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Home Range

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  1. Question: Is it actually legal in NJ for employees of a gun range to open carry a firearm? First of all this is NOT a criticism. I have observed at a number of gun ranges that I have visited in NJ that most, but not all, of the staff, (sales, counter, instructors), open carry a pistol, usually on their belt. I do not have a problem with this but I am curious if that is actually legal in NJ. Does anyone here know the answer to that question? I do know that any of us can legally open carry whatever we want inside our own homes and within the boundaries of our property. I also thought that business owner(s), but only the business owner(s), also have the right to open carry anywhere inside their place of business. Yet I thought that only applied to the business owners, not employees, staff, or consultants. Since it is so prevalent, I am probably misunderstanding NJ gun law. I tried to find where in NJ Law this question is addressed and here is what I found: (I did a cut & paste from Section 2C:2C:39-6): e. Nothing in subsections b., c. and d. of N.J.S.2C:39-5 shall be construed to prevent a person keeping or carrying about his place of business, residence, premises or other land owned or possessed by him, any firearm, or from carrying the same, in the manner specified in subsection g. of this section, from any place of purchase to his residence or place of business, between his dwelling and his place of business, between one place of business or residence and another when moving, or between his dwelling or place of business and place where such firearms are repaired, for the purpose of repair. For the purposes of this section, a place of business shall be deemed to be a fixed location. I understand that all employees of any NJ gun range have to undergo an in-depth state required application process. There is a Federal law requiring all firearms Dealers, (must be over the age of 21) and their employees, (must be over the age of 18), must obtain and renew every 3 years, a retail license from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms (ATF), before they can engage in the retail sale of firearms in NJ. The process involves submitting an application to the NJ State Police, specifically, the NJSP’s Firearms Investigation Unit, which determines if the applicant or employee meets the state’s requirements. If acceptable, the application is then forwarded to a NJ Superior Court Judge in the same County as the place of business (gun range/retail store). That Judge has the discretion to decide if the applicant, (owner and/or employee), meets the standards and qualifications established by the NJSP and also could qualify to obtain a NJ Firearms Purchaser Identification Card (FPIC) and then either grants or denies the license. So their having to go through this laborious process is why I am pretty confident that all of the staff at these gun ranges have been properly vetted and are more sane and safe with guns than many other NJ residents. Does anyone on NJGF know where NJ law clearly states that this is legal or is the ambiguity of the law such that it just an accepted interpretation allowing employees to open carry? Please help clarify this for me.
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