An FID card is usually not required to legally possess firearms in your own home. Despite that, New Jersey firearms laws can sometimes make firearms possession, even in your own home, illegal. Details below!

We begin our discussion of In the Home with two New Jersey statutes that horribly undermine the Second Amendment. Those statutes are N.J.S. 2C:39-5b and N.J.S. 2C:39-5c.

Our FID page inferred that, under those two New Jersey statutes, possession of any rifle, shotgun, or handgun was legal only when the possessor carried a Firearms Identification Card (FID), sometimes referred to as a Firearms Purchaser Identification Card (FPID).The information on that FID page is correct, as far as it goes. However, as indicated on that page, exceptions exist. When the requirements for these exceptions are satisfied, possession of those firearms in New Jersey is legal even when the possessor does not have the FID (or FPID) card. So what are these exceptions? Where are they found? When do they apply?

The statute where those exceptions are located is N.J.S. 2C:39-6. N.J.S. 2C:39-6 contains over four thousand words. As will be shown in the paragraphs that follow, N.J.S. 2C:39-6 contains exceptions, exceptions to exceptions, and exceptions to exceptions to exceptions. It needs close reading.

One of the exceptions to the requirement of the FID card relates to possession in the home. That exception is in N.J.S. 2C:39-6e. Subject to N.J.S. 2C:39-7, discussed below, N.J.S. 2C:39-6e allows a person to carry rifles, shotguns, and handguns when the person is inside their own home. What a person not having an FID may possess inside their own home even goes well beyond rifles, shotguns and handguns. Subject to certain exceptions indicated below, a person may, in fact, carry inside their home any type of weapon or firearm provided it is not a “prohibited weapon” or device, as those terms are defined in N.J.S. 2C:39-3, N.J.S. 2C:39-5 and, perhaps, elsewhere. Included in the list of prohibited weapons are machine guns and “assault firearms.”

But wait, there's more! These exceptions extend to places other than just the home. Thus the person not having the FID card may legally possess non-prohibited weapons about their place of business, as well as land that they possess. They may legally transport their firearms to a target range for practice, for target shooting, and for competitions. They may legally transport their firearms to hunt or fish, when they have the appropriate hunting or fishing license, and comply with all applicable fishing and hunting laws. And they may legally transport their firearms from any of those specified places to another, provided that that transporting is carried out in a particular manner. Another page on this site outlines what must be done to legally transport firearms in New Jersey.

We mentioned above that exceptions exist concerning legality of possession of weapons inside the home. Even inside the home, and despite N.J.S. 2C:39-6, possession of any weapons (not just guns) or ammunition is illegal under a laundry list of circumstances. Many of these circumstances are specified in N.J.S. 2C:39-7. These circumstances include when the person has previously been convicted of any of various crimes. N.J.S. 2C:39-7 also prohibits such possession when the person has been committed to a mental institution. Of course, when these circumstances prohibit possession of guns or other weapons in the home, they apply to places other than the home, as indicated above. N.J.S. 2C:39-7 itself contains over seven hundred words. It, too, needs close reading.

Exceptions to what one may possess inside the home are not limited to N.J.S. 2C:39-7. We already mentioned above that one may not legally possess a “prohibited weapon” or device, as those terms are defined in N.J.S. 2C:39-3. To be added to that list of thou-shalt-nots are laws outside the New Jersey Code of Criminal Justice, including federal law.

Additional exceptions to requirement of an FID card relate to gun owners relocating to New Jersey from another State. Our Welcome to New Jersey page discusses those exceptions.

Second  Amendment Lawyers in New JerseyBottom line: New Jersey law relating to weapons in general, and firearms in particular, is complicated. Very complicated. Persons untrained in the law are adrift at sea trying to navigate this legal morass. Gun Lawyers in New Jersey™ are available to help guide these persons to safety.

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