While New Jersey law makes a distinction between deadly weapons like handguns, shotguns, and rifles, and what some people would consider recreational “toy” guns like airsoft guns, BB guns, or paintball guns, these later three are still classified as “firearms” under N.J.S.A. 2C:39-1. This includes electric airsoft guns, gas airsoft guns, spring-powered airsoft guns, pump paintball guns, semi-automatic paintball guns, 3-shot burst paintball guns, mechanical paintball guns, and electronic paintball guns. If you do not have a valid firearms permit or firearms ID card, you can be charged with unlawful possession of a weapon or even possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose.
Toys may be for playing games, but if you find yourself with a firearms offense charge in Ocean County, the consequences can be very serious. You need to know the penalties you’re facing if convicted of unlawfully possessing an Airsoft gun or any other type of gun for that matter. Contact William Proetta Criminal Law in Ocean County for a free consultation with an experienced weapons defense lawyer who can help. We can be reached online or by phone at (848) 238-2100 anytime to assist you.
Consequences of Having an Illegal Airsoft Gun in Ocean County
Last week at Ocean Gate School in Ocean County, New Jersey, an elementary school student was disciplined after bringing a toy gun to school with him. When the incident was initially reported by a teacher, several police officers responded to the school. Trying to stop the spread of misinformation and calm parents’ fears, the school’s superintendent issued a statement stating that the toy was a toy airsoft gun that looked real and that the police and school administration took appropriate actions in handling the situation. He also said that at no time were students in danger, nor was an evacuation or lockdown necessary.
Despite the superintendent’s classification of the airsoft gun as a “toy,” New Jersey law actually considers airsoft guns to be prohibited weapons, along with BB guns and paintball guns. In order to possess one of these “toys,” you must have a valid firearm permit or firearm ID card. Possession of a handgun without a permit is a second degree indictable offense in New Jersey, carrying a potential sentence of a minimum of 5 years in prison without parole for a period of 3 years.
In order to obtain a firearms permit in New Jersey, you must fill out an application and submit it to your local police department. The application will ask you questions about your criminal background and mental health. You must get a new, separate permit for each individual handgun you wish to purchase.
Unlawful Airsoft Gun Lawyers in Ocean County NJ
If you are surprised that airsoft guns, BB guns, and paintball guns are prohibited in New Jersey and require a firearms permit to possess, you are not alone. Unfortunately, claiming lack of knowledge of the law is not a valid defense to violating it.
If you or a loved one was charged with a weapons offense in Ocean County, New Jersey for possessing a gun you believed to be a mere toy, contact our experienced criminal defense lawyers today for a review of your case. We will help you to navigate this complex area of the law and identify the most effective defenses that may be available to you. With offices in Point Pleasant, we defend clients arrested anywhere in Ocean County and surrounding areas, including Toms River, Brick, Seaside Heights, Ocean Gate, Manchester, Lacey Township, and Jackson. Call (848) 238-2100 for more information.