Reclaiming Your Second Amendment Right to Own a Firearm May be a Challenging and Intricate Process. Sometimes, an Expungement can Help.
New Jersey is one of the strictest states in the country when it comes to firearms ownership rights. Despite this, barring certain circumstances, every applicable citizen has the right to own a firearm under the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. So, how do you determine if you are eligible to own a firearm under New Jersey law? Well, much depends on whether you have criminal convictions on your record and the specifics of those charges. If you have been convicted of one or more criminal offenses in New Jersey that have restricted your legal capacity to own a firearm, our legal team can help you. In some cases, you can have your criminal record expunged, freeing you to take the necessary measures to apply for a gun permit. Contact our Essex County gun rights lawyers for immediate assistance at 201-654-3464 and receive a free consultation at today.
Prohibitions on Firearm Ownership in New Jersey According to N.J.S.A. 2C:39-7
According to New Jersey law, specific individuals are prohibited from possessing a firearm. N.J.S.A. 2C:39-7 imposes restrictions on firearm ownership for those individuals who have committed certain offenses documented in their criminal records. In the state of New Jersey, offenses are categorized into indictable offenses, equivalent to felonies, and disorderly persons offenses, comparable to misdemeanors. Individuals with a felony conviction, classified as an indictable criminal offense ranging from the fourth through first degree, are disqualified from the ability to purchase or possess a firearm. Moreover, certain misdemeanors, such as those related to weapons charges or domestic violence, also result in the forfeiture of the right to own a gun in New Jersey. Lastly, individuals with a restraining order issued against them are deemed ineligible for firearm ownership.
Regaining NJ Gun Rights Through the Expungement Process
Having a New Jersey criminal record that includes certain nullifying elements renders it impossible for you to apply for the necessary identification and permits required to purchase a gun. In order to reestablish your constitutional right to own a firearm, you will need to have those elements of your criminal record expunged. Having your criminal record expunged removes access to information regarding those crimes from the public. While certain internal databases still have the information, public searches such as basic background checks come back clear, and you can legally respond on job applications, housing and loan applications, and others that you have not been convicted of the offense. This does not preclude law enforcement from seeing your past conviction. It does, however, allow you to answer that you haven’t been convicted of an offense that was expunged, which is a component of the gun permit application procedure in New Jersey.
In order to determine whether you are eligible for expungement based on the nature of the crime and other factors, you need the legal guidance of a criminal defense and expungement attorney. We can help you file the necessary paperwork after confirming that the offenses for which your gun rights have been taken away are eligible for expungement. If you have been convicted of a misdemeanor or felony charge in New Jersey, you must wait to seek expungement of the record. The wait time is five years for a disorderly persons offense and five years for a felony or indictable offense in the majority of scenarios.
Equal Firearms Application Access after NJ Expungement
A person who has their firearm rights restored has the same legal access to obtain and possess a firearm that all eligible individuals in New Jersey have. They will be able to apply for both the Firearm Purchaser Identification Card and the firearms permit required to purchase a handgun as well. If your entire criminal record is expunged, this can go a long way toward reestablishing your constitutional right to own a firearm in New Jersey.
A Second Opportunity Through the Governor’s Pardon
If you have an offense on your criminal record or other circumstances that render you ineligible for expungement, there is still a potential for you to recover your rights to own and possess a firearm. This is called a “governor’s pardon.” To apply for a pardon from the Governor of New Jersey, you must show that you are committed to living within the bounds of the law and have rehabilitated from your offense. A knowledgeable attorney on our team can help you gather the documentation and evidence required to apply for a governor’s pardon.
Take the First Step Towards Reclaiming Your Firearm Rights with the Help of Our Attorneys in Newark, NJ
Determining eligibility for expungement, undergoing the expungement process, or seeking an official pardon from the New Jersey Governor that restores your right to purchase, own, and possess a firearm are all complex and nuanced processes. Eligibility depends on many factors, and having the support of a qualified and experienced attorney is essential. Our team has helped hundreds of individuals in Montclair, Irvington, Millburn, Nutley, Newark, Essex Fells, Glen Ridge, South Orange, West Orange, Livingston, and neighboring Essex County towns restore their constitutional right to firearm ownership. We also assist clients with removing final restraining orders that restrict their ability to own or possess guns. Contact us at 201-654-3464 for a free and confidential consultation to discuss how we can get you on the path back to full reclamation of your rights.