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NJ Transport Laws Regarding Handguns and Campgrounds

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I have a seasonal campsite, in a public campground, that I pay an annual fee to occupy. As it relates to NJ transport laws for handguns, would the campground be an acceptable residence or exception? I'd like to be able to legally transport from home, to campsite, to range and back to either the campground then home or directly from the range to home, which is obviously perfectly legal to do.

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I'm curious to see what everyone on here has to say about this. I have a 35' motorhome and, oddly enough, NJ's super-clear firearms laws don't cover this!

Personally, I treat it as transporting when I'm driving (un-loaded in the motorhome safe) but once I put the leveling jacks down & the slide-out extended, it's next to my bed loaded. I'm not sure the law would see it this way, but anyone whose spent a night in a rest area when traveling would probably agree - it's a risk I'm willing to take.

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IMO, IANAL

 

I'm not sure if a seasonally rented RV campsite location could qualify as a legal residence in NJ. Everything hinges on this. If it is akin to a rental property, like people rent houses down the shore for the summer, etc, it should be. Its really your risk appetite that you have to think about here. If you did have illegal possession charges slapped on, you will have to prove you are within the exemptions and would have to prove that your RV and the campsite is a "residence" or "land owned or possessed" by you.

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Going to watch this one too.

I too believe the statutes are silent on this gray area.

 

I had someone explain it as:

Hotel: only a residence when used as an apartment for extended-stays when no other NJ residence exists.

Motor-homes: motor-home parked and set up in a camp sight is a residence, motor-home on the road or parked in a roadside rest is a motor vehicle.

Trailers and campers: not a residence.

 

But, I do not know any of the above for certain.

Edited by TheDon

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I'm curious to see what everyone on here has to say about this. I have a 35' motorhome and, oddly enough, NJ's super-clear firearms laws don't cover this!

Personally, I treat it as transporting when I'm driving (un-loaded in the motorhome safe) but once I put the leveling jacks down & the slide-out extended, it's next to my bed loaded. I'm not sure the law would see it this way, but anyone whose spent a night in a rest area when traveling would probably agree - it's a risk I'm willing to take.

 

Ahhh.. interested in seeing feedback on both scenarios. Was thinking about buying an RV/Motor Home for retirement and using it at various campsites.

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I agree with most of the above. In the absence of any clear answer in the statutes that neither explicitly allow or prohibit it, I would say it is up to you. What level of risk are you willing to accept? The ability to protect yourself/family vs. not. Having a gun in your possession legally vs. illegally. Would you rather risk having an illegal gun but the ability to defend yourself better or lesser means to defend yourself because you have no gun at all?

 

I don't think I nor anyone else can answer those questions for you. If however someone can find a better answer or something in the code that has relevance to this specifically, that is a different story. I haven't had any luck doing so though.

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I'm sure if I came out of my motorhome with my 9mm during a traffic altercation at 2:00pm I'd be in a world of trouble, but I'd hope like hell if I ever had to defend myself or at least chase off someone attempting entry into my "temporary residence" at 2:00am in a dark rest area or wooded campground that the responding LEO would see the situation for what it was.

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I have no intent of doing this, unless I'm 100% certain it would not be a legal problem. I'm not about to be the one to "find out" how it works out. It's just something that came up during discussion over the weekend, at the campground, and I didn't recall reading anything certain about it.

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I agree with most of the above. In the absence of any clear answer in the statutes that neither explicitly allow or prohibit it, I would say it is up to you.

 

In the United States, unless something is prohibited by law, then it is legal. NJ 2C:39-5(b) states: Any person who knowingly has in his possession any handgun, including any antique handgun, without first having obtained a permit to carry the same as provided in N.J.S.2C:58-4, is guilty of a crime of the third degree if the handgun is in the nature of an air gun, spring gun or pistol or other weapon of a similar nature in which the propelling force is a spring, elastic band, carbon dioxide, compressed or other gas or vapor, air or compressed air, or is ignited by compressed air, and ejecting a bullet or missile smaller than three-eighths of an inch in diameter, with sufficient force to injure a person. Otherwise it is a crime of the second degree.

2C:39-6 then carves out the very specific exceptions to 2C:39-5. So, if you don't have a permit to carry or see the specific activity in the exceptions, then it comes under 2C:39-5 and would be illegal.

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Exactly. NJ is backwards from the rest of the US. When it comes to firearms, they are illegal except under various exemptions. As TheDon said, a handgun is legal at your residence. The question remains, does a motor home parked at a rented spot of a campground count? Maybe in some NJ statute this is defined, but I'm not sure where. If it isn't, then we can't know if it is legal or illegal.

 

 

 

In the United States, unless something is prohibited by law, then it is legal.

2C:39-6 then carves out the very specific exceptions to 2C:39-5. So, if you don't have a permit to carry or see the specific activity in the exceptions, then it comes under 2C:39-5 and would be illegal.

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In the United States, unless something is prohibited by law, then it is legal. NJ 2C:39-5(b) states: Any person who knowingly has in his possession any handgun, including any antique handgun, without first having obtained a permit to carry the same as provided in N.J.S.2C:58-4, is guilty of a crime of the third degree if the handgun is in the nature of an air gun, spring gun or pistol or other weapon of a similar nature in which the propelling force is a spring, elastic band, carbon dioxide, compressed or other gas or vapor, air or compressed air, or is ignited by compressed air, and ejecting a bullet or missile smaller than three-eighths of an inch in diameter, with sufficient force to injure a person. Otherwise it is a crime of the second degree.

2C:39-6 then carves out the very specific exceptions to 2C:39-5. So, if you don't have a permit to carry or see the specific activity in the exceptions, then it comes under 2C:39-5 and would be illegal.

2C:39-5 allows for an exception in your place of residence. The question is whether a camper is a residence. That is a gray area that to my knowledge has never been tested.

Exactly. NJ is backwards from the rest of the US. When it comes to firearms, they are illegal except under various exemptions. As TheDon said, a handgun is legal at your residence. The question remains, does a motor home parked at a rented spot of a campground count? Maybe in some NJ statute this is defined, but I'm not sure where. If it isn't, then we can't know if it is legal or illegal.

 

The issue here is, as the New Jersey law is currently written, it is a prior restraint on a civil right. New Jersey has turned the fundamental legal principal of the presumption of innocence on its head. They start out with a blanket prohibition of a now incorporated constitutionally protected individual right and then force someone thus charged to prove under which exemption in the law they claim to be not guilty. At some point this will get in front a federal judge and New Jersey will get the ass beating it has long deserved. As most of you know, or should know by now, the legal precedent validating New Jersey's gun laws, Burton v. Sills (1968), is now, post Heller and McDonald, bad law. It is only a matter of time before this all gets corrected. What concerns me the most is what the libtards will come up with next trying to reassert their stupidity once the current law is struck down.

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2C:39-5 allows for an exception in your place of residence. The question is whether a camper is a residence. That is a gray area that to my knowledge has never been tested.

 

I know for tax purposes my rv is considered a second home.

Food for thought.

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Woulda-shoulda-coulda-------

 

Just buy a 18.5" tubed 20 or 12 ga. and keep it in the "bedroom" all of the way in the back of the RV. No hand gun laws to break.....

 

Some Campgrounds have written policies regarding weapons, so check BEFORE you book their sites. NJ State Parks come to mind........

 

If you're retired and spend more time "on-the-road" RV'ng than you do in a 4-walled residence, your RV becomes your primary residense in some states. Other states rely upon which state you vote in....

 

This is off the top of my head from what I can remember from friends who have explored all of this prior to retiring. Just another reason to do what you think is right, and stay in places like PA that's gun-friendly!

 

Dave

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I don't own any long guns and have no desire to. Also, I have my Florida CCW permit, so when I travel I can CCW in many of the states so I don't want to just leave my handguns at home. I'm a firm believer in "better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6", so I intend to continue as I have, I was just curious what others thought since this forum seems to have a better grasp of NJ gun laws than most of the people who create & enforce them!

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As Dave noted, as far as New Jersey Parks & campgrounds are concerned; firearms are prohibited: http://www.state.nj..../camprules.html

 

"Firearms — A person shall not possess or discharge any firearm, pellet gun, bow and arrow, slingshot or other weapon capable of injuring people or wildlife. Hunters in compliance with Division of Fish, Game and Wildlife hunting laws are exempted. Target practice is prohibited."

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With the usual this isn't legal advice caveat: You are only partially quoting the statue in 2C:39-5. It refers to your residence or "premises". What are premises? One could argue that this is intended to include the land you own around your residence, but wouldn't an RV in which you are sleeping, in a legal, designated campground also be your premises? This would be particularly true if you were in an RV camp where you paid a rental/lease fee to stay there. Who knows, but the bottom line is you'd at least have an argument. I think it would all come down to the circumstances. If you were asleep in your RV and someone broke in during the night and you shot him, you'd have a much easier time (especially if he was armed) than if it was daytime or you got into some sort of an altercation, etc.

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All good points. But it does not matter whether a RV is a residence in some states, or whether the IRS considers it a home. All that matters is whether NJ criminal statutes would consider it a "residence."

 

Who wants to be first to test this in court, and appeal after appeal after appeal?

Not me, I have better things to do with my retirement fund than give it to a lawyer.

I woluld not carry a handgun in a camper in NJ. I second the shotgun advice above.

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I believe that if there has been case law that allows the police to search a motor vehicle easily without a warrant, and that that would never fly for a home, it shows me that a motor home would not be considered a home for firearm possession applications.

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Sorry to hyjack, but hypothetical situation.

 

What if said camper was parked on rural land that you have leased year round (with your name on the lease)? Not talking public campgrounds or anything like that.....Land I possess. Does it seem reasonable that this would be covered under possession exception #1?

 

"To keep or carry any firearm about a person's place of business, residence, premises, or other land owned or possessed by him; a place of business shall be deemed a fixed location."

 

Thanks

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