Can I Defend Myself in a New Jersey Mall Parking Lot?

The following is a video transcript.

With the holidays here, you need to be aware of your surroundings. There are a lot of folks out there that would like to take advantage of you: to steal from you or to even cause you bodily harm. Being aware of your surroundings is very important, and having that situational awareness is a skill that will help protect your life and the lives of your loved ones.

In terms of self-defense, New Jersey is difficult because the laws are so restrictive, and because law-abiding citizens are denied the ability to carry the most effective means of self-defense (that being a firearm).

We don’t really want to be victims, but we also don’t want to violate the law. So, some important things you can do is, of course, try to avoid becoming a victim by being aware of your surroundings.

In addition, there are some things you are allowed to do to protect yourself. They’re limited, but you are allowed to have pepper spray under three-quarters of an ounce. Also, a cell phone can take photographs and videos can often be useful in getting and apprehending a wrongdoer. Short of that, there isn’t much that individuals can do to lawfully defend themselves in New Jersey. That has basically been curtailed by the legislature.

Remain aware of your surroundings and try to avoid any situation where you can sense or feel the danger. Listen to what your mind is telling you about that danger. We have that ability. It’s in us folks. Listen to it and stay safe for the holidays.

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