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New Jersey Gun Rules?


H. K. Uriah, SASS #74619

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I am considering going to a shoot in New Jersey.  I have heard some very real horror stories about visiting that state with guns.   For example, I have "heard" that you can't "overnight" a gun in that state.  

But what about antique firearms?   I could easily put together a battery of guns made before 1898, load up some black powder and be done with it.   But is that a viable alternative to dealing with the laws in that state?  Anyone here who lives in New Jersey that can give me a heads up? 

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Okay, I did something logical, I looked up NJ's firearms laws.   From the law...

 

"Antique firearm" means any firearm which is incapable of being fired or discharged, or which does not fire fixed ammunition regardless of date of manufacture, or was manufactured before 1898 for which cartridge ammunition is not commercially available, and is possessed as a curiosity or ornament or for its historical significance or value.  (Emphasis added)

 

What I find troubling here is that I can readily purchase ammo in .32-20, 44-40,  45 Colt and 12 gauge, the calibers/gauge that my antique guns are chambered for,  at any gunshop.  This to me indicates that even though those guns were made before 1898, they are not antiques under New Jersey law.   Also, it would seem to me that if you own a flintlock rifle for use as a hunting arm that this would also make it not an antique because it is owned and used for practical purposes, not as a curiosity or an ornament.  Also, while the laws do say that you don't need a permit to buy or possess an antique rifle or shotgun, the words "antique handgun" are not to be found in the laws.  

 

Antique cannons are talked about a lot, but that's not relevant to me.

So when all is said and done, I am even more confused than I was before I read the laws.

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I believe your assessment it correct 

1 hour ago, H. K. Uriah, SASS #74619 said:

Okay, I did something logical, I looked up NJ's firearms laws.   From the law...

 

"Antique firearm" means any firearm which is incapable of being fired or discharged, or which does not fire fixed ammunition regardless of date of manufacture, or was manufactured before 1898 for which cartridge ammunition is not commercially available, and is possessed as a curiosity or ornament or for its historical significance or value.  (Emphasis added)

 

What I find troubling here is that I can readily purchase ammo in .32-20, 44-40,  45 Colt and 12 gauge, the calibers/gauge that my antique guns are chambered for,  at any gunshop.  This to me indicates that even though those guns were made before 1898, they are not antiques under New Jersey law.   Also, it would seem to me that if you own a flintlock rifle for use as a hunting arm that this would also make it not an antique because it is owned and used for practical purposes, not as a curiosity or an ornament.  Also, while the laws do say that you don't need a permit to buy or possess an antique rifle or shotgun, the words "antique handgun" are not to be found in the laws.  

 

Antique cannons are talked about a lot, but that's not relevant to me.

So when all is said and done, I am even more confused than I was before I read the laws.

 

I believe your assessment is correct. There are a few states that I would never go hunting in, or to participate in a function in which I would have to take firearms into. New Jersey is one of them.

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From the NJ State Police web site under FAQ:

 

  • Can I travel through New Jersey with my firearms?

    Yes.  With no unreasonable deviations from your travels you may drive through New Jersey with any type firearm or ammunition.  If New Jersey is the State of destination, then the firearms must be legal in this State.

You might want to look at the Jackson Hole Gang web site and contact one of the officers of the club for more information.  I haven't been a member there for 4 years, but there was never a problem with out of state shooters going to NJ shoots.

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I recall New Jersey having exemptions for sports.

 

If you are going to a shoot, have proof of registration for the event. If you are hunting, have your license, and supporting docs and hunting regulations, etc. to prove your activity.

 

Follow FOPA guidelines for transport into and out of the state.

 

Magazine limits apply. No hollow point ammo. Don't even think it.

 

The exceptions allowing transport into the state with a destination are limited. Make sure you know your exception is a perfect match and you have documentation of it.

 

If you do not have an exempted destination, don't bring firearms. Under FOPA, you are allowed to drive through the state, stopping only for gas and food. Keep in mind a loaded magazine is the same as a loaded firearm; unload any (10 round) magazines before entering the state. Stopping for any other reason (hotel, state park, amusement attraction, visiting family or friends) without -- or outside of -- an exempted purpose is a destination and FOPA does not protect you.

 

Don't speed. Make sure all the lights on your car work. Use your turn signals. Don't turn your radio up too loud. Don't smile too much or too little. No NRA, 2A, Browning, Ruger, or other decals or bumper stickers.

 

Don't under any circumstances mouth off to an officer!

 

Other than that, have fun.

 

And as suggested above, call ahead to a host club. They may have other suggestions.

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Skip all the arm chair legal advice on the wire and contact the MD at the club you plan on attending.

 

I would leave your mare's leg firearms at home

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Just now, Sedalia Dave said:

Skip all the arm chair legal advice on the wire and contact the MD at the club you plan on attending.

 

I would leave your mare's leg firearms at home

 

Would not have even considered them.   I was thinking a Colt Lighting, Colt SAA and a S&W New Model 3, all in .44-40 and my 87.   All of which were made well before 1898.

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3 minutes ago, H. K. Uriah, SASS #74619 said:

 

Would not have even considered them.   I was thinking a Colt Lighting, Colt SAA and a S&W New Model 3, all in .44-40 and my 87.   All of which were made well before 1898.

 

Unless their actual MFG date is before 1898 I wouldn't use that criteria. I doubt that reproductions count.

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.... ammunition not commercially available makes a valid antique if you have to reload your ammunition.for those calibers.  Anyway, that’s my reasoning 

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Devil is in the details, and there is no antique exceptions in NJ.  You have a matchlock rifle from the 1600s, it's a firearm.  BB Guns, and Air Soft? yup, firearms.  

 

That being said, we have had people from up and down the east coast come to our State match, and a few from Canada as well.

 

For monthlies, we have people from Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New York.  Maryland on occasion.

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Would this be the same government state agency, and person who probably never shot a firearm in their life, who would tell you that you can bring in your semi auto M1 Garand with 8 shot clip, but your AR15 semi auto ASSAULT WEAPON can't be brought in even though we all know it's not an assault weapon?

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Frankly NJ is a mess. You can follow all the rules (guns and ammo in trunk, locked in separate cases, unloaded, no hollow point ammo, etc, etc) and you still risk being arrested if the police officer who stops you decides to ignore the nuances of the law or doesn't know them. Gun busts are a highly popular prize in some departments in NJ. You may win in the end but that involves lawyers, court costs, and time. There were cases in the past the Governor had to step in to pardon innocent people but that isn't going to happen with the current administration. Your mileage may vary, out-of-staters do come to shoots, your choice. Under no circumstances consent to a search of your vehicle if you have things in the trunk. I am a FORMER NJ resident.

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55 minutes ago, High Spade Mikey Wilson said:

Would this be the same government state agency, and person who probably never shot a firearm in their life, who would tell you that you can bring in your semi auto M1 Garand with 8 shot clip, but your AR15 semi auto ASSAULT WEAPON can't be brought in even though we all know it's not an assault weapon?

 

That would most likely be the one!!

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Life is too short to risk jail and loss of firearms in order to shoot in New England, California, Quebec and Ontario. There are so many other states and provinces where you don't have to be concerned about being considered a criminal.

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19 hours ago, John Kloehr said:

 

...

Magazine limits apply. No hollow point ammo. Don't even think it.

....

; unload any (10 round) magazines before entering the state.

....

 

No hollow point ammo?  HP's are illegal in NJ?  Wow, that's a new one for me.  No handgun hunting in NJ?  No HP target bullets for rifle matches?  Wow.  Just, wow.

 

No 10 round magazines?  Just what the heck is the designated number of rounds allowed in a magazine in NJ?

 

Geez, I thought CA and NY were a PITA for gun owners.

 

Angus

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Ten round magazines are the limit.  Nothing over ten rounds is allowed. He’s saying that transportation  of loaded magazines is prohibited.

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I’m soooo glad that I live in the South and don’t have all those silly laws to deal with.  Bless your heart if you have to put up with all that.

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7 hours ago, Black Angus McPherson said:

 

No hollow point ammo?  HP's are illegal in NJ?  Wow, that's a new one for me.  No handgun hunting in NJ?  No HP target bullets for rifle matches?  Wow.  Just, wow.

 

No 10 round magazines?  Just what the heck is the designated number of rounds allowed in a magazine in NJ?

 

Geez, I thought CA and NY were a PITA for gun owners.

 

Angus

 

Hollow points are tricky.  They are legal to purchase, possess, and use for matches and target practice.  Now if they're found your possession when you get busted doing something you shouldn't be, well, that ups the charges.

 

NY and rest of NE are all a PITA for gun owners, they have their nuances, which equate to what kinda of PITA do you wanna deal with.

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10 hours ago, Waxahachie Kid #17017 L said:

I guess my question (ridiculous as it is) would be: have the strict firearms rules eliminated crimes committed with firearms? 

Be interesting to see the statistics that are generated, after such laws are passed. Yet, I wonder, would the stats be slanted toward a particular stance?

 

I don't have NJ statistics but..... Chicago has the strictest gun laws in the nation. And they also have the highest crime rate using guns along with the highest gun shot wounds and death.

Which proves what most 2A people say, honest people will obey the law, criminals won't no matter what the law says.

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22 hours ago, Mud Marine,SASS#54686 Life said:

Life is too short to risk jail and loss of firearms in order to shoot in New England, California, Quebec and Ontario. There are so many other states and provinces where you don't have to be concerned about being considered a criminal.

Thankfully California isn't really that bad when it comes to shooting in the SASS world, besides transporting them safely the cowboy guns aren't "scary guns". If you get a cool enough cop and for what ever reason you are showing them the guns they would probably think that they are awesome guns that they find fascinating and want to talk about them (or at least that's what happened when flying home from the Tennessee State this year with TSA). 

So short of pulling your gun out in a public area other than the range there's not much to fear here...

 

23 hours ago, High Spade Mikey Wilson said:

Would this be the same government state agency, and person who probably never shot a firearm in their life, who would tell you that you can bring in your semi auto M1 Garand with 8 shot clip, but your AR15 semi auto ASSAULT WEAPON can't be brought in even though we all know it's not an assault weapon?

You mean they would tell you that you can bring the M1 but NOT the "fully semi automatic" "ghost gun" that has a .30-caliber clip to disperse with 30 bullets within half a second.

 

Also that's the gun I'm in the market for if anyone has one floating around... just FYI let me know :D

 

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So, I’m not going to quote rules and laws, look them up, their easy to find. What I will say is that it is not the nightmare that everyone thinks.. you just have to follow the rules. Keep them cased, ammo separate. Don’t have them laying out on the seat, put them in the trunk etc. you just have to be more conscious of what you are doing..  Drive into the state and go to where you are going, don’t sight see, stop to shop,  go to the venue.  There are a lot of great shoots in Jersey and the northeast.....your call

Swan

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On 10/28/2020 at 9:11 PM, Sedalia Dave said:

Skip all the arm chair legal advice on the wire and contact the MD at the club you plan on attending.

 

I would leave your mare's leg firearms at home

This is the best advice ! ^^^^^^^^^^^

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