Carry permits expected to skyrocket in New Jersey after SCOTUS ruling

"We're starting to see another rise in people looking for the compact carry guns now," said Arsenal Gun Shop owner Tom Vadurro.

Trish Hartman Image
Wednesday, June 29, 2022
EMBED <>More Videos

"We're starting to see another rise in people looking for the compact carry guns now," said Arsenal Gun Shop owner Tom Vadurro.

WASHINGTON TWP., New Jersey (WPVI) -- Police in Washington Township, New Jersey have been fielding a lot of gun-related questions over the past few days.

"After Thursday's Supreme Court decision we've had people walking into the building off the street, we received emails and phone calls," said Police Chief Patrick Gurcsik. "They're asking where the applications are? They're asking if they have to be fingerprinted?"

He says concealed carry permits used to be so hard to get in New Jersey, many people just didn't apply.

The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that part of a New York law that required applicants to give a reason for carrying was unconstitutional. New Jersey had an almost identical requirement.

"It was very stringent. Basically, your life needed to be threatened daily and you needed to prove that in order get a carry permit," said Bob Ruh, a retired officer who now works in the township firearms unit processing applications.

Now that requirement is gone.

SEE ALSO: SCOTUS strikes down New York gun law, expected to allow more people to carry concealed firearms

Tuesday morning the state police posted updated guidelines for carry permit applications.

Gurcsik says out of 50,000 township residents, only four people have current permits to carry a handgun.

He says the idea of more people with carry permits brings him concern for his officers.

"Because they're entering situations where they don't know now whether or not someone is concealed carry even though it is licensed," said Gurcsik.

Last year in New Jersey, 503 carry permits were issued, according to data from New Jersey State Police.

So far this year, 217 permits have been approved.

Governor Phil Murphy called the court's ruling "tragic and misguided" last week, and called for legislation that would limit where guns can be carried, including hospitals, courthouses and areas with large crowds of people like stadiums and amusement parks.

The Arsenal Gun Shop in Deptford was busy over the weekend.

Owner Tom Vadurro said they started getting calls right after the ruling came down. He believes with the other qualifications required for a permit in New Jersey, this change is a good thing.

He's also in favor of adding a safety training requirement.

"We're starting to see another rise in people looking for the compact carry guns now," said Vadurro. "It's a good thing. It'll definitely equal the playing field."

Washington Township police are trying to remind people that you still need a permit to carry a handgun, and all the other requirements for a carry permit are still in play. That includes a background check, a mental health check, three references, and passing a qualification at a gun range.

From there the application goes to New Jersey Superior Court.

You still have to apply in person at your local police department and they have 60 days to process the application.

Gurcsik says if they see that many more applications they may have to add another officer to the firearms unit to process the applications.