The following is a video transcript.
I’d like to discuss with you the importance of documenting your firearms.
What I’m talking about here is documenting your firearms for yourself and also what your obligations are under the law. Registration of firearms—particularly handguns—occurs when you acquire a handgun in New Jersey from a dealer. Or in the old days (because they are not allowed anymore), you could use a pistol purchase permit with a private party.
Possession of an unregistered handgun is lawful in New Jersey. As a matter of fact, there is no such crime as possession of an unregistered handgun in New Jersey. Registration only occurs on acquisition. Since New Jersey primarily has a registration system for those that have acquired handguns, it is documented. The government knows that you have a registered firearm if you have acquired any in this manner.
But the question that comes up is: what is your obligation to record or document your own firearms, regardless of whether there is a state registration? And the answer to that is to protect yourself, you should have a list of your firearms with make, model, and serial number. In case any are stolen, you would be able to (and in fact, within 72 hours under the law, must) report your stolen guns.
You want to have a record so that you can abide by the law to report your stolen firearms. And plus, if firearms are later recovered, then these firearms can actually be returned to you after the criminal process on the person or persons who may have stolen them or come into possession of a stolen property. You still have title to those firearms, and may in fact end up getting them back.
Not only does the law require that you report stolen firearms, but it is in your own interest to do so. Additionally, having them documented is good in case there is a fire in your home. Your guns may be covered by insurance.
There are different insurance policies that cover firearms that get damaged or stolen, which is another reason to have good records. So, make sure you have your records stored in a place separate from where you keep your firearms, and make sure you abide by the law, document firearms, and report stolen firearms as required.
If you have any more questions about documenting your firearms, call U.S. LawShield to speak with your Independent Program Attorney today.