How Can You Legally Transfer a Firearm to a Beneficiary in New Jersey

By Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. of Hanlon Niemann & Wright, a Freehold, NJ Estate Probate Attorney

New Jersey is essentially an anti-second amendment state. It has laws and regulations that significantly restrict the purchase, ownership and transfer of firearms. This blog will address a fiduciary’s duties (Executor, Administrator, Power of Attorney, etc) with respect to firearms.

In New Jersey, the licensing, possession, and transportation of firearms is regulated by statute N.J.S.A. 2C:58-1, et seq., and administrative rules, N.J.A.C. 13”54-1.1, et seq. An heir or legatee can receive a firearm from a fiduciary without obtaining a permit to purchase a handgun or a firearms purchaser identification card so long as that person would otherwise be legally qualified.

New Jersey, similar to most states, has prerequisites for obtaining a permit to purchase a handgun or a firearms purchaser identification card. Under the New Jersey regulations, the applicant must meet the following conditions:

  • For a firearms purchaser identification card, he/she must be 18 years of age or older; to obtain a handgun, 21 or older;
  • Never convicted of any crime or a disorderly persons offense involving domestic violence;
  • Not subject to a restraining order that prohibits the possession of a firearm;
  • Not drug dependent as defined by N.J.S.A. 24:21-1;
  • Never confined to a hospital, mental institution or sanitarium for a mental disorder;
  • Not be a habitual drinker;
  • Not suffer from a physical defect or disease that makes him/her unsafe to handle a firearm;
  • Never knowingly gave false information on an application for a permit to purchase a handgun or a firearms purchaser identification card; or
  • Cannot refuse to waive the right of confidentiality for records from any institutional confinement.

An applicant will also be denied if the local law enforcement chief determines that it would not be in the interest of the public health, safety, and welfare for the applicant to possess a firearm.

In the event that an applicant has previously suffered from a physical defect or disease, mental disorder or alcoholism, the applicant may be issued a permit or identification if he/she can produce a certificate of a medical doctor or psychiatrist licensed in New Jersey or other satisfactory proof that he/she is no longer suffering from that particular disability in a manner that would interfere with the handling of a firearm.

To discuss your NJ Estate and Probate matter, please contact Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. toll-free at (855) 376-5291 or email him at fniemann@hnlawfirm.com.  Please ask us about our video conferencing consultations if you are unable to come to our office.