Under the Second Amendment to the US Constitution, we have been granted the right to bear arms. Despite the fact that this is a constitutional right, state law still places various restrictions on how, where, and when we are able to carry firearms. Convictions for breaking these laws can result in high fines, long prison sentences, and the loss of certain rights, such as the right to vote and to bear arms. Firearms and weapons laws can be complicated, and many times people wind up facing charges due to behavior that was merely accidental. An experienced defense attorney can fight to prevent you from facing harsh penalties as the result of an accident. If you have been charged with a firearm or weapons-related crime in Camden County, New Jersey, experienced defense attorney Joseph D. Lento is on your side.
Camden County Gun and Weapons Crimes
New Jersey firearm offenses varies significantly in severity and penalties, depending on the circumstances. Some of the most commonly-charged weapons offenses include:
Possessing a Weapon for Criminal Purposes (2C:39-4)
Any individual discovered to possess a firearm, explosives, or destructive devices for illegal conduct will be charged with an offense of the second-degree. Any person who possesses a “community gun”, a gun used by multiple individuals to commit criminal acts will face offenses of the second-degree. This will carry a minimum of a three-year prison sentence.
Possession or Transportation of Firearms
New Jersey prohibits the possession or transport of a shotgun or rifle unless you have a valid firearms purchaser identification card (FPIC). In order to legally transport or possess a handgun, a valid New Jersey handgun permit is required.
Any individual in possession of a firearm who is simply passing through New Jersey must do so while following federal law, namely 18 U.S. Code § 926A. This law requires that the firearm is unloaded and is not “readily accessible” from the passenger area of the vehicle.
Areas Where Firearms Are Prohibited
Weapons all kinds are prohibited on the property of:
- educational locations such as schools and universities
- all casino facilities and includes the casino security staff unless permission is obtained from the State Police.
Even if you have a valid gun permit, you are not allowed to bring firearms on these premises.
Camden County Weapons and Firearms Defense Lawyer
If you're facing firearms charges in New Jersey, you may have a variety of legal defenses. Some common legal defenses to weapons charges include:
- Suppression: Your attorney will look at all the circumstances of your arrest and how the police obtained evidence that the state is attempting to use against you; if your rights were violated at any point, your attorney can file a motion to suppress this evidence
- Possession: Your attorney may be able to argue that you did not have legal possession of the gun or weapon at the time in question
- Identification: Your attorney may be able to argue that witnesses misidentified you as the person possessing a firearm or weapon
Experienced criminal defense attorneys know when cases are ripe for certain defenses. To learn how the Lento Law Firm can help you, call (888) 535-3686 today.