Hi, I'm a PA resident who shoots and hunts in NJ on private land. I've been reading this forum for a while now trying to understand NJ and its odd firearm laws. I have a family friend lets us help control pests on his farm, he's in a rural area of NJ and we shoot totally on private land.
I regularly make the drive from PA to NJ with several of my shotguns and a small rifle in the trunk, so do many others.
Am I breaking some law doing so? What's the difference between me coming to NJ to hunt or target shoot at a range there and returning home with my guns when I'm done vs. say giving one to a buddy to keep or store there?
They do the same here, several buddies come up here to skeet shoot at a buddies place here, I can't say whether or not they have any NJ 'FID' cards or what ever you call it there, but as far as I know they're not breaking any laws here in PA. Long guns are pretty loosely looked after, especially if sold used between friends. There's no background checks or any reporting done when they change hands used. A new gun dealer has to run what we call a PICS check though, sort of PA's own version of the NICS check but done on the spot at the gun shop, no waiting.
I also have four or more of my older shot guns at a buddies place in NJ, that way I don't have to haul so many every time I go and he can use them if needed as well. He's got more locker space there than I do here at home. I bought all of those at local flea markets or yard sales, so I'm not too concerned about them. they're functional but far from collectible. In my opinion, there's a fine line between which rifles and shot guns I consider mine or his these days. A few I just left there because I don't need them any more or because they got a bit rough shooting in the rain. I keep my good guns with me and carry them back and forth but I'm always buying something used just to try something new. If I like it, it gets fixed up and kept, if not, I often just leave it at his farm as sort of a back up or loaner there. We're not talking anything of any value, just $50 shot guns with glued and screwed stocks, rusty spots all over them and a handful of odd or mismatched parts just to keep them going. Most are older single shot shotguns. I also bring most of my ammo with me, I reload my own and buy some online here, I've tried to buy ammo over in NJ but most places won't sell to me since I don't have a NJ FID card. I don't think a NJ shooter would have any issues buying ammo to use here in PA though.
One issue I did run into recently is when trying to buy several used guns at an auction in NJ, I was interested in four rifles, the auctioneer said I needed to have a FID card or I couldn't bid. I was going to have a buddy there bid and buy them instead but as a NJ resident they said he could only purchase two per month thus he couldn't bid on all four. I gave up and didn't bother either way. The whole mess wasn't worth the hassle. Only one of them were complete, the one that was likely was likely too gummed up and stiff to even fire yet they treated them as if they were dangerous weapons.
Isn't it legal for a non resident in NJ to buy a gun at an auction? This was a private estate sale being held in northern NJ. As far as i know the guns went unsold at the sale since there were more guns in the collection than there were bidders with NJ FID cards. I think only 4 persons there had cards, and there were 31 guns up for auction that day. We're not talking assault weapons or new guns here, most of them were over 100 years old, which here in PA are exempt from any regulations as antiques. I can't count how many times here in PA I've walked out of a flea market with more than a half dozen or so old rifles or shotguns in various condition, and wasn't breaking any law in doing so.
I too inherited a handful of 'family heirloom rifles and shotguns, they were all here in PA though and in the house I lived it at the time. They just became mine, no registration, nothing. What was grandpops, became my pops, when he pasted they became mine. I still use several of those guns and carry one of them to NJ when I go shooting. Its never been any thing more than just toss our guns in the trunk or back of the SUV and head to Jersey to Ben's farm for a day shooting varmints and/or a few targets he's got set up on the back side of a hill there.
They don't expect us to have our guns transferred across state lines via an FFL every time we go shooting there do they?