Can You Shoot on Your Property in New Jersey?

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New Jersey is one of the several states that have the most restrictive gun laws in the country. You are not allowed to open carry or concealed carry a handgun in New Jersey unless you have a permit to do so.

Now, with such restrictive gun laws, is it legal to shoot on your property? Read on…

Can You Shoot on Your Property in New Jersey?

Yes, New Jersey is a Castle Doctrine state, meaning that you can shoot on your property. It allows licensed gun owners to shoot intruders and aggressors.

You should, however, refrain from discharging your firearm and retreat from a situation if it is safe to do so.

closeup of a man handling a firearm

If the circumstances are threatening and you have reason to believe that you are in eminent danger, then it is okay to shoot.

The state also allows you to use deadly force if you have reason to believe that the safety of those around you and your home or your property is compromised.

This basically means that self-defense is a legal justification for use of firearms in New Jersey. But even so, all New Jersey residents, old and new, need a permit to own a gun before they can be allowed to use one.

How to Get a Permit to Carry in New Jersey

If you live in New Jersey, you will have to apply for a permit to carry a gun at the municipal police department in the city you reside in.

If you are a new resident of the state, you must apply for a permit to carry a firearm with the New Jersey state police that is convenient to you.

Do You Need a Permit to Purchase a Gun in New Jersey?

You do need a permit to purchase a gun in New Jersey. With the strict gun laws, this is to be expected from a state that open carry without a permit is deemed unlawful.

New Jersey is one of the states that take pride in regulating the selling and buying of firearms.

For that reason, a permit to purchase is a requirement for anyone who wants to be a gun owner. And in addition to the permit to purchase a gun, a firearm purchaser identification card with the state is another requirement for anyone looking to buy a rifle or shotgun.

a man wearing a camo and firing a rifle

Who Qualifies for Gun Possession in New Jersey?

With such restrictive laws, the right to possess a firearm comes with a few restrictions. You only qualify to become an armed American in the good state of New Jersey if:

  • You are above the age of 21
  • The state is confident that you a person of good character
  • The state is confident that you know how to safely handle and use a firearm
  • You can prove beyond doubt that you need to carry a gun
  • You have attended and completed a firearm training course
man firing a pistol in shooting range

Who Doesn’t Qualify for Gun Ownership in New Jersey?

Under state law, the following persons do not qualify for firearm possession or a permit to purchase:

  • Anyone who has been convicted of a felony
  • Anyone who has been involved in other heinous crimes involving violence
  • Anyone who is facing challenges with drug and substance addiction
  • Anyone who is physically not able to handle a firearm due to sickness of other physical defects
  • Anyone below the age of 21, which is the legal age to purchase a gun
  • Anyone who has been convicted and held at a juvenile detention center for unlawful possession of guns
  • Anyone who is deemed to be a danger to himself or the people around him


Aside from remembering the basics of firearms safety, if you are considering buying a gun in New Jersey, take some time out to familiarize yourself with the state and federal gun laws.

Additionally, attend some gun handling training classes to know how to safely handle a firearm and apply for a permit.

James Forrester is a lifelong gun and firearms owner, and an even bigger advocate for gun safety. He created with the purpose of sharing helpful tips and educating others on how to keep guns and weapons safe and secure.