New Jersey has numerous laws that relate to weapons. One of those laws is N.J.S. 2C:39-5. That law relates to simply having a weapon in one's possession. Under N.J.S. 2C:39-5, any person who knowingly has in his possession any weapon “under circumstances not manifestly appropriate for such lawful uses as it may have” is guilty of a crime.

N.J.S. 2C:39-5 has subparts. These subparts differentiate between the different types of weapons that might be possessed. Possession of firearms, generally, is considered more serious than possession of other types of weapons. Subpart (e) of N.J.S. 2C:39-5 also specifies separate crimes for possession of firearms, and imitation firearms, in educational facilities. Note that criminal culpability under N.J.S. 2C:39-5 does not require any unlawful intent.

A different statute deals with possession of weapons with unlawful intent. That statute is N.J.S. 2C:39-4. The unlawful intent would be purpose to use the weapon unlawfully against the person or property of another. As with N.J.S. 2C:39-5, N.J.S. 2C:39-4 distinguishes between different types of weapons. Thus firearms, explosives, and destructive devices are treated more harshly than other types of weapons. A person can be charged and found guilty of both N.J.S. 2C:39-5 and N.J.S. 2C:39-4, both arising from a single event.

N.J.S. 2C:39-3 declares that some weapons are prohibited, period. “Lawful circumstances” or absence of unlawful purpose are irrelevant. Those weapons include “destructive devices,” sawed-off shotguns, silencers, defaced firearms, dum-dum or body armor penetrating bullets, and large capacity ammunition magazines. Exceptions exist for law enforcement officers on duty, and for specified military personnel. Handcuffs are also prohibited under this section, in the absence of manifestly appropriate circumstances.

“Weapon” means anything readily capable of lethal use or capable of inflicting serious bodily injury. Concerning “possess,” we all have an intuitive idea of what that means. The legal definition, however, is quite precise. It is also quite complicated. We discuss possession in great detail elsewhere on this site.

The statutes that we have been describing contain qualifications and exceptions. Those qualifications and exceptions are too numerous for a page of this nature. Persons facing weapons charges must be guided by the wording of the statutes themselves and, also, by how these laws have been interpreted by the courts.

NJ weapons Lawyer unlawful possession of a weapon knife gun blackjack gravity knife dum-dum bullets hollow nose assault rifle.With one exception, all weapons offenses defined in the New Jersey Code of Criminal Justice are felonies. (That exception relates to pepper spray.) Criminal Lawyers in New Jersey have successfully defended persons charged with weapons offenses numerous times. Their combined experience exceeds forty years. They are available to review your charges in a no-cost no-obligation conference.

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“We, as criminal defense lawyers, are forced to deal with some of the lowest people on earth. People who have no sense of right and wrong. People who will lie in court to get what they want. People who do not care who gets hurt in the process. It is our job, our sworn duty as criminal defense lawyers, to protect our clients from those people.”

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“In criminal law there is only one true law, the constitution of the united states. All statutes and codes are merely the ravings of politicians.”

Counsellors at Law in the Law Offices of Allan Marain, located in New Brunswick, represent clients throughout Central and Northern New Jersey. That includes Asbury Park, Bedminster, Belleville, Bergenfield, Berkeley Heights, Bernards Township, Bernardsville, Bogota, Bound Brook, Branchburg, Brick, Bridgewater, Clifton, Clinton, Closter, Cranbury, Cranford, Cresskill, Deal, Demarest, Denville, Dover, Dumont, Dunellen, East Brunswick, East Rutherford, East Windsor, Edison, Elizabeth, Emerson, Englewood, Englishtown, Ewing, Franklin Township, Freehold, Garfield, Garwood, Hackensack, Highland Park, Hillsborough, Hillsdale, Hillside, Jersey City, Kearny, Kenilworth, Lakewood, Lawrence Township, Mahwah, Manville, Marlboro, Matawan, Metuchen, Middlesex Borough, Monroe, Mountainside, New Brunswick, North Brunswick, Nutley, Old Bridge, Paramus, Parsippany, Paterson, Perth Amboy, Piscataway, Plainfield, Plainsboro, Point Pleasant, Princeton, Rahway, Raritan, Readington, Red Bank, Ridgefield, Ridgefield Park, Ridgewood, Robbinsville, Rockaway, Rocky Hill, Roselle, Roselle Park, Rutherford, Sayreville, Scotch Plains, Seabright, Seaside Heights, Seaside Park, Secaucus, Shrewsbury, Somerville, South Amboy, South Bound Brook, South Brunswick, South Orange, South Plainfield, South River, Sparta, Spotswood, Summit, Teaneck, Tenafly, Toms River, Trenton, Union, Wall, Warren, Washington, Watchung, West Windsor, Westfield, Woodbridge, and other communities in Bergen County, Mercer County, Middlesex County, Monmouth County, Ocean County, Somerset County, Sussex County, Union County, and Warren County. They handle criminal matters in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. They are available to handle matters in the United States Supreme Court.

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