CHAPTER 3

 

An Act concerning handgun purchase permits and firearms purchaser identification cards in certain cases and amending N.J.S.2C:58-3 and P.L.1982, c.79.


    Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:


    1.    N.J.S.2C:58-3 is amended to read as follows:


Purchase of firearms.

    2C:58-3. Purchase of Firearms.

    a.    Permit to purchase a handgun. No person shall sell, give, transfer, assign or otherwise dispose of, nor receive, purchase, or otherwise acquire a handgun unless the purchaser, assignee, donee, receiver or holder is licensed as a dealer under this chapter or has first secured a permit to purchase a handgun as provided by this section.

    b.    Firearms purchaser identification card. No person shall sell, give, transfer, assign or otherwise dispose of nor receive, purchase or otherwise acquire an antique cannon or a rifle or shotgun, other than an antique rifle or shotgun, unless the purchaser, assignee, donee, receiver or holder is licensed as a dealer under this chapter or possesses a valid firearms purchaser identification card, and first exhibits said card to the seller, donor, transferor or assignor, and unless the purchaser, assignee, donee, receiver or holder signs a written certification, on a form prescribed by the superintendent, which shall indicate that he presently complies with the requirements of subsection c. of this section and shall contain his name, address and firearms purchaser identification card number or dealer's registration number. The said certification shall be retained by the seller, as provided in section 2C:58-2a., or, in the case of a person who is not a dealer, it may be filed with the chief of police of the municipality in which he resides or with the superintendent.

    c.    Who may obtain. No person of good character and good repute in the community in which he lives, and who is not subject to any of the disabilities set forth in this section or other sections of this chapter, shall be denied a permit to purchase a handgun or a firearms purchaser identification card, except as hereinafter set forth. No handgun purchase permit or firearms purchaser identification card shall be issued:

    (1)  To any person who has been convicted of a crime, whether or not armed with or possessing a weapon at the time of such offense;

    (2)  To any drug dependent person as defined in section 2 of P.L.1970, c.226 (C.24:21-2), to any person who is confined for a mental disorder to a hospital, mental institution or sanitarium, or to any person who is presently an habitual drunkard;

    (3)  To any person who suffers from a physical defect or disease which would make it unsafe for him to handle firearms, to any person who has ever been confined for a mental disorder, or to any alcoholic unless any of the foregoing persons produces a certificate of a medical doctor or psychiatrist licensed in New Jersey, or other satisfactory proof, that he is no longer suffering from that particular disability in such a manner that would interfere with or handicap him in the handling of firearms; to any person who knowingly falsifies any information on the application form for a handgun purchase permit or firearms purchaser identification card;

    (4)  To any person under the age of 18 years for a firearms purchaser identification card and to any person under the age of 21 years for a permit to purchase a handgun;

    (5)  To any person where the issuance would not be in the interest of the public health, safety or welfare;

    (6)  To any person who is subject to a court order issued pursuant to section 13 of P.L.1991, c.261 (C.2C:25-29) prohibiting the person from possessing any firearm; or

    (7)  To any person who as a juvenile was adjudicated delinquent for an offense which, if committed by an adult, would constitute a crime and the offense involved the unlawful use or possession of a firearm.

      d.   Issuance. The chief of police of an organized full-time police department of the municipality where the applicant resides or the superintendent, in all other cases, shall upon application, issue to any person qualified under the provisions of subsection c. of this section a permit to purchase a handgun or a firearms purchaser identification card.

      Any person aggrieved by the denial of a permit or identification card may request a hearing in the Superior Court of the county in which he resides if he is a resident of New Jersey or in the Superior Court of the county in which his application was filed if he is a nonresident. The request for a hearing shall be made in writing within 30 days of the denial of the application for a permit or identification card. The applicant shall serve a copy of his request for a hearing upon the chief of police of the municipality in which he resides, if he is a resident of New Jersey, and upon the superintendent in all cases. The hearing shall be held and a record made thereof within 30 days of the receipt of the application for such hearing by the judge of the Superior Court. No formal pleading and no filing fee shall be required as a preliminary to such hearing. Appeals from the results of such hearing shall be in accordance with law.

      e.   Applications. Applications for permits to purchase a handgun and for firearms purchaser identification cards shall be in the form prescribed by the superintendent and shall set forth the name, residence, place of business, age, date of birth, occupation, sex and physical description, including distinguishing physical characteristics, if any, of the applicant, and shall state whether the applicant is a citizen, whether he is an alcoholic, habitual drunkard, drug dependent person as defined in section 2 of P.L.1970, c.226 (C.24:21-2), whether he has ever been confined or committed to a mental institution or hospital for treatment or observation of a mental or psychiatric condition on a temporary, interim or permanent basis, giving the name and location of the institution or hospital and the dates of such confinement or commitment, whether he has been attended, treated or observed by any doctor or psychiatrist or at any hospital or mental institution on an inpatient or outpatient basis for any mental or psychiatric condition, giving the name and location of the doctor, psychiatrist, hospital or institution and the dates of such occurrence, whether he presently or ever has been a member of any organization which advocates or approves the commission of acts of force and violence to overthrow the Government of the United States or of this State, or which seeks to deny others their rights under the Constitution of either the United States or the State of New Jersey, whether he has ever been convicted of a crime or disorderly persons offense, whether the person is subject to a court order issued pursuant to section 13 of P.L.1991, c.261 (C.2C:25-29) prohibiting the person from possessing any firearm, and such other information as the superintendent shall deem necessary for the proper enforcement of this chapter. For the purpose of complying with this subsection, the applicant shall waive any statutory or other right of confidentiality relating to institutional confinement. The application shall be signed by the applicant and shall contain as references the names and addresses of two reputable citizens personally acquainted with him.       Application blanks shall be obtainable from the superintendent, from any other officer authorized to grant such permit or identification card, and from licensed retail dealers.

      The chief police officer or the superintendent shall obtain the fingerprints of the applicant and shall have them compared with any and all records of fingerprints in the municipality and county in which the applicant resides and also the records of the State Bureau of Identification and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, provided that an applicant for a handgun purchase permit who possesses a valid firearms purchaser identification card, or who has previously obtained a handgun purchase permit from the same licensing authority for which he was previously fingerprinted, and who provides other reasonably satisfactory proof of his identity, need not be fingerprinted again; however, the chief police officer or the superintendent shall proceed to investigate the application to determine whether or not the applicant has become subject to any of the disabilities set forth in this chapter.

      f.   Granting of permit or identification card; fee; term; renewal; revocation. The application for the permit to purchase a handgun together with a fee of $2.00, or the application for the firearms purchaser identification card together with a fee of $5.00, shall be delivered or forwarded to the licensing authority who shall investigate the same and, unless good cause for the denial thereof appears, shall grant the permit or the identification card, or both, if application has been made therefor, within 30 days from the date of receipt of the application for residents of this State and within 45 days for nonresident applicants. A permit to purchase a handgun shall be valid for a period of 90 days from the date of issuance and may be renewed by the issuing authority for good cause for an additional 90 days. A firearms purchaser identification card shall be valid until such time as the holder becomes subject to any of the disabilities set forth in subsection c. of this section, whereupon the card shall be void and shall be returned within five days by the holder to the superintendent, who shall then advise the licensing authority. Failure of the holder to return the firearms purchaser identification card to the superintendent within the said five days shall be an offense under section 2C:39-10a. Any firearms purchaser identification card may be revoked by the Superior Court of the county wherein the card was issued, after hearing upon notice, upon a finding that the holder thereof no longer qualifies for the issuance of such permit. The county prosecutor of any county, the chief police officer of any municipality or any citizen may apply to such court at any time for the revocation of such card.

      There shall be no conditions or requirements added to the form or content of the application, or required by the licensing authority for the issuance of a permit or identification card, other than those that are specifically set forth in this chapter.

      g.   Disposition of fees. All fees for permits shall be paid to the State Treasury if the permit is issued by the superintendent, to the municipality if issued by the chief of police, and to the county treasurer if issued by the judge of the Superior Court.

      h.   Form of permit; quadruplicate; disposition of copies. The permit shall be in the form prescribed by the superintendent and shall be issued to the applicant in quadruplicate. Prior to the time he receives the handgun from the seller, the applicant shall deliver to the seller the permit in quadruplicate and the seller shall complete all of the information required on the form. Within five days of the date of the sale, the seller shall forward the original copy to the superintendent and the second copy to the chief of police of the municipality in which the purchaser resides, except that in a municipality having no chief of police, such copy shall be forwarded to the superintendent. The third copy shall then be returned to the purchaser with the pistol or revolver and the fourth copy shall be kept by the seller as a permanent record.       i.   Restriction on number of firearms person may purchase. Only one handgun shall be purchased or delivered on each permit, but a person shall not be restricted as to the number of rifles or shotguns he may purchase, provided he possesses a valid firearms purchaser identification card and provided further that he signs the certification required in subsection b. of this section for each transaction.

      j.   Firearms passing to heirs or legatees. Notwithstanding any other provision of this section concerning the transfer, receipt or acquisition of a firearm, a permit to purchase or a firearms purchaser identification card shall not be required for the passing of a firearm upon the death of an owner thereof to his heir or legatee, whether the same be by testamentary bequest or by the laws of intestacy. The person who shall so receive, or acquire said firearm shall, however, be subject to all other provisions of this chapter. If the heir or legatee of such firearm does not qualify to possess or carry it, he may retain ownership of the firearm for the purpose of sale for a period not exceeding 180 days, or for such further limited period as may be approved by the chief law enforcement officer of the municipality in which the heir or legatee resides or the superintendent, provided that such firearm is in the custody of the chief law enforcement officer of the municipality or the superintendent during such period.

      k.   Sawed-off shotguns. Nothing in this section shall be construed to authorize the purchase or possession of any sawed-off shotgun.

      l.   Nothing in this section and in N.J.S.2C:58-2 shall apply to the sale or purchase of a visual distress signalling device approved by the United States Coast Guard, solely for possession on a private or commercial aircraft or any boat; provided, however, that no person under the age of 18 years shall purchase nor shall any person sell to a person under the age of 18 years such a visual distress signalling device.


      2.   Section 1 of P.L.1982, c.79 (C.2A:4A-60) is amended to read as follows:


C.2A:4A-60 Disclosure of juvenile information; penalties for disclosure.

      1.   Disclosure of juvenile information; penalties for disclosure. a. Social, medical, psychological, legal and other records of the court and probation division, and records of law enforcement agencies, pertaining to juveniles charged as a delinquent or found to be part of a juvenile-family crisis, shall be strictly safeguarded from public inspection. Such records shall be made available only to:

      (1)             Any court or probation division;

      (2)             The Attorney General or county prosecutor;

      (3)             The parents or guardian and to the attorney of the juvenile;

      (4)             The Department of Human Services, if providing care or custody of the juvenile;

      (5)             Any institution or facility to which the juvenile is currently committed or in which the juvenile is placed;

      (6)             Any person or agency interested in a case or in the work of the agency keeping the records, by order of the court for good cause shown, except that information concerning adjudications of delinquency, records of custodial confinement, payments owed on assessments imposed pursuant to section 2 of P.L.1979, c.396 (C.2C:43-3.1) or restitution ordered following conviction of a crime or adjudication of delinquency, and the juvenile's financial resources, shall be made available upon request to the Victims of Crime Compensation Board established pursuant to section 3 of P.L.1971, c.317 (C.52:4B-3), which shall keep such information and records confidential;

      (7)             The Juvenile Justice Commission established pursuant to section 2 of P.L.1995, c.284 (C.52:17B-170); and

      (8)             Law enforcement agencies for the purpose of reviewing applications for a permit to purchase a handgun or firearms purchaser identification card.

      b.   Records of law enforcement agencies may be disclosed for law enforcement purposes, or for the purpose of reviewing applications for a permit to purchase a handgun or a firearms purchaser identification card to any law enforcement agency of this State, another state or the United States, and the identity of a juvenile under warrant for arrest for commission of an act that would constitute a crime if committed by an adult may be disclosed to the public when necessary to execution of the warrant.

      c.   At the time of charge, adjudication or disposition, information as to the identity of a juvenile charged with an offense, the offense charged, the adjudication and disposition shall, upon request, be disclosed to:

      (1)             The victim or a member of the victim's immediate family;

      (2)             Any law enforcement agency which investigated the offense, the person or agency which filed the complaint, and any law enforcement agency in the municipality where the juvenile resides; and

      (3)             On a confidential basis, the principal of the school where the juvenile is enrolled for use by the principal and such members of the staff and faculty of the school as the principal deems appropriate for maintaining order, safety or discipline in the school or to planning programs relevant to the juvenile's educational and social development, provided that no record of such information shall be maintained except as authorized by regulation of the Department of Education; or

      (4)             A party in a subsequent legal proceeding involving the juvenile, upon approval by the court.

      d.   A law enforcement or prosecuting agency shall, at the time of a charge, adjudication or disposition, advise the principal of the school where the juvenile is enrolled of the identity of the juvenile charged, the offense charged, the adjudication and the disposition if:

      (1)             The offense occurred on school property or a school bus, occurred at a school-sponsored function or was committed against an employee or official of the school; or

      (2)             The juvenile was taken into custody as a result of information or evidence provided by school officials; or

      (3)             The offense, if committed by an adult, would constitute a crime, and the offense:

      (a) resulted in death or serious bodily injury or involved an attempt or conspiracy to cause death or serious bodily injury; or

      (b) involved the unlawful use or possession of a firearm or other weapon; or

      (c) involved the unlawful manufacture, distribution or possession with intent to distribute a controlled dangerous substance or controlled substance analog; or

      (d)             was committed by a juvenile who acted with a purpose to intimidate an individual or group of individuals because of race, color, religion, sexual orientation or ethnicity; or

      (e) would be a crime of the first or second degree.

      Information provided to the principal pursuant to this subsection shall be treated as confidential but may be made available to such members of the staff and faculty of the school as the principal deems appropriate for maintaining order, safety or discipline in the school or for planning programs relevant to a juvenile's educational and social development, and no record of such information shall be maintained except as authorized by regulation of the Department of Education.

      e.   Nothing in this section prohibits a law enforcement or prosecuting agency from providing the principal of a school with information identifying one or more juveniles who are under investigation or have been taken into custody for commission of any act that would constitute an offense if committed by an adult when the law enforcement or prosecuting agency determines that the information may be useful to the principal in maintaining order, safety or discipline in the school or in planning programs relevant to the juvenile's educational and social development. Information provided to the principal pursuant to this subsection shall be treated as confidential but may be made available to such members of the staff and faculty of the school as the principal deems appropriate for maintaining order, safety or discipline in the school or for planning programs relevant to the juvenile's educational and social development. No information provided pursuant to this section shall be maintained.

      f.   Information as to the identity of a juvenile adjudicated delinquent, the offense, the adjudication and the disposition shall be disclosed to the public where the offense for which the juvenile has been adjudicated delinquent if committed by an adult, would constitute a crime of the first, second or third degree, or aggravated assault, destruction or damage to property to an extent of more than $500.00, unless upon application at the time of disposition the juvenile demonstrates a substantial likelihood that specific and extraordinary harm would result from such disclosure in the specific case. Where the court finds that disclosure would be harmful to the juvenile, the reasons therefor shall be stated on the record.

      g.   Nothing in this section shall prohibit the establishment and maintaining of a central registry of the records of law enforcement agencies relating to juveniles for the purpose of exchange between State or local law enforcement agencies of this State, another state, or the United States.

      h.   Whoever, except as provided by law, knowingly discloses, publishes, receives, or makes use of or knowingly permits the unauthorized use of information concerning a particular juvenile derived from records listed in subsection a. or acquired in the course of court proceedings, probation, or police duties, shall, upon conviction thereof, be guilty of a disorderly persons offense.

      i.   The court may, upon application by the juvenile or his parent or guardian, the prosecutor or any other interested party, including the victim or complainant or members of the news media, permit public attendance during any court proceeding at a delinquency case, where it determines that a substantial likelihood that specific harm to the juvenile would not result, and the court shall permit a victim, or a family member of a victim to make a statement prior to ordering a disposition in any delinquency proceeding involving an offense that would constitute a crime if committed by an adult. The court shall have the authority to limit and control the attendance in any manner and to the extent it deems appropriate.

      j.   The Department of Education, in consultation with the Attorney General, shall adopt, pursuant to the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), rules and regulations concerning the creation, maintenance and disclosure of pupil records including information acquired pursuant to this section.


      3.   This act shall take effect immediately.


      Approved January 16, 2001.