Thursday, September 30, 2010

Why I want a carry permit

It’s not, particularly, because I expect to need a gun to foil a crime. Unless several significant changes to NJ laws on use of force are made, using a firearm beyond the level of display in defense of my person in public would result in an expensive and uncertain criminal trial, followed by an expensive and uncertain civil action. And if the use resulted in death or injury? I’d rather nothave that on my hands, thanks. Not to say I wouldn’t use a firearm in defense of my person – jut that it is a situation devoutly to be avoided, when and where possible.

Instead, I would get a permit to protect myself from the insane restrictions on possession of firearms in NJ. As the law stands, without a carry permit, the law permits me to carry at my home, fixed place or residence, or range; or while travelling between “with only such diversions as are reasonably necessary under the circumstances”. Sounds pretty straightforward, yes? A “reasonable, narrowly-targeted” law? Well, yeah, you’d like to think that. Except that I have friends who live near one of the ranges I frequent; which is itself a drive of some distance. I tend to spend around an hour at a range when I go; and the range itself is an hour’s drive away. I’d like to be able to stop by my friends house afterwards and hang out. Odds that going to a friend’s house with a packaged, unloaded, handgun is a “reasonably necessary diversion”? When guessing wrong is good for 5+ years. Yeah, it’s like that. Or my other friends, who are members of a really nice range an hour in the other direction. They’ve invited myself and my wife up to be guests there and shoot some of their toys. Can I have dinner with them afterwards, without committing a felony?

In both hypotheticals, the firearms are being stored safely and securely at all times – but I commit a felony for wanting to spend time with friends. Is the ability to legally spend some time around a range far from home worth $500? Probably not. But it’s legally safer for me to go shooting at the NRA range in Fairfax City, VA than it is to go to a range in NJ.


  1. It's been a long time since I read the statute, so I may be mistaken, but as I recall you have to list the guns you'll be carrying on your permit.

    It's a smaller problem than the current system, but I don't relish having to keep track of which guns I can and can't have in the car if i want to stop at a restaurant on the way home from the range, or applying for a fresh carry permit when a new handgun enters the collection.

  2. NJ is nice enough to post the full text of the proposed law, not just the amendments:

    Current law provides that "One permit shall be sufficient for all handguns owned by the holder thereof, but the permit shall apply only to a handgun carried by the actual and legal holder of the permit." and is unchanged; though
    "For the purposes of this paragraph, an applicant shall be deemed qualified if: (1) a criminal history record background check reveals no disqualifying information; (2) the applicant successfully completes a course of instruction in the safe use, maintenance and storage of firearms which is approved by the Police Training Commission; (3) the applicant demonstrates proficiency in the use of, and qualifies with, a firearm of the type to be carried; and (4) the applicant successfully completes a course in the lawful use of force and the justifiable use of a firearm which is approved by the superintendent. The applicant shall be responsible for all the costs of meeting the requirements and qualifications set forth in this paragraph"

    However, "The court may at its discretion issue a limited-type permit which would restrict the applicant as to the types of handguns he may carry and where and for what purposes such handguns may be carried." Which means the judge is still at liberty to effectively deny a useful permit.


Please keep it civil