The Second Amendment grants us the right to bear arms, however, we must also abide by the New Jersey laws that govern how, where, and when we are able to carry guns and other weapons. A conviction for violating one of these laws can include high fines, long prison sentences, and the loss of rights, such as the right to vote and our right to bear arms.
The law governing guns in New Jersey can be complex. Some violations result merely from a misinterpretation of the law. An experienced criminal defense attorney can fight to prevent you from facing harsh penalties as the result of an accident. If you are facing weapons charges in Mercer County, New Jersey, experienced defense attorney Joseph D. Lento is in your corner.
Mercer County Guns & Weapons Crimes
Firearms penalties can range from relatively minor to quite severe, depending on the circumstances surrounding your case. Some offenses that are commonly charged in Mercer County 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. A person who possesses “imitation” firearms that are used to engage in criminal activity will face a fourth-degree offense.
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.
Possessing a Weapon Where 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.
Mercer County is home to many public and private schools, as well as The College of New Jersey, Mercer County Community College, Princeton University, and Rider University. Even individuals who have a firearm permit are unable to bring firearms or weapons onto prohibited premises.
Mercer County Weapons and Firearms Defense Lawyer
If you are facing firearms charges, there are a variety of legal defenses your attorney can pursue. Several elements must be satisfied for a successful conviction, meaning that your attorney will have many opportunities to attack the state's case. For example, your attorney may be able to attack evidence on the grounds that your Fourth Amendment rights were violated when the evidence was obtained. A successful motion to suppress could result in key evidence being ruled unconstitutional.
An experienced criminal defense attorney knows where potential weak points are. To learn how the Lento Law Firm can help you fight a gun charge, call (888) 535-3686 today.