Maynard & Sumner, LLC - Attorneys At Law

Seizure of Weapons

Somerset County Domestic Violence Defense Law Firm

The State of New Jersey has some of the toughest gun laws in the country. In an effort to reduce street crime and violence, the NJ legislature has developed and continues to broaden laws related to restricting the possession of firearms and weapons. This policy has lead to a statutory requirement of the seizure of weapons by law enforcement upon response to alleged domestic violence altercations.

Domestic violence crimes are frequently fueled by emotions. When law enforcement is called to a home on an allegation of spousal abuse or a report of a domestic altercation, they will try to observe and assess any physical signs of injury and the ongoing level of danger to the alleged victim. As a result, if law enforcement has probable cause to believe that an act of domestic violence was committed, the officer must question all persons present in the household whether there are any weapons or firearms within the home. The officer may then seize all weapons that he believes may be a danger to the victim or any other member of the household. If the officer seizes any firearms, he must also seize the firearms ID card and any permits to purchase a handgun from the accused. Any items seized are turned over to the county prosecutor's office and reported in the domestic violence report.

The New Jersey Statutes governing the possession of weapons by a person accused of an act of domestic violence are particularly strict. Under N.J.S.A 2C:25-21, all seized weapons must be returned to the owner within 45 days, unless the Superior Court orders against it or the prosecutor petitions the Family Court to obtain title to the seized weapons. In the prosecutor's petition to the court, the state may object to the return of the owner's weapons on the grounds that the owner is unfit or that the owner is a threat to the public or the alleged victim. Results from the hearing may be appealed to the Superior Court, Appellate Division.

Sussex County Possession of a Firearm Attorney

The domestic violence defense lawyers of Maynard & Sumner, LLC aggressively advocate for their clients and have successfully received orders for return of weapons. If you are a police officer or security officer, the need to possess a firearm is crucial to your job. To speak with an experienced attorney, call 973-540-0054 or email us to schedule a free consultation.