Most teenagers and young adults are unaware that it is illegal to possess or use a BB Gun or Air Gun in public. New Jersey’s strict gun laws have been written to incorporate BB Guns and simply possessing a BB Gun in your car can result in a Third Degree Felony Indictable Offense. What may be have been intended as a toy gift can result in serious criminal charges in Burlington County. Failure to obtain the proper permits to possess a BB Gun can result in a possible term of incarceration of five (5) years for an adult or up to two (2) years for a Juvenile. Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5, a BB Gun or Airsoft Gun will be treated as a “firearm” by police and prosecutors. For resident and non-residents alike, this seems like and obscure and unfair law. Nevertheless, it is important that you or your family member understand that possible consequences that come with possessing a BB Gun or using a BB Gun in the commission of a criminal offense. Our firm represents individuals charged with unlawful possession of BB Gun throughout Burlington County, including towns like Mt Holly, Evesham,Mt Laurel, Pemberton, Willingboro, Burlington Township, Bordentown, Cinnaminson, Medford, Florence, Maple Shade, Delran and Moorestown. For an immediate and complimentary consultation with a NJ BB Gun Lawyer, please contact our Evesham office today at (609) 850-8284. We can be reached 24/7 for your convenience.
What are New Jersey Laws on BB Guns?
New Jersey’s laws regarding weapons and guns are some of the harshest in the country. This law, N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5, also encompasses “guns” that fire through air compression, spring action and elastic action. Unfortunately, because BB Guns are very popular among teenagers and young adults, we frequently see police and law enforcement officers arrest and detain juveniles and adults for unlawful possession of a weapon without a valid permit. There are two common forms of BB Guns that our firm has seen in these types of cases:
NJ BB Gun Pistol Charges
In this scenario, local law enforcement or State Police can file charges pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5(b) for possession of a “pistol” that is, by its nature, “an air gun, spring gun or pistol or other weapon of a similar nature in which the propelling force is a spring, elastic band, carbon dioxide, compressed or other gas or vapor, air or compressed air, or is ignited by compressed air, and ejecting a bullet or missile smaller than three-eighths of an inch in diameter, with sufficient force to injure a person.“ Therefore, a BB gun or pellet pistol will be considered a violation of NJ’s Gun Laws, if you are caught in possessing, carrying or transporting the gun without a permit, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:58-4.
NJ Pellet Rifles Charges
While the penalties remain the same for possession of a BB Gun Pistol or BB Gun Rifle (aka Pellet Rifle), the specific statutes are different. While BB Gun Rifles qualify as a “firearm”, they do not qualify as a “rifle” N.J.S.A. 2C:39-1(f). This has caused some confusion amongst the legal community because it can be argued that this “firearm” does not fall under the rules requiring a Firearms ID Card (FID Card) for the purchase and possession of a Pellet Gun. However, State Police still say that a FID card is required and may attempt to arrest you for unlawful possession of a weapon. Additionally, possession of a BB Gun Rifle or Pellet Rifle for an unlawful purpose (i.e. robbery, assault, etc.) will result in severe felony charges under N.J.S.A.2C:39-4.
Can I Go to Jail for Possession of a BB Gun in NJ?
If you do not obtain the proper permit, then you could be arrested and charged with Unlawful Possession of a Weapon of a BB Gun. This is a 3rd Degree criminal charge that carries a term of incarceration between three (3) and five (5) years in a New Jersey State Penitentiary. Additionally, if you are caught in possession of a BB Gun or Rifle during the course of a criminal offense such as burglary, auto theft, aggravated assault, robbery, shoplifting, or terroristic threats, then you will be subject to additional charges under N.J.S.A.2C:39-4 for Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose. Depending on the circumstances, Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose may be a 2nd Degree Felony Indictable Offense that carries up to ten (10) years in a New Jersey State Prison with a presumption of incarceration and possibility parole ineligibility under the No Early Release Act (NERA) for 85% of you prison sentence.
Mt Holly BB Gun Attorneys
Fighting BB Gun charges as either a juvenile or adult requires a great deal of attention and experience. Federal and State laws often contradict one another in the context of gun regulation. Therefore, an experienced gun possession lawyer can provide you with a plethora of knowledge on the subject and argue on your behalf against the prosecuting attorney. If you or a family member are facing criminal charges for unlawful possession of a weapon, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, burglary, robbery, aggravated assault or any other criminal charge, please contact the Burlington County Criminal Defense Attorneys at Proetta & Oliver. Firm Partner, William C. Fay, IV, Esq., is a former New Jersey Deputy Attorney General with experience prosecuting cases for the State of New Jersey, as well as defending the rights of the accused. This experience provides Mr. Fay with a unique perspective on how to fight against the charges brought by the State. If you would like to speak to Mr. Fay or one of his partners, please contact our Evesham Office at (609) 850-8284. We can be reached day and night for your convenience. Please do not hesitate to reach out with question or concerns you may have about your case or the case of a loved one.
Our phones are answered 24 hours a day. We are available weekdays during business hours. We also meet with clients on evenings and weekends by request. We have four office locations conveniently located in Mount Laurel, Point Pleasant, Princeton and Middletown. All major credit cards are accepted.