Joseph A. Lombardo
You cannot simply go out and buy a firearm in New Jersey. You must first apply for a license and be approved first. You might face multiple criminal charges if you lie on your gun application.
Lying on your gun application is a serious offense because it might implicate multiple criminal charges. First, providing false or misleading information on a gun application is a criminal offense. Your potential criminal charges depend on what kind of firearm license you are applying for. Second, if you obtain a firearm after submitting a false gun application, you may face additional criminal charges for unlawful firearm possession. Third, if you lied because you are barred from owning a firearm, you may be criminally charged as a person prohibited. If your false application was only a mistake and you did not realize the information was misleading, we can help you fight the charges you might face.
If you face criminal charges after submitting a gun application with false information, our Atlantic City weapons crimes defense lawyers can help you clear your name. For a free review of your case, call the Lombardo Law Group, LLC at (609) 418-4537.
What Happens if You Lie on a Gun Application in New Jersey?
Lying on a gun application in New Jersey is a criminal offense in itself. It does not matter if your application is approved or the mistake is caught early; you may face criminal charges for providing false information. Under New Jersey law, there are two ways in which a person may be charged for lying on a gun application.
Under N.J.S.A. § 2C:39-10(5)(c), you might be charged with a third-degree crime for providing false information on a gun application. This includes lying on the following applications:
- An application for a firearms purchaser identification card
- A permit to purchase a handgun
- A permit to carry a handgun
- A permit to possess a machine gun
- A permit to Possess an assault firearm
- A certificate or any other instrument legally required to acquire a ride, shotgun, handgun, machine gun, assault firearm, or any other firearm.
Similarly, you can be charged under N.J.S.A. § 2C:39-10(5)(d) for providing false information when you register an assault firearm or certify that an assault firearm has been rendered inoperable. In such an instance, a person can be charged with a fourth-degree crime.
A third-degree crime may be punished by at least 3 years but no more than 5 years in prison. A fourth-degree crime is one step down and may be penalized by up to 18 months in prison. This is serious prison time, and our Camden County criminal defense attorneys can help you challenge the charges against you.
Obtaining a Firearm with an Invalid Gun License in NJ
After submitting a gun application with false information, some people actually obtain a firearm. Although you might obtain this firearm with a permit, the permit is not valid if it was obtained through false or misleading information. As such, possessing a firearm via an invalid permit is considered unlawful. Our NJ weapons crimes defense attorneys can help you understand the extent of the criminal charges you might face.
Criminal charges for unlawful possession of firearms can be found under N.J.S.A. § 2C:39-5, and the statute contains provisions for the unlawful possession of a wide variety of weapons. Unlawfully possessing a handgun, rifle, or shotgun may be a third-degree crime. The unlawful possession of a machine gun, a far deadlier weapon, may be charged as a second-degree crime and punished by at least 5 years and up to 10 years in prison.
Charges for unlawful possession are often filed against people who obtain firearms without a valid permit. However, they can also be filed against people who provided false information to obtain a permit. Once the authorities discover that a permit is based on false information, they can charge the permit holder with the unlawful possession of firearms if the permit holder was able to obtain weapons.
Some people are categorically barred from obtaining firearms and other weapons under any circumstances. This is often because such people have been found guilty of certain criminal offenses or otherwise cannot be trusted with weapons. If you are alleged to have lied on a gun application because you are a person prohibited from applying for or owning a firearm, our NJ weapons crime defense attorneys can help you.
Under N.J.S.A. §2C:39-7, the law spells out numerous provisions for criminal charges against people prohibited from obtaining firearms. Because they have been convicted of one of the following criminal offenses:
- Aggravated assault
- Aggravated sexual assault
- Sexual assault
- Bias intimidation
- Gang-related criminal activity
- Terroristic threats
- Unlawful possession of a machine gun, handgun, or assault firearm
- Being the leader of a firearms trafficking network
- Endangering the welfare of a child
- Certain drug crimes
In addition, a person might be prohibited from owning a firearm if they have ever been committed to a mental institution for a mental illness or disorder. A person with mental health concerns or who was convicted of one of the above-listed offenses may be charged with a fourth-degree crime if they obtain a firearm. Alternatively, a person charged with a domestic violence-related offense will also be barred from owning a gun and might face charges for a third-degree crime.
What if I Provided False Information on an NJ Gun Application by Mistake?
Applying for a gun permit or another license or certificate necessary to obtain a firearm is not a simple, straightforward task. Weapons are heavily regulated, and applicants must provide a lot of very specific information. In some cases, applicants provide false information by mistake because they do not fully understand how to fill out the application. Other times, the applicant might not understand that they are a person prohibited from owning a firearm.
Our Linwood, NJ defense lawyers can help you fight the charges against you if you lied on your gun application by mistake. In many cases, the false or misleading application must be filed knowingly, meaning the person applying must know that the information is wrong. If you did not know, we can help you figure out how to undo your mistake, surrender any unlawful firearms, and hopefully avoid criminal charges.
Call Our NJ Weapons Crimes Defense Attorneys for Help Now
If you are charged with submitting a false application for a gun or other related charges, our Egg Harbor criminal defense attorneys can help you explain the mistake and clear your name. For a free case review, call the Lombardo Law Group, LLC at (609) 418-4537.
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