Firearms Applicants

Guidelines for Firearms Applications
(Revised September 2008)
Applicants: Read the instructions herein fully and follow them correctly to expedite your application.

Applicants must be 18 years-old to obtain a Firearms Identification Card, and 21 years-old to obtain a Permit to Purchase a Handgun or Permit to Carry a Handgun. All applicants must legally reside in the Township of South Orange, and that address must be their primary place of residence.
  1. Complete the State of New Jersey Firearms Application form (PDF), indicating at the top if you are applying for a Firearms Purchaser Identification Card, a Permit to Purchase a Handgun, or both. Be sure to include the names of two references that are not related to you.
  2. Complete Part I of the Consent for Mental Health Records Search form (PDF), leaving the rest of the form blank. The investigating detective will witness the form upon receipt, and the search must be conducted by the Office of the County Counsel.
  3. Applicants are requested to drop off the application and mental health forms at police headquarters. Applicants must be fingerprinted. Applicants will be contacted by the investigating detective to arrange the fingerprinting when all forms are submitted.
  4. Applicants for Permit to Carry a Firearm: in addition to all of the above, you must submit an Application for Permit to Carry Handgun in triplicate, including three signed endorsements. You must also submit a County of Essex Statement of Justifiable Need that states your need to carry a weapon (this form will be provided upon request by S.O.P.D.). You must provide the model and serial number of the actual weapon you intend to carry and certification that you have passed a qualification course with a N.J. State-approved Range master. Three color passport photographs are needed and a $20 money order (no checks) made out to the New Jersey Judiciary for processing this application. All applications for Permits to Carry Handgun are reviewed by a Superior Court Judge who will grant or deny the application based upon all of the information submitted.
  5. A Firearms Application investigation will commence when all documents and fees are received, and not before. It is the sole responsibility of the applicant to submit all required information in complete and timely fashion. The South Orange Police Department will additionally check all applicants for any local violations, court actions and other factors that may impact the review of their application.
  6. Fees for Firearms documents include $5 for Firearms Identification Card (initial or duplicate), and $2 per Permit to Purchase Handgun. These fees will not be collected until the actual documents are issued. Payment may be made by check or exact cash amount.
Firearms Applications generally require 6-12 weeks to complete; applicants can expedite this process by submitting required information fully, correctly and quickly. For further information or assistance, contact the Detective Supervisor at 973-763-3000, ext. 7794.