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New Jersey Gun Laws Still Among the Toughest in the United States

Despite recent articles about New Jersey loosening the gun laws in New Jersey.


Prosecutions for illegally possessing a firearm are still vigorously pursued.

In New Jersey, most gun offenses are considered “Graves Act” offenses. A Graves Act conviction requires a prison term with a minimum period of parole ineligibility fixed at one half or 42 months, whichever is greater. N.J.S. 2C:43-6(c). There are “waivers” to the Graves Act but only under specific situations. A waiver can permit a Graves Act Defendant to be sentenced to One (1) year of parole ineligibility or probation under the “interests of justice” standard.

In fact, New Jersey case law point to the “aberrational defendant who has no prior convictions and is unlikely to reoffend deserves leniency under the Act.” Common scenarios that frequently require a waiver usually involve those that are legally licensed by another state to carry a firearm but are found in New Jersey carrying a firearm. Another issue that the Graves Act does not change is that in New Jersey it is usually legal to have a firearm in your home as long as you have not been deemed a Certain Person not to have firearms. A criminal charge under the Graves Act requires a thorough analysis of the facts and of the statute for any chance of preventing state prison time.


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