When Can You Be Charged with Possession of an Assault Firearm Under N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5f?

New Jersey’s criminal code distinguishes between numerous weapons crimes, some of which are more serious than others.  One of the most serious gun crimes a person can be accused of committing in New Jersey is the possession of an assault firearm.  This offense is a high-level felony which can subject the defendant to years of incarceration and tens of thousands of dollars in criminal fines if he or she is convicted.  

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Contact Our Atlantic County Weapons Attorneys for a Free Consultation 

If you or one of your family members was arrested in Atlantic City for owning assault firearms, it is critically important to find skilled, quality legal representation as soon as possible.  A felony weapons conviction could change your life forever, but representation by an experienced New Jersey assault weapons attorney gives you the best chance of beating the charges and getting back to your normal routine.  

Our gun crime lawyers understand that you and your loved ones are going through an extremely stressful and confusing ordeal right now.  We are here to provide legal and emotional support.  We will stand by your side to uphold your gun rights, guide you through New Jersey’s criminal court system, identify defense strategies, and most importantly, fight vigorously toward the goal of having the charges dropped or the case dismissed.   

To set up a free legal consultation, call our law offices right away at (609) 616-4956.  We handle criminal cases throughout Atlantic County, Cape May County, and the surrounding area. 

Criminal Penalties: Fines and Sentencing for Possession of an Assault Rifle in Cape May  

Possession of an assault weapon (N.J.S.A. § 2C:39-5f) is a subset of a broader crime known as “unlawful possession of a weapon” (N.J.S.A. § 2C:39-5).  Because assault weapons are more powerful than other types of firearms, and have greater potential to cause deaths or injuries, their possession is penalized more harshly than the possession of other, less lethal firearms, such as rifles and shotguns (N.J.S.A. § 2C:39-5c) or miscellaneous “other” weapons (N.J.S.A. § 2C:39-5d).  However, in order to understand how crimes are penalized in New Jersey, one must first understand how crimes are classified.  

Misdemeanors in other states are equivalent to “disorderly persons offenses” in New Jersey.  Felonies, which are more serious than misdemeanors, are equivalent to “indictable crimes.”  Possession of an assault weapon is an indictable crime. 

Indictable crimes are split into four groups: fourth degree crimes, third degree crimes, second degree crimes, and first degree crimes.  The lower the number, the greater the offense and its consequences.   

Possessing an assault firearm is a second degree crime (second degree felony).  In New Jersey, second degree crimes are punishable by:  

  • A prison sentence of up to 10 years.  
  • A criminal fine of up to $150,000.  

What Types of Guns Are Considered Assault Firearms in New Jersey?  

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All guns are not considered equal in the eyes of the law.  As the previous section noted, ownership or possession of certain weapons – such as assault weapons – are subject to much harsher penalties than other types of firearms.  Under N.J.S.A. § 13:54-1.2, all of the following guns and firearms are considered assault weapons in New Jersey:  

  • Algimec AGM1 Type 
  • Armalite AR-180 Type 
  • Australian Automatic Arms SAR 
  • Avtomat Kalashnikov Type Semi-Automatic Weapons 
  • Beretta AR-70, BM59 Semi-Automatic Guns 
  • Bushmaster Assault Rifle 
  • Calico M-900 Assault Carbine M-900 
  • CETME G3 
  • Chartered Industries of Singapore SR-88 Type 
  • Colt AR-15 and CAR-15 Series 
  • Daewoo K-1, K-2, Max 1, Max 2, AR 100 Types 
  • Demro TAC-1 Carbine Type 
  • Encom MP-9, MP-45 Carbine Types 
  • FAMAS MAS223 Types 
  • FN-FAL, FN-LAR, FN-FNC Type Semi-Automatic Firearms 
  • Franchi SPAS 12, LAW 12 Shotguns 
  • G3SA Type 
  • Galil Type 
  • Heckler and Koch HK91, HK93, HK94, MP5, PSG-1 
  • Intratec TEC 9, 22 Semi-Automatic Firearms 
  • M1 Carbine Type 
  • M14S Type 
  • MAC 10, MAC 11, MAC 11-9 mm Carbine Type Firearms 
  • PJK M-68 Carbine Type 
  • Plainfield Machine Company Carbine 
  • Ruger K-Mini-14/5, Mini-14/5 
  • SIG AMT, SIG 550SP, SIG 551SP, SIG PE-57 Types 
  • SKS, Detachable Magazine Type 
  • Spectre Auto Carbine Type 
  • Springfield Armory BM59, SAR-48 Type 
  • Sterling MK-6, MK-7, SAR types 
  • Steyr A.U.G. Semi-Automatic Firearms 
  • USAS 12 Semi-Automatic Type Shotgun 
  • Uzi Type Semi-Automatic Firearms 
  • Valmet M62, M71S, M76, M78 Type Semi-Automatic Weapons 
  • Weaver Arm Nighthawk 
  • Any shotgun that has a revolving cylinder (e.g. Street Sweeper, Striker 12)  

The charges against you are serious, but you don’t have to handle them on your own.  Our Cape May County assault weapons lawyers will put every moment of your arrest and detention under a microscope to determine if your rights were at any time violated by the police, who may have conducted an illegal search and seizure.  Depending on the circumstances, a variety of defense strategies may be available to dispute or reduce the charges against you.  

Call the Law Offices of John J. Zarych at (609) 616-4956 right away to arrange a free legal consultation if you or a family member was arrested for assault weapons in Atlantic County or Cape May County.  We are here to answer your questions and help you move forward.