New Jersey provides that “[a] person who knows or reasonably should know that a minor [under 16 years of age]1 is likely to gain access to a loaded firearm at a premises under the person’s control” is criminally liable for a misdemeanor if a minor gains access to a firearm, unless the person:
- Stores the firearm in a securely locked box or container;
- Stores the firearm in a location which a reasonable person would believe to be secure; or
- Secures the firearm with a trigger lock.2
This section does not apply to activities concerning the lawful use of a firearm by a minor (see the section entitled Minimum Age to Purchase & Possess in New Jersey), or where a minor obtained a firearm as a result of an unlawful entry by any person.3
New Jersey requires firearm dealers to give all firearm transferees the following written warning, printed in block letters not less than one-fourth of an inch in height: “IT IS A CRIMINAL OFFENSE, PUNISHABLE BY A FINE AND IMPRISONMENT, FOR AN ADULT TO LEAVE A LOADED FIREARM WITHIN EASY ACCESS OF A MINOR.”4 Dealers also must post a truncated version of this warning “conspicuously” at each purchase counter, printed in block letters not less than one inch in height.5
New Jersey imposes harsh penalties, including a mandatory minimum prison term of three years without parole, on any person who knowingly sells, gives, transfers, assigns or otherwise disposes of a firearm to a person under age 18.6
For other measures related to child access prevention, see the section entitled Locking Devices in New Jersey.
See our Child Access Prevention policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.