislative intent; and
WHEREAS, Upon finding that a rule or regulation, either proposed or adopted, is not consistent with legislative intent, Article V, Section IV, paragraph 6 provides that the Legislature shall transmit its 16 findings in the form of a concurrent resolution to the Governor and the head of the Executive Branch agency which promulgated, or plans to promulgate, the rule or regulation, and the agency shall have 30 days from the time the concurrent resolution is transmitted to amend or withdraw the rule or regulation; and
WHEREAS, If the agency does not amend or withdraw the existing or proposed rule or regulation, Article V, Section IV, paragraph 6 provides that the Legislature may invalidate or prohibit the adoption of the proposed rule or regulation, following a public hearing held by either House on the invalidation or prohibition, the placement of a transcript of the public hearing on the desks of the members of each House of the Legislature in open meeting followed by the passage of at least 20 calendar days, and a vote of a majority of the authorized membership of each House in favor of a concurrent resolution invalidating or prohibiting the adoption of the rule or regulation; and
WHEREAS, On March 7, 2016, the Division of State Police in the Department of Law and Public Safety proposed for public comment in the New Jersey Register a rule proposal concerning the Application for a Permit to Carry a Handgun pursuant to N.J.A.C. 13:54-2.4 the rule proposal expands the circumstances under which justifiable need to carry a handgun can be based to include "serious threats," in addition to specific threats and previous attacks, which cannot be avoided by "reasonable" means other than by issuance of a permit; and
WHEREAS, This notice of proposal cites N.J.S. 2C:39-1 et seq. and N.J.S. 2C:58-1 et seq. as the statutory authority for the rule proposal; and
WHEREAS, Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 101 (1R) and Assembly 45 Resolution No. 175 declared that the proposal by the Division of State Police, published for public comment in the New Jersey Register on March 7, 2016 (48 N.J.R.377(a)), to revise the rule concerning Application for a Permit to Carry a Handgun, N.J.A.C. 13:54-2.4, is not consistent with legislative intent; and
WHEREAS, On June 16, 2016, Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 101 (1R) received final approval by the Legislature and was transmitted 4 to the Governor, the Attorney General, and the Superintendent of State Police in the form of a concurrent resolution filed on June 16, 2016 with the Secretary of State and published on the Legislature's public website, and again on July 5, 2016 through a letter mailed by the Clerk of the General Assembly to the Governor, the Attorney General, and the Superintendent of State Police; and
WHEREAS, Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 101 (1R) expressed the Legislature's finding that the proposal by the Division of State Police on March 7, 2016 was not consistent with legislative intent and informed the Governor, the Attorney General, and the Superintendent of State Police, pursuant to Article V, Section IV, paragraph 6 of the Constitution of the State of New Jersey, that the superintendent shall have 30 days following transmittal of that concurrent resolution to amend or withdraw the proposed rules and regulations or the Legislature may, by passage of another concurrent resolution, exercise its authority under the Constitution to prohibit the adoption of the proposed rules and regulations in whole or in part; and
WHEREAS, The Division of State Police has failed to amend or withdraw, or provide any notification to the Legislature of its intention to amend or withdraw, the proposed regulations within 30 days after Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 101 (1R) was transmitted to the Governor, the Attorney General, and the Superintendent of State Police; and
WHEREAS, Prior to voting on a concurrent resolution to invalidate an adopted rule or regulation or prohibit the adoption of a proposed rule or regulation, a public hearing shall be held on invalidating or prohibiting the adoption of the proposed rule and the transcript of that hearing shall be placed on the desk of each member of the Senate and each member of the General Assembly; now, therefore,
BE IT RESOLVED by the Senate of the State of New Jersey (the General Assembly concurring):
1. The Legislature prohibits adoption of the proposed rules and regulations published by the Division of State Police for public comment in the New Jersey Register on March 7, 2016 (48 N.J.R.377(a)), to expand the justifiable need standard for carrying a handgun pursuant to N.J.A.C. 13:54-2.4 to include "serious threats" in addition to specific threats and previous attacks, which cannot be avoided by "reasonable" means other than by issuance of a permit.
2. Copies of this concurrent resolution, as filed with the Secretary of State, shall be transmitted by the Clerk of the General Assembly or the Secretary of the Senate to the Governor, the Attorney General, the Superintendent of State Police, and the Office of Administrative Law.
3. This concurrent resolution shall take effect immediately.
STATEMENT
Pursuant to Article V, Section IV, paragraph 6 of the Constitution of the State of New Jersey, this concurrent resolution prohibits adoption of the rules and regulations proposed by the Division of State Police for public comment in the New Jersey Register on March 7, 2016 to expand the circumstances in N.J.A.C. 13:54-2.4(Application for a Permit to Carry a Handgun) under which justifiable need to carry a handgun can be based to include "serious threats" in addition to specific threats and previous attacks, which cannot be avoided by "reasonable" means other than by issuance of a permit.
As required by the Constitution, the Legislature previously informed the Governor, the Attorney General, and the Division of State Police, through Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 101 (1R) of 2016, of the Legislature's finding that this rule proposal is not consistent with legislative intent.