Prior to purchasing a firearm in New Jersey, all prospective purchasers must obtain either a permit to purchase a handgun (one permit per handgun purchase), or a Firearms Purchaser Identification Card (FPIC) (one card allows unlimited rifle and shotgun purchases),1 from local law enforcement or the New Jersey State Police (NJSP).2 Applicants must provide their name, residence, place of business, age, date of birth, occupation, sex, physical description, distinguishing characteristics, as well as an extensive personal history.3 Both permits require the applicant to undergo a background check and waive confidentiality relating to any institutional confinement for a mental or psychiatric condition. For more on background checks and other criteria for obtaining a permit to purchase a handgun or FPIC, see the sections entitled Prohibited Purchasers Generally in New Jersey and Mental Health Reporting in New Jersey.
If an applicant qualifies for a permit to purchase a handgun or FPIC, the permit or FPIC shall be issued within 30 days from the date of receipt of the application, or within 45 days if the applicant is not a New Jersey resident.4
Once issued, a permit to purchase a handgun is valid for 90 days, and may be renewed for good cause for another 90 days.5 Prior to the time a permittee receives a handgun, he or she shall deliver the permit to the seller, and the seller shall enter all the information required on the permit form.6 The seller shall keep a copy as a permanent record, and deliver the completed permit (or copies) to local law enforcement and NJSP within five days of the date of sale.7
A FPIC is valid so long as the holder remains eligible to possess a firearm.8
See our Licensing of Gun Owners & Purchasers policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.