NJ Announces Guidelines to “Ensure Efficient Consideration in Processing Firearm Permit Applications”

new-jersey-governor-chris-christie

Just announced by the office of Governor Chris Christie:

Trenton, NJ – Acting on Governor Chris Christie’s commitment to ensure fair and consistent application of the state’s gun laws that respects individual’s Second Amendment rights and protects public safety, the Office of Attorney General announced a directive and guideline issued by Acting Attorney General Robert Lougy, and a regulatory change to align the regulations governing the issuance of a carry permit with New Jersey Supreme Court precedent interpreting the statutory standard of justifiable need. Taken together, the changes will help ensure all applicants receive efficient and uniform consideration in the processing of firearm permit applications . . .

“The terrible tragedy involving Berlin resident Carol Bowne last summer was a jarring example of a permitting system that had failed and needed to be reexamined and fixed. Likewise, I have seen far too many instances in my time as governor of otherwise lawful gun owners facing severe criminal penalties when they have no intent to violate the law in the routine transport of their lawfully owned firearms,” said Governor Christie.  “Building on the work of the Study Commission, my Administration is taking important, concrete steps today to address those loopholes and inequities and deliver relief and assurance to New Jerseyans exercising their Second Amendment rights that their constitutional rights will be protected and respected in New Jersey.”

“We are always looking for ways to improve the permitting process and to provide uniformity across the state,” said Acting Attorney General Robert Lougy. “And our guideline on reasonably necessary deviation in transporting a firearm provides additional clarity to police, prosecutors, and law abiding gun owners.”

Last year, Governor Christie signed Executive Order No. 180, calling for expedited treatment of applications in cases of domestic violence and creating the New Jersey Firearm Purchase and Permitting Study Commission, following the tragic murder of Carol Bowne, a Camden County resident. Bowne had secured a restraining order against her ex-boyfriend and filed an application for a firearm permit in April 2015. Less than two months later, and with her application delayed beyond the 30-day statutory deadline for its processing, she was stabbed to death in her front yard by her ex-boyfriend.

The Study Commission was charged with the specific task of reviewing the state’s laws, regulations and procedures pertaining to the ownership and possession of firearms and make recommendations to enhance the lawful exercise of New Jerseyans’ Second Amendment rights.  The Study Commission issued its report in December, noting multiple complaints from firearm permit applicants that statutory permitting requirements were being applied unevenly across the state, specifically, that there were unnecessary delays in processing applications and the imposition of unauthorized requirements for permit applications, in violation of state law.

The directive, guideline and regulatory change announced today include:

A Regulatory Change For A Handgun Carry Permit To Align And Harmonize The Definition Of “Justifiable Need” With New Jersey Supreme Court Standards:

·•                Published in the New Jersey Register on March 7, 2016, the regulatory amendment will provide greater objectivity, consistency, and clarity in the application of this standard.

•    The regulation adds “serious threats” to the circumstances that could demonstrate a special danger to the applicant’s life – including evidence of serious threats that are not directed specifically at an individual but which establish more than mere generalized fears or concerns – that a private citizen may specify in a written certification of justifiable need submitted with an application for a permit to carry a handgun.

•    The amendment also clarifies that the issuance of a permit to carry a handgun can be based on a special danger to the applicant’s life that cannot be avoided by other “reasonable” means, rather than by “any” means, as the regulation currently provides.

A Guideline On The Reasonably Necessary Deviations In The Course Of Travel Exception For Transporting Firearms In New Jersey:

•    Currently, the law allows a limited degree of deviation in the course of travel when an individual is lawfully transporting a firearm. People may transport a firearm that is unloaded and properly stored and in prescribed circumstances without a carry permit: to and from their home and business, hunting, shooting ranges and while moving between residences.  New Jersey law allows, but does not define, “reasonably necessary” deviations in the course of that direct travel.

•    The Study Commission found a lack of clarity in the statute that creates a risk of disparate and inconsistent application by law enforcement.

•    The Attorney General is providing guidance through this directive to law enforcement and prosecutors to ensure the law is administered uniformly throughout the state.  The directive sets forth a balanced approach for law enforcement and prosecutors to employ to determine whether a deviation in the course of direct travel between two points with a lawfully-possessed firearm is “reasonably necessary,” considering the nature, purpose and extent of the deviation from the firearm owner’s direct route.

•    While not an exclusive list, some examples of stops or detours in the course of travel to or between locations that would qualify as reasonably necessary include: collecting and discharging passengers; purchasing fuel, food and beverages, medication, or other needed supplies; using a restroom; contending with an emergency situation; or driving around a traffic jam.

A Directive For Uniform Statewide Practices And Procedures For Issuing Firearms Purchaser Identification Cards, Handgun Purchase Permits, And Permits To Carry Handguns:

•    The Study Commission’s report noted complaints by firearm permit applicants about variations in the practices and procedures used by licensing authorities issuing Firearms Purchaser Identification Cards, Handgun Permits and Carry Permits, including processing delays well beyond the 30 days prescribed by law and the imposition by some licensing authorities of application requirements that exceed the state permitting statute.

•    The Attorney General directive requires licensing authorities simply to follow the law by processing permit applications in a timely fashion and limiting application requirements to those prescribed by statute.

•    To increase transparency in the permitting process, the Directive requires licensing authorities to submit, annually, data on the number of ID cards and handgun purchase permit applications filed and processed per month over the year, and the length of time it took to process those applications.  These statistics will be posted annually on the Division of State Police web site.

•    The directive also envisions a more efficient and consistent application process, requiring the State Police, within 9 months, to develop and disseminate to licensing authorities standard protocols promoting best practices for reviewing, investigating and acting on applications for firearms purchaser identification cards, purchase permits and handgun carry permits.

•    Finally, the Attorney General will consider how new technology might streamline the processing of permit applications by directing the Superintendent of State Police, within 45 days, to convene a study group and report its findings to the Attorney General within 180 days of the group’s first meeting.

Regulations Change:  http://www.nj.gov/oag/newsreleases16/Proposed-Amendment_NJAC_1354-24_Reg.pdf

Guideline:  http://www.nj.gov/oag/newsreleases16/Transporting-Firearms_Guidelines.pdf

Directive:  http://www.nj.gov/oag/newsreleases16/Permits-to-Carry-Firearms_Directive.pdf

comments

  1. avatar Paul53 says:

    When asked how they would solve unanticipated problems, Christie said “We’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.”

    1. avatar SlackerX says:

      And then we’ll find out that 2/3 of the lanes are closed for the week…

      1. avatar Eric says:

        It’s okay though, he’ll be the guy who’s working the cones in overalls and a hat.

        1. avatar SlackerX says:

          Maybe he’ll even bring his broom!

  2. avatar Geoff PR says:

    “The regulation adds “serious threats” to the circumstances that could demonstrate a special danger to the applicant’s life – including evidence of serious threats that are not directed specifically at an individual but which establish more than mere generalized fears or concerns…”

    Cool.

    Driving through Camden means I’m covered…

  3. avatar DJ says:

    Something is better than nothing, I guess.

  4. avatar MiniMe says:

    Ugh. I see Krispy Rhino couldn’t stay away from the limelight.

    Sheesh.

  5. avatar NjGuns1 says:

    I am getting my higher education in PA. I plan to settle and work in PA when I am done. This bloated bastard was the R after string of Ds and only proved that both parties are equally heinous and incompetent at the task of governance in the People’s Republic of New Jersey. The faster this craphole of a state goes bankrupt the better. I would miss it, but they make Pork Roll in PA and I can get copies of Weird NJ on the internet.

    1. avatar mer says:

      Mmm. Taylors Pork Roll. I can find it in NH now.

      A NJ Republican is the same thing as a Mass Republican; just right of center left.

      1. avatar Groutboy says:

        Yup! I’m a New Englander. Just like Massachusetts RepubliCON/RINO Gov. Charlie “Barker “–Baker. He turned out NOT to be a friend of the 2nd amendment. Just another RepubliCON warming the governor’s chair for the DemoCRAPS. I believe MA. ranks a solid 48. Just a couple of points ahead of NJ in the G&A Anti 2@ ranking for 2015 for bad to best 2@ $tate $ to live in. Still similar to NJ. Local police department gets to pick and choose your constitutional rights. Their very video/camera shy in my township. Must be the Paramilitary, multiple SUV-cruiser traffic stops of 80 yr old grandmas.

  6. avatar RetMSgt in Pa. says:

    Meanwhile, across the Delaware River in Pennsylvania, with roughly ten percent of the adult population already licensed to carry a concealed firearm, I just received my reminder to renew my license. Fill out a one-page application, fork over twenty bucks, and I’m good for another five years. The whole process will take fifteen minutes or less. My justifiable need? “Self defense.”

    1. avatar Katy says:

      I don’t see why anybody should have a “justifiable need”.

      My reason for requesting a CHL here in TX? Because I wanted one.

      1. avatar anonymoose says:

        Bill of Rights, not “Bill of Needs!”

      2. avatar Mad Max says:

        If I remember correctly, the PA app says “reason”, not “justifiable need” and the reasons included hunting, gunsmithing, and collecting.

        PA is shall issue which translates into give us $20 and pass the PICS check and you are good to go (except in Philadelphia).

        Philadelphia usually takes 60 days of the 45 days allowed by state law and requires (unlawfully) in addition to the PA requirements, two persons to submit reference forms and an interview by a police detective. They did accept frequent transporting of firearms and ammo to/from home and gun club/hunting as a good reason from one of my friends.

      3. avatar Kevin says:

        Colorado is the same. Although, to be polite, I put “2nd Amendment” on the form instead of “I want to.”

    2. avatar Mark N. says:

      “Self defense” is “good cause” in my California county, which is most certainly not the case in the urban counties other than Sacramento, but it costs a whole lot more to renew every two years. The application is $40, and the mandatory 4 hour class is another $60. And that’s after forking out $300+ to go through the application and training the first time.

    3. avatar CarlosT says:

      The form in Washington doesn’t ask. You submit prints and information so they can do a background check, then if nothing disqualifying comes up within 30 days, your permit is issued.

  7. avatar Milsurp Collector says:

    Glad I’m moving to Virginia in the next four months, where I can stop for lunch on the way home from the range without committing a felony, among other beautiful freedoms. Been an NJ gun owner for five years, don’t know how I put up with this shit for so long. I drive a three hour round trip to PA every time I go shooting. While that does mean I don’t shoot often, it also means I give my money to pro-gun outfits. The crushing magnitude of FUDD-isms I’ve heard from people at NJ shops almost makes me want to take an EKG test. I’m surprised Christie is doing this so late in his term. When a Democrat takes his seat next fall it’s game over. We’re already way worse than California in some regards, and the fact that the NRA abandoned us outright to be used as a cautionary tale for other states speaks volumes.

  8. avatar Stoopid1 says:

    Justification? Ahhh, shall not be infringed ?!?!

    Shoot the tyrants.

  9. avatar Andrew Lias says:

    Surprised this saw the light of day. We’ll see if it actually means anything.

  10. avatar Danny Griffin says:

    All this means is they’ll process applications faster. No word on actually APPROVING a license for anyone. Sheesh.

    1. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

      Yes, it’ll be interesting to hear from our fellow TTAGers in NJ in the coming future.

    2. avatar Hannibal says:

      Yup that’s the rub. And if you apply and get denied it’s not just ‘well nothing lost!’ Because many applications ask you if you’ve ever been denied on an application…

      1. avatar Geoff PR says:

        Simple.

        Unless the rejection notification came via registered mail, claim you never got it…

    3. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

      After the first few paragraphs, I just started skimming, but that was my take on it, too. Sounds like they’re just ramping up the RPMs on the machine that stamps “DENIED! You’ll shoot your eye out, kid!” on the license applications. Faster infringement isn’t better government.

      1. avatar PhilWilson says:

        Even if it’s any better for now, it will all go back to the way it was as soon as the next Democrat governor is elected.

  11. avatar FedUp says:

    So now instead of them just cashing your check and tossing your application without acting on it, you are now guaranteed efficient and uniform rejection of your application?

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      FedUp for the win!

  12. avatar GS650G says:

    I bet there is little to no delay in arrest and sentencing of someone found to be carrying a single hollow point bullet in NJ.
    But when it comes to the rights of law abiding tax payers, we need to go slooooooooow.

  13. avatar TStew says:

    Gov. Christie, you’re still a statist prick to me. Justifiable need my ass…unless “because, reasons” has become a justifiable need, you can go pound sand.

    1. avatar PhilWilson says:

      I’m not a Chris Christy fan, but we also need to consider that there is only so much he can do given NJ law. If we expect him to rule by executive fiat, then we are just as bad as the Obamabots. You can fault him for at least not pushing for more liberal gun laws in the deep blue NJ legislature, but the counter argument to that is that he probably has better things to do than shout at a brick wall.

      1. avatar TStew says:

        You’re absolutely correct, though when this man won’t take a stand and directly say he believes in and supports the right to carry outside the home via shall-issue permits (regardless of the political realities in NJ) then as far as I’m concerned this is nothing more than a political show. He can still go pound sand.

        1. avatar PhilWilson says:

          It is pretty telling that he didn’t say much about gun issues until he was running for Pres. You are right, he could advocate. It would cost him little to at least pound the pulpit a bit.

  14. avatar John L. says:

    “No permit for you!” (Thunk of DENIED stamp on application) “Next!” (Raise stamp.)

    See? Streamlined!

  15. avatar Wrightl3 says:

    The only justifyible need is “shall not be infringed.”

  16. avatar Mikial says:

    Christie is still smarting from being rejected by Republicans and Conservative independents, so he’s trying to prove he’s not a RINO. Problem is . . . he is and NJ is a nightmare for law abiding gun owners.

    1. avatar Kevin says:

      Chris Christie is a Republican. So is Paul Ryan, as are Jeb Bush, John Kasich, Mitt Romney, and John McCain. The sooner conservatives and Constitutionalists realize that the Republican party is big-government liberals, the better.

      1. avatar Red in CO says:

        You know who else are Republicans? Rand Paul, Ron Paul, Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, and more. Are there terrible Republicans? Of course. But spouting that “there is no difference between the two parties” line is nothing less than completely, 100% retarded (not a word I use lightly, or figuratively). And SO easy to disprove.

        1. avatar Danny Griffin says:

          Red, I agree with you! The people who say there isn’t a dime’s worth of difference between the Republican and Democrat party are wrong. None of the past Republican candidates would have nominated Kagan, Sotomayor, or Ginsburg.

  17. avatar Frank Dick says:

    Infringed.

  18. avatar Jay in Florida says:

    “Justifiable Need” is another word for Bull Hockey.
    Wont change a thing in the Republik of NJ.
    The poor schmucks there will get a uniform denial letter faster.

  19. avatar SlackerX says:

    So, while covering this story on 6ABC in Philadelphia they claim Krispy’s made it easier for NJ residents to get guns. Immediately following is an anti-gun agitprop about all of the gun violence in Center City, complete with wailing mothers of gang bangers and drug dealers killed in the line of duty.

    http://6abc.com/news/christie-issues-guidelines-to-streamline-gun-permit-process/1283566/
    http://6abc.com/news/hundreds-gather-to-honor-loved-ones-lost-to-gun-violence-in-center-city-/1283616/

  20. avatar jack says:

    Permitless carry or GTFO.

  21. avatar cop potter says:

    Haven’t heard that much horse shit drop in the pasture in years.

  22. avatar gs650g says:

    So who verifies the need and what article covers that process?

  23. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

    So New Jersey now guarantees your right to a speedy denial? Gee, thanks.

  24. avatar Dean Keeton says:

    All of Chris Christie’s BS.
    He never tried to life the 15 round magazine capacity ban in NJ.

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