My office received a call yesterday from a potential client in Bergen County, NJ who had recently been arrested for “falsification” of his NJ Firearms ID Card application.
This person, who I’ll call “Mr. X,” was in his mid-twenties. He applied for an FID card with his local police dept. in Bergen County, NJ. On the application form, he checked “no” to Question #18 on the FID application form, which asks “have you ever been adjudged a juvenile delinquent?”
Mr. X had been arrested as a 15-year old teenager for possession of a small amount of narcotics. He was placed on a year’s probation for that offense, and his period of probation concluded while he was still a minor.
Mr. X mistakenly thought that, since he completed drug treatment and probation as a teen, that his juvenile court/arrest records had been sealed or destroyed. He found out the hard way that that was not the case- sadly, when the police showed up at his front door to arrest him for falsification of the form under N.J.S.A. 2C:39-10(c):
- “Any person who gives or causes to be given any false information, or signs a fictitious name or address, in applying 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, or in completing the certificate or any other instrument required by law in purchasing or otherwise acquiring delivery of any rifle, shotgun, handgun, machine gun, or assault firearm or any other firearm, is guilty of a crime of the third degree.” N.J.S.A. 2C:39-10(c)
The above statute (falsification of the FID form) is a felony of the third degree in NJ. Luckily, Mr. X’s case was remanded from Superior Court to municipal court and he paid a fine and received a suspended jail sentence. Sadly, Mr. X did not contact my firm until AFTER he had been to municipal court and pled guilty to the falsification. At this point, there is nothing I can do to help Mr. X, as he entered his guilty plea in Municipal Court over three months ago.
This case illustrates the minefields, traps and pitfalls that can now accompany a NJ Firearms ID Card application. The bottom line is that the state of New Jersey does not want private citizens to legally purchase, own, or possess firearms- period. If you want this to change, pick up the telephone and phone your local representative. It’s whole new world now following the Batman movie theater shooting and the Sandy Hook, Connecticut school massacre.
Unless and until the people of NJ vote for representatives who respect the sanctity of the Second Amendment, I recommend that anyone thinking of applying for a NJ FID card do themselves a favor and pay the $41 for a NJ State Police Criminal History report if they have ever been arrested by the police whatsoever (even juvenile proceedings), even if the arrest did not result in a conviction. A link to the Morpho-Track website (thru which you set up fingerprint appointments for your background check) is provided here on my expugement law page:
Sad what can happen in New Jersey if you don’t dot the i’s and cross the t’s correctly. And let’s not forget that “expunged” records can still be reviewed in certain background checks. Another win for the jack-booted thugs. Sadly I don’t see things getting better in New Jersey.