Firearms permits issued by the Police Department in Carteret, New Jersey, are currently being investigated by the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office. According to authorities, many of the permits issued by the Carteret Police Department, who have authority to do so under state law, may have been given without a proper and full investigation. Under New Jersey law, individuals applying for a Firearms Purchaser Identification Card or a Permit to Purchase a Firearm must submit to a rigorous investigation process before a gun permit is approved and issued. Any person found in possession of a firearm without a valid permit may be arrested and charged with unlawful possession of a weapon.
At William Proetta Criminal Law, our highly experienced Middlesex County weapons defense lawyers fight for the rights of clients charged with weapons offenses, including those involving handguns, shotguns, rifles, BB guns, and other items considered weapons under NJ law. If you have been arrested for illegal possession of a gun or anything readily capable of lethal use or of inflicting serious bodily injury, contact us immediately at (732) 659-9600 for a free consultation.
Firearms Permits Issued in Carteret, New Jersey
The aforementioned investigation, which is under the direction of Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey, has found that since 2015, the Carteret Police have not been properly conducting background checks on those given gun permits, including not looking into mental health status or criminal records, which are two essential parts of a thorough background investigation before receiving a firearms permit. There may be around 38 firearms permits that were improperly given to individuals who were not fully vetted by the CPD, as required by law.
Responding to this serious situation, the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office has filed in the New Jersey Superior Court to have 5 of the permits revoked. These gun permits reportedly had extensive problems complying with New Jersey law requiring full background checks. Members of the CPD, including Carteret Police Director Kenneth Lebrato, are being cooperative and fixing issues with their background check and permitting process. Furthermore, the New Jersey State Police is helping out as well by issuing new applications for firearms permits. The NJ State Police will remain involved and providing assistance until the investigation into Carteret Police Department’s compliance with legal requirements ends.
Last, the investigation into CPD’s permitting procedures will remain active and ongoing until the CPD has fixed their firearms permit process and makes sure it is fully compliant with all laws surrounding proper investigation into the backgrounds of people acquiring firearms through their permitting process.
Unlawful Possession of a Gun without a Valid Permit in NJ
While a citizen is allowed to bear arms under the Second Amendment, this right is by no means absolute and can be limited or changed by local law and procedure. Citizens must follow local and state laws, including requirements that the person have a permit for carrying a gun in New Jersey and other states. If a person in possession of a gun fails to have a permit under New Jersey law, he or she may be in violation of NJSA 2C:39-5 and charged with unlawfully possessing a weapon.
Applying this to the situation involving Carteret gun permits, individuals who received a firearm permit under the flawed protocols the Police Department was using may technically be considered in unlawful possession of a firearm without a valid permit. Because CPD failed to follow the law in investigating the individuals seeking permits, potentially through no fault of their own, the people who received those permits might still have improper permits and, as a result, do not have a lawful permit to carry that gun. This is especially true for the 38 firearms permits that the Prosecutor’s Office says were improperly investigated, as well as the 5 that the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office has filed in court to revoke. The individuals who were issued these gun permits in Carteret may need to re-submit to the firearms application process in New Jersey in order to obtain valid permits for their weapons.
Carteret NJ Gun Possession Lawyers
If you or someone you love has been charged with possession of a firearm without a valid permit in Middlesex County, New Jersey, it is important to find an experienced criminal defense attorney to assist you. Gun charges are indictable (felony) crimes in New Jersey, which means you could be facing significant time in prison. Call our office in Edison now at (732) 659-9600 for a free consultation about your specific weapons case. One of our lawyers is available at all times to answer your questions.
For additional information pertaining to this matter, access the following press release: Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office Reviewing the Issuance of Firearm Permits by Carteret Police Department