In order to become a legal gun owner in the Garden State, residents have to apply to their local police department in order to receive either a Firearms ID card (valid for purchases of long guns) or a pistol purchase permit (which allows an individual to purchase one handgun). The process can be extensive, and can even require applicants to submit character references to their local police department before they get their permission slip to exercise a constitutional right.
The process to obtain a license to carry is even more onerous, and only a handful of people in the state currently possess a carry license. Despite those barriers to legal gun ownership, or maybe because of them, there are still plenty of guns in the hands of criminals in New Jersey, and the state’s draconian gun control laws aren’t doing anything to reduce the increasing levels of violence in the state.
From 2010 through 2019, Paterson averaged 88 shootings per year, with an average of 103 victims, including 15 fatalities, according to city statistics. This year’s shooting incidents mark a 22% increase over the past decade, and the number of victims is almost 40% higher.