Falsifying a FID Card Gun Application Attorney in Hudson County


There has been a huge influx of firearms identification card applications throughout New Jersey in recent years as more and more residents want to exercise their 2nd Amendment right obtain firearms for home protection. Other common reasons why people in New Jersey want to be able to purchase, possess, and transport guns are recreational shooting and hunting, which have also gained popularity. However, in New Jersey you can not own, purchase or possess a firearm unless you first have a Firearms Purchaser Identification card or “FID” card for short. In order to get approved for an FID card you must make an application through the New Jersey State Police Website here and then have that application reviewed by your local police department to see if you qualify. So with the surge in gun sales and demand, this means that there has been a huge influx in Firearms Identification Card “FID” applications to the local police departments and state police. The FID application asks a lot of questions that can be confusing to most people who are not lawyers or in law enforcement and the law does not allow for much forgiveness if there are misrepresentations on your application. Because of this, it is always recommended that you contact an attorney or your local police department if you have questions on how to fill out a FID application so you can make sure it is done properly. However, every year people make the mistake of answering a question incorrectly on the form which subjects them to criminal charges.


N.J.S.A. 2C:39-10 is a criminal statute in New Jersey that outlines criminal conduct for regulatory violations related to obtaining, possessing, and transporting firearms throughout our state. Of importance in this legal series is section (c), which states “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.” So chances are if the police believe you willfully provided any false information at the time of your application they will charge you with 2C:39-10c for falsifying your FID card application. This is a 3rd degree crime so it will be handled in the County Superior Court and is punishable by 3 – 5 years in State Prison if you are convicted.


Answering a question incorrectly can be a result of misunderstanding the question or language used or even an unclear memory of what took place years ago. For instance, we’ve had clients who did not properly disclose their prior record because they thought they did not have to answer “Yes” unless they had been sentenced to 6 months in jail, or wrongly believed their record had been expunged or sealed, or that a domestic violence protective order had expired or been withdrawn. We have listed some common examples of questions that people often times answer incorrectly.

  1. Have you ever been convicted of a crime in New Jersey or a criminal offense in another jurisdiction where you could have been sentenced to more than six months in jail that has not been expunged or sealed? If yes, list date(s), place(s) and crime(s).
  2. Have you ever been convicted of any domestic violence offense in any jurisdiction which involved the elements of (1) striking, kicking, shoving, or (2)
  3. purposely or attempting to or knowingly or recklessly causing bodily injury, or (3) negligently causing bodily injury to another with a deadly weapon? If yes, explain.
  4. Are you subject to any court order issued pursuant to Domestic Violence? If yes, explain.
  5. Have you ever been adjudged a juvenile delinquent? If yes, list date(s), place(s), and offense(s).
  6. Have you ever been convicted of a disorderly persons offense in New Jersey or any criminal offense in another jurisdiction where you could have been sentenced up to six months in jail that has not been expunged or sealed? If yes, list date(s), place(s) and offense(s)


Well the short answer is “Yes” you need a FID card to purchase, own and transport firearms in New Jersey. But it’s really kind of silly, outdated and obsolete. You’ve probably noticed or heard on the news that in most states throughout the country you can simply walk into a gun shop and show your state driver’s license to purchase a firearm. However, these states arguably still have as good of protections in place as New Jersey when it comes to making sure the wrong people get their hands on guns. This is because every gun shop is has a registered FFL (Federal Firearms License) with the federal government to be in the business of purchasing and selling guns. As an FFL holder, they must document every gun that comes in and out of the shop with its serial number, date of purchase, date of sale, and name of the purchaser and seller. Moreover, before anyone can purchase a gun, even with a driver’s license, they have to fill out an ATF purchase form and the FFL dealer has to run a “NICS” check (National Instant Criminal Background Check System) to make sure the purchaser is eligible to buy a gun and does not have a disqualifying record such as criminal convictions or a history of mental health hospitalizations. The NICS check runs a person’s identifying information through the federal database to find any records of incidents that happened throughout the country. Since launching in 1998, more than 300 million checks have been done, leading to more than 1.5 million denials.


Falsification of a FID card application can lead to serious charges which often times must be hard fought. However, the good news is the lawyers at William Proetta Criminal Law have experience with successfully defending these cases to allow clients to avoid jail time or even a criminal conviction. For instance we recently had a case, (State of New Jersey vs. M.B.) where the client had a prior criminal conviction out-of-state and was currently on Pre-Trial Intervention, a form of probation, when he applied for his FID card to obtain a firearm for home security. Unfortunately he did not disclose his prior record and was ultimately charged with a third degree felony for 2C:39-10c which was sent to the County Superior Court. Our firm was able to get the County Prosecutor’s Office to downgrade the charges to a disorderly persons offense and remand it back to local municipal court. Once in municipal court we were able to successfully challenge the state’s evidence against our client and show that it was not his intent to deceive the police when he made the application. Ultimately the criminal charge was downgraded to a local municipal ordinance with a modest fine and no criminal record, probation or jail.