New Jersey Laws Governing Juvenile Weapons Possession
The state of New Jersey has some of the toughest weapons possession laws in the country, and minors are no exception to the law. Pursuant to statute, a minor cannot own, purchase or possess any type of firearm, from a BB gun or air gun to a rifle, pistol or shotgun, with four specific exceptions:
- The use of a firearm is permitted as part of a military drill
- The use of a firearm is permitted under the direct supervision of a parent or guardian, but that person must have valid permit
- A minor may use a firearm at an approved firing range, provided the minor meets the range’s requirements to shoot
- A minor may use a gun to go hunting after passing a firearms safety course and obtaining a hunting license
Penalties for Illegal Possession of Weapons in New Jersey
As a general rule, the simple possession of an unlawful weapon, including a firearm, by a minor in New Jersey is a 4th degree offense, with potential penalties including counseling, fines, community service and even jail time. Certain types of offenses, though, carry more severe sanctions. A minor who brings a gun or illegal weapon to school may be charged with a 2nd degree indictable offense.
Though the penalties imposed by the juvenile court are generally less severe, there is always the possibility, based on the nature of the offense, that the prosecutor will ask the juvenile court to waive the case, so that it can be tried in adult court. If that happens, the individual may potentially face years of incarceration with adult inmates.
At the Law Offices of Gregg A. Wisotsky, I offer a free phone consultation to every prospective client. For a complimentary evaluation of your case, contact my office online or call me at 973-241-7468. I will come to your home or the hospital to meet with you, if necessary. All major credit cards are accepted.