What You Should Know About NJ Ammunition Regulations
In the state of New Jersey, it may be challenging but by no means impossible to obtain legal forms of ammunition and, for that matter, firearms. However, individuals must follow all set regulations. To avoid complex legal repercussions, individuals should prioritize learning about gun ownership and the legitimacy of ammunition acquisition and use. Here we discuss the legalities and particulars of ammunition laws in the Garden State.
Do You Need a Permit to Buy Ammunition in New Jersey?
If you are interested in buying ammunition, the first question you need to ask yourself is: what kind of ammunition? And for what kind of weapon? What you are required to do next to comply with New Jersey state laws will largely be guided by your answers. There are specific requirements in New Jersey regarding the purchase, transportation, possession, and use of ammunition (just as for weapons). People looking to purchase ammunition in the Garden State may be required to obtain a permit, while in some instances, there may be no obligation to provide such a permit.
Perhaps you are going to purchase ammunition for a handgun. If that is the case, you need to have an active Firearms Purchaser Identification Card, Permit to Purchase a Handgun, or Permit to Carry a Handgun to complete the purchase. Other firearms do not necessarily entail the same requirements for permits to purchase ammunition. For example, let’s say you are interested in purchasing ammunition for a shotgun, rifle, paintball gun, flare gun, blank gun, air gun, or airsoft gun. In that situation, you are able to move forward with the ammunition purchasing process for the weapon without showing a permit.
Overall, individuals are expected to have followed all related regulations, including possessing relevant permits or licenses in advance. Handgun ammunition acquisitions can only be lawfully made using a Firearms Purchaser ID card or permits to carry or purchase a handgun. A permit is not required when purchasing ammunition for shotguns, rifles, and blank guns, as is the case when buying ammo for paintball guns and pellets for air guns.
The transfer or sale of handguns and handgun ammunition to individuals under 21 years of age is prohibited in NJ, including giving ammo away or any other form of disposal. In addition, persons under 18 are not permitted to acquire a firearm by any means. Before attempting to file for any of the aforementioned identification cards, permits, or other licenses, it is always in your best interest to first consult with the local police department or the nearest state firearms barracks, as well as an experienced NJ gun lawyer who knows the complexities of ammunition requirements and how they may apply to your situation.
Does New Jersey Allow All Kinds of Ammunition?
Possessing certain kinds of ammunition in New Jersey is illegal due to the kind of ammunition involved. First and foremost, body or dum-dum armor penetrating or piercing bullets are generally illegal for the public to possess in the state of NJ. Ammunition designed to penetrate, pierce, or breach body armor is primarily intended for use in handguns. The bullet’s design consists of a core or jacket (if the jacket measures more than .025 inches in thickness) comprised of tungsten carbide, a dense bronze, or any other material stronger than a rating of 72 or higher on the Rockwell B Hardness Scale and therefore able to penetrate body armor. Currently, the state is working to make body armor penetrating bullets solely permissible for law enforcement officials. Collectors may purchase and collect such ammunition but can only have three representatives of each distinctive variation. Examples of distinct variations may be differences in material composition, bullet design, or head stamps according to 2C:39-3 (f). See N.J.S.A. 2C:39-3(f) for detailed NJ code on this matter and N.J.S.A. 2C:39-6 for related exemptions.
Hollow point bullets are likewise prohibited in the state of New Jersey, with limited exceptions. Except for certain sportsmen activities, such as shooting targets and hunting, hollow-nose or hollow-point bullets are illegal under state law. Additionally, individuals are permitted to possess such ammunition on their private property or when traveling for purchasing purposes. This kind of ammo has a divot or cavity at the tip of a hollow-point or nosed bullet, which allows the bullet to expand when it hits the shooter’s intended target, causing a substantially more lethal outcome and impact.
Limitations on the Number of Rounds Per Magazine in NJ
Magazines are internal or external boxes, drums, or tubes designed to hold ammunition rounds that can also feed gun ammunition repeatedly or store the ammo. Gun magazines are limited to a specific number of rounds in the state. Known as high or large-capacity magazines, these magazines hold more shots than the standard capacity for a particular firearm. Thus, it is illegal to possess any more than ten rounds of ammunition in one magazine under state law.
Consequences for Possessing Illegal Ammunition in New Jersey
Outside of the eligible exemptions referenced above and those contained in the governing statutes, possessing hollow-nose or hollow-point ammunition is a fourth degree offense, punishable by imprisonment of up to 18 months in a New Jersey state correctional facility. Possession of large or high-capacity magazines results in a fourth degree offense, and if convicted, consequences can amount to up to 18 months of incarceration and up to $10,000 fines.
Under New Jersey law, an individual charged with possessing a form of prohibited ammunition may still face harsh penalties even if a more severe crime does not accompany the charge. In cases of ammunition possession, violations are usually serious indictable offenses of the fourth degree, punishable by 18 months in prison. Then there may be additional charges for unlawful possession of a weapon, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, and possession of other illegal weapons.
Besides ammunition concerns, many weapons, such as sawed-off shotguns, are illegal in NJ. Possession of a sawed-off shotgun is a third degree crime. The state also has a ban on assault weapons and many other guns. The consequences are severe for individuals found with illegal weapons, ammunition, magazines, and weapon or ammo modifications.
Consult with a Morristown Weapon Lawyer if You Have Been Charged with an Ammunition-Related Offense
Avoid severe legal troubles by adhering to New Jersey’s gun laws regarding weapons and ammunition. New Jersey’s gun laws have been restricted further in 2022. Considering this, it’s always best to err on the side of caution. As regulations in NJ are developing on this matter, even the most experienced and responsible owners have questions. Again, you should consult your local police department and a knowledgeable New Jersey weapons law attorney before acquiring, using, transporting, selling, or purchasing a gun or ammunition.
New Jersey requires individuals to follow firearms applicant procedures stringently and does not take violations of any ammo or gun laws lightly. If you need legal advice regarding NJ gun laws or have a criminal charge pending related to ammunition or weapons, contact a lawyer who handles these cases on a regular basis to make sure you have the latest correct answers to your particular questions. Contact us at 973-524-7238 for a free and confidential consultation. You can also use our online contact form. We serve clients in Jefferson, Harding, Montville, Florham Park, Boonton, Madison, Morristown, Rockaway, Parsippany, and other towns in Morris County and across the state.