Last Updated: October 22, 2017
Disclaimer: While the information provided here is legal in nature, it is not to be construed as legal advice, and is for educational and entertainment purposes only.
With so many different gun laws across the country, keeping track of the laws on carrying concealed can get complicated. States with a lot of regulations, like New Jersey, are even more complicated. Fortunately, this guide will go over everything you need to know on how to get a concealed carry license in New Jersey, and what you can do with it once you get one.
First things first
For those of you who have already checked out our New Jersey gun laws section, you’ll know that a Permit to Carry (PTC) is required to carry openly in the state, but the same PTC will also let you carry concealed as well.
Unfortunately, New Jersey is a may-issue state, which means that even if you meet all of the requirements and fill out the application form correctly, it is still up to the issuing authority, in this case your local police department, to decide if they want to issue you the permit.
Non-residents are welcome to apply for PTCs too, but since it’s already near-impossible for New Jersey residents to be issued a PTC, it is unlikely a non-resident would be issued one. Non-residents may want to check out the CCW permits issued by Arizona, Florida, or Utah for the best (and easiest) permits to get. Good thing we have CCW guides on all those states!
So what’s required?
Applying for the PTC is not too difficult in itself, even if actually getting one may be a different story.
Residents of New Jersey will need to apply to their local police department, while out-of-state residents can apply to the nearest New Jersey State Police station.
The application itself has a pretty long list of conditions that would automatically result in a denial of the PTC application, so you’ll want to check through it just to be sure you won’t be wasting your time applying only to be denied for one of these reasons.
You will be automatically denied your PTC if you:
- Are under 21;
- Have been adjudicated a juvenile delinquent;
- Have been convicted of a disorderly persons offense;
- Have been convicted of a criminal offense;
- Have had an FID, PTC, or Purchase Permit refused or revoked;
- Are an alcoholic;
- Have been confined or committed to a mental institution or hospital for treatment or observation of a mental or psychiatric condition on a temporary or permanent basis;
- Are addicted to narcotics or controlled substances;
- Suffer from a physical defect or sickness that makes it unsafe for you to handle firearms;
- Are subject to a court order for domestic violence;
- Have been convicted of domestic violence; or
- Have been a member of any organization that approves acts of violence to overthrow the US or New Jersey government.
In addition to those basic requirements, you’ll also need to:
- Prove your familiarity with the use of handguns;
- Have three reputable people who have known you for at least 3 years vouch for you; and
- Have a justifiable need to carry a handgun.
The proof of familiarity is not a big deal, and can be met with a certificate of completion of a CCW course, preferably one that is recognized by the state, or taught by an NRA-certified instructor.
In addition, you’ll also need to list out the serial number of every handgun you intend to carry, though you only need one PTC to carry all the listed handguns.
The “justifiable need” is where most people run into problems and are denied their PTC. The need must be specified in detail, to show the urgent necessity for self-protection. Specific threats or previous attacks against you that show a special danger to you are required. You’ll also have to show you cannot avoid the threats and danger to your life in any other way aside from being able to carry a handgun.
The Waiting Game
You’ll be waiting a while to hear back from the police department if you’re hoping for an approval on your PTC, but you can check in on the status after about 30 days to see whether you are still being considered for a permit.
More likely, you’ll receive a denial letter in the mail explaining why your application was denied. You can appeal the decision to your local county Superior Court, and a hearing will be held in 30 days. You’ll get a chance to explain why you should be issued the permit, and hope that it’s good enough for the judge to agree with you.
If you manage to convince the judge or your local police to issue you a PTC, then you’ll just need to remember to renew your PTC every 2 years. There is no special renewal process, so you essentially go through the same application process again.
Where do you think you’re going?
Even if you manage to get a PTC, there are still some places that are off limits to you.
You cannot carry your handgun, even with an PTC, into:
- Federal courthouses;
- Federal buildings or buildings leased by the federal government;
- Police stations, jails, prisons, or other detention facilities; and
- Schools and school grounds.
If you find yourself having to go to any of these places, your best bet is to leave your gun in the car, preferably in a gun safe hidden out of sight, so you can go run your errands, and come back to your gun when you’re all done.
Besides the badge of honor you get for actually having a Permit to Carry in New Jersey, you can also use it in a few other states around the country and carry concealed during your travels.
New Jersey PTCs are recognized in:
- North Carolina
- South Dakota
Of course, you’ll need to follow the laws on carrying concealed in those states, which may surprise you, since they are probably going to be more lenient than the ones in New Jersey. Check out our CCW law section on the state you are travelling to so you’ll know what to expect.
Just passing through?
If you have a CCW permit from another state and are travelling to New Jersey, you will need to leave your firearms at home. New Jersey does not recognize any out-of-state CCW licenses.
That’s it! All you need to know about getting a Permit to Carry from the Garden State! Take a look at our recommendations for concealed holsters if you’re looking to put that new permit to good use, and don’t forget about CCW insurance, too!
Be sure to check out our general New Jersey gun laws section if you haven’t already, and brush up on your knowledge!