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Firearm transportation in NJ

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Hi guys,

Recently as I read through NJ gun law, I found it scary that illegal possession of a firearm is a very serious crime and is punishable up to 10 years in prison. I understand that one can only transport a firearm from home to a range or the other way around (along with few other exemptions). However, is there any possibility that the police officer can arrest you for illegal possession of a firearm even such transportation is legal? I know the arrest is unlawful if one drives directly from home to a shooting range, but in reality, does anyone get into trouble even they are legally transporting a firearm? 

should law-abiding gun owners honestly inform officers of guns in the car even such transportation is legal?

Thank you!

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12 minutes ago, exoto said:

thank you guys.

My next question is that if police officer is informed that you are transporting firearm legally, will he/she (ask to) search your car (legally?)?

so basically, my concern is how to interact with the police officer when transporting firearms. 

Handgun to and from the range.

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2 hours ago, exoto said:

thank you guys.

My next question is that if police officer is informed that you are transporting firearm legally, will he/she (ask to) search your car (legally?)?

so basically, my concern is how to interact with the police officer when transporting firearms. 

A police officer can ask to search your car at any time.  There are very limited situations a police officer can search your car without a warrant or consent.  There is no reason to volunteer the information you have guns in your car.

If you know you're not doing anything wrong the easy answer to how to interact is:

1.  Tell the truth.  The truth is easy to remember.  If you're caught in a lie that raises suspicions.

2.  Answer the officer's questions.  If he or she asks if you have guns in the car tell them.  Tell them you have guns in the car.  Tell them you are going/coming from the range. As was said follow the rules and you'll have no problems.

I don't know where this paranoia about searches comes.  If a cop has probable cause to search your car they will search your car and have no need to ask.  Coming from or going to a range and having guns in the car by itself is not probable cause to search your car.

You will find very few people on this forum who were stopped with guns in their car because it rarely happens.  If this were such a good reason to stop people cops would be sitting on roads that come from a range.  That doesn't happen.

Yes you will find people who will tell you say nothing, question why the cop stopped you, ask for your lawyer, etc.  All that will do is piss off the cop.  He or she wants to make the stop and go on.

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Handguns are illegal in NJ, unless one is in possession of a concealed carry permit, which is mostly non-existent.  So the rest of us operate under the exemptions, i.e. traveling to and from the range, etc.  That means the burden of proof is on us to prove our legality.

Practically speaking, if one is stopped on the way to or from the range, there is no reason whatever to volunteer that there are guns in the car.  Follow the sound advice offered by GRIZ above.  

It's not a bad idea to take a class and do a lot of reading on NJ gun laws, as virtually every violation is a felony.  

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Like the others said, don't say anything unless they ask or are suspicious of something. If you want to run errands after the range or an FFL, use your own discretion and if you do get pulled over, don't voluntarily disclose something. If it's in your trunk or your gloveback, they can't look unless you volunteer it.

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Handguns are illegal in NJ, unless one is in possession of a concealed carry permit, which is mostly non-existent.  So the rest of us operate under the exemptions, i.e. traveling to and from the range, etc.  That means the burden of proof is on us to prove our legality.

Practically speaking, if one is stopped on the way to or from the range, there is no reason whatever to volunteer that there are guns in the car.  Follow the sound advice offered by GRIZ above.  

It's not a bad idea to take a class and do a lot of reading on NJ gun laws, as virtually every violation is a felony.  

I agree with everything except the answering honestly part about firearms in vehicle. I would likely avoid that question and answer with a question such as why do you ask? I don't see where saying yes I do can lead to anything good.

 

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Too bad we can’t push for carrying in our car as an extension of our home. Because well it is. It’s registered to my house, we pay almost daily taxes and tolls on it, they are the 2nd most valuable possessions MOST of us own. (Yes I know there are probably people on here with gun collections worth more than their car)

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13 hours ago, exoto said:

thank you guys.

My next question is that if police officer is informed that you are transporting firearm legally, will he/she (ask to) search your car (legally?)?

so basically, my concern is how to interact with the police officer when transporting firearms. 

You need to watch Massad Ayoob on Youtube:

Although this video is about CCW while going thru a "Stop", a lot can be learned from it & other vids by Mass!

In NJ, you have no duty to inform you have guns in the vehicle.  You shouldn't however LIE if asked because that in & of itself is suspicious and can lead to probable cause if caught in a lie.  IANAL, nor do I play one on TV.  I've owned guns for over 40 years and have been shooting for 46.  Best advice I can give is this:  "Break only ONE law at a time"!  This comes from a retired NJ Cop with 28 yrs OTJ & currently employed as armed security at a US Gov. office building.  What it translates into, in common sense terms, is thus:  Don't do stupid shit if you have guns in the car!  Don't speed, screech tires, drag race, commit road rage & you'll be FINE!  Nobody ever got "jammed-up" at a Wawa while using the restroom, getting a coffee or filling-up the fuel tank.  How do I know?  Cause I've been doin' it for 40 years.  Griz & I are STILL WAITING for the first reported incident.  :) 

****How do you interact?  H.E. & Griz are better at describing that, but I'll say this:  Calmly, doing what you're asked so long as you don't self-incriminate (produce your driving docs & if at night, turn-on the overhead cabin light & put hands at 10 & 2 on the wheel.  Ask to move hands to retrieve docs & be RESPECTFUL).  If you're not a habitual offender chances are you'll get a warning or a reduced summons.  Take it & say thank you.  You both live to go home :) 

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1 hour ago, capt14k said:

I agree with everything except the answering honestly part about firearms in vehicle. I would likely avoid that question and answer with a question such as why do you ask? I don't see where saying yes I do can lead to anything good.

 

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I don't see why telling the truth can lead to anything bad.

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Let's make some distinctions.

Long gun or handgun.

You have or don't have an FID card.

My understanding (from reading the laws) was that you could transport a long gun almost anywhere, anytime , range or no range IF YOU HAVE FID.  But handguns are severely restricted even with FID.  Transport for range, buy/sell, repair  only.

If I am wrong please add to my confusion. Thanks Gents and Ladies.

 

 

 

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Just now, almiz111 said:

Let's make some distinctions.

Long gun or handgun.

You have or don't have an FID card.

My understanding (from reading the laws) was that you could transport a long gun almost anywhere, anytime , range or no range IF YOU HAVE FID.  But handguns are severely restricted even with FID.  Transport for range, buy/sell, repair  only.

If I am wrong please add to my confusion. Thanks Gents and Ladies.

 

 

 

incorrect, you do not need your FID on you while handling your guns. New Jersey does not require a license to use or transport firearms. You need an FID to purchase firearms, hence the name "Firearms Purchaser ID Card"

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36 minutes ago, JR88USMC said:

incorrect, you do not need your FID on you while handling your guns. New Jersey does not require a license to use or transport firearms. You need an FID to purchase firearms, hence the name "Firearms Purchaser ID Card"

Most LGSs won't hand over a firearm for inspection unless you present a FID.  It's a store by store policy

You do not need a FID to transport a long gun to and from a range.

You may transport a long gun outside the range exception as long as you have your FID on you.

You may only transport a handgun to and from a range and other exempted places like a place of business you own or a gunsmith but  you must have your FID with you.

You must have your FID on you if you are transporting hollow point handgun ammo to or from any location, no exceptions.

This is my understanding of the law.  If I'm wrong, the experts will surely jump on this.

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I don't see why telling the truth can lead to anything bad.

With most police it probably wouldn't. Then there is the small percentage it could lead to a full search and God forbid one hollow point round rolled out of your bag when you went shooting pistols, and you are currently driving with a rifle and not on the way to designated location.

 

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1 minute ago, Scorpio64 said:

Most LGSs won't hand over a firearm for inspection unless you present a FID.  It's a store by store policy

You do not need a FID to transport a long gun to and from a range.

You may transport a long gun outside the range exception as long as you have your FID on you.

You may only transport a handgun to and from a range and other excepted places like work or a gunsmith and you must have your FID with you.

You must have your FID on you if you are transporting hollow point handgun ammo to or from any location, no exceptions.

This is my understanding of the law.  If I'm wrong, the experts will surely jump on this.

Store by store policy, yes. I've never had to show my FID when I wanted to just look at a firearm.

Transporting the gun, no. You do not need your FID on you. From Gifford Laws

 

Quote

New Jersey prohibits any person from transporting, possessing or having a firearm in his or her control in a motor vehicle, unless the firearm is unloaded and contained in a closed and securely fastened case, or locked in the trunk.1 The state also prohibits any person from possessing in a motor vehicle any shotgun or rifle loaded with ammunition or missiles of any kind for the purpose of hunting or attempting to hunt any bird or animal.2

New Jersey provides that all firearms being transported between a place of purchase or repair or a dwelling or place of business,3 by members of rifle or pistol clubs under certain circumstances,4 or to or from: 1) hunting and fishing activities pursuant to a valid hunting license; 2) target shooting on a range; or 3) any exhibition or display of firearms,5 shall be carried unloaded and contained in a closed and fastened case, gunbox, securely tied package, or locked in the trunk of the automobile in which it is being transported.6

http://www.njsp.org/firearms/firearms-faqs.shtml

this also says nothing about needing an FID to possess a firearm. You need it to purchase or receive a transfer of one.

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3 minutes ago, JR88USMC said:

Transporting the gun, no. You do not need your FID on you. From Gifford Laws

If you are taking a shotgun to the range, then no FID is necessary. If you plan on keeping a cased shotgun in your trunk, and ammo in the back seat while just driving around on a daily basis, then you need to have your FID with you.

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10 minutes ago, capt14k said:

With most police it probably wouldn't. Then there is the small percentage it could lead to a full search and God forbid one hollow point round rolled out of your bag when you went shooting pistols, and you are currently driving with a rifle and not on the way to designated location.

 

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That's not the parameters the OP gave.

Please find me the person who's been arrested for that one hollow point and nothing else in the past 10 years.

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39 minutes ago, JR88USMC said:

incorrect, you do not need your FID on you while handling your guns. New Jersey does not require a license to use or transport firearms. You need an FID to purchase firearms, hence the name "Firearms Purchaser ID Card"

no. he's right. if you don't have your fPid, you're ok....as long as you're otw to or from an exempted place, or at one of them. if you do have your fPid, then you can toss a long gun in your vehicle, and keep it there from now till the end of time and go pretty close to anywhere with it.

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11 minutes ago, Scorpio64 said:

If you are taking a shotgun to the range, then no FID is necessary. If you plan on keeping a cased shotgun in your trunk, and ammo in the back seat while just driving around on a daily basis, then you need to have your FID with you.

I have a friend that moved here from Ohio, doesn't have an FID and bought his shotgun in Ohio. He was pulled over once with his shotgun in the trunk and the ammo in his glovebox, he voluntarily told the officer he had a gun. All the police officer did was take his shotgun and run the serial number on it, saw that it was purchased legally and he was good to go. I suppose having your FID on you when you have a gun wouldn't hurt, but it's not the law.

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2 minutes ago, JR88USMC said:

I have a friend that moved here from Ohio, doesn't have an FID and bought his shotgun in Ohio. He was pulled over once with his shotgun in the trunk and the ammo in his glovebox, he voluntarily told the officer he had a gun. All the police officer did was take his shotgun and run the serial number on it, saw that it was purchased legally and he was good to go. I suppose having your FID on you when you have a gun wouldn't hurt, but it's not the law.

Sorry for thread drift. Assuming this happened in NJ, how did Officer know the gun was "purchased legally" ? May be he just checked to see if its stolen ?

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How one should handle a traffic stop and search request is very context sensitive and individual matter. 

I see no reason to handle a situation involving a legal firearm, being transported in legal manner no different from any other traffic stop or search request , unless law mandates disclosure (and some State do have those).

If its your thing to start spilling the beans or your thing to ask for lawyer right out the gate or something in the middle. 

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2 minutes ago, JR88USMC said:

I have a friend that moved here from Ohio, doesn't have an FID and bought his shotgun in Ohio. He was pulled over once with his shotgun in the trunk and the ammo in his glovebox, he voluntarily told the officer he had a gun.

The one mistake your friend made was volunteering information.  I do not recommend lying to LE if asked directly.  I was told by two cops I know that volunteering information only complicates a simple traffic stop.

Your NJ resident friend from Ohio was well within his right to transport a long gun to and from a range without having a FID, no legal traps there.

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He drives a hatchback so having the gun in the trunk isn't exactly invisible from the outside. He was coming back from a hunting trip in upstate NY. How they verify the gun was purchased legally, idk? I'm not an LEO but I assume their in car computer can verify weapon serial numbers? 

 

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3 minutes ago, JR88USMC said:

He was coming back from a hunting trip in upstate NY. How they verify the gun was purchased legally, idk? I'm not an LEO but I assume their in car computer can verify weapon serial numbers? 

Hunting is exempted location, but has to have a valid hunting license with him.  Interstate hunting trip covered by FOPA too.

They can't check if the gun is "legal", they can only check if it was reported stolen.

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