Appellate Docket No.: A-0473-20

Decided January 11, 2022

Submitted by New Jersey New Jersey Criminal Lawyer, Jeffrey Hark

In a recent unpublished opinion, the Appellate Division of New Jersey reversed an oral order to forfeit plaintiff’s handgun permit to carry and ordering the surrender of all firearms in his possession as well as the forced sale of the guns after learning of the possibility the plaintiff may have exceeded the scope of his handgun carry permit.

In the Matter of Richard Huften, Huften applied for a permit to carry a firearm in the course of his employment at five specific locations for his work as a security guard and private detective agency that he owns. On August 13, 2020, the court granted Huften’s application for a limited-scope permit to carry a handgun while in the employment of All Security Detective Agency, LLC while serving as an armed security guard at the following five locations: (1) Banana King Corp. located at 996 Madison Avenue in Paterson; (2) YBH of Passaic; (3) Ahavas Israel PPJCC in Passaic; (4) Young Israel of Passaic/Bergen in Passaic; and (5) Congregation Adas Israel in Passaic. Four of the locations are Yeshiva schools or temples and Banana King is a chain restaurant. The order did not permit Huften to carry a handgun on his person while traveling between these locations, meaning the gun would need to remain locked in the trunk of Huften’s vehicle until he arrived at one of the locations. The order permitted Huften to carry specified handguns.

On August 24, 2020, appellant submitted a pro se letter of need to the court and Fair Lawn Police Department to widen the scope of the carry permit to add additional locations at which he could carry a handgun. Huften argued that he was required to carry a handgun in the performance of his duties for All Security Detective Agency. It bears noting that Huften is the principal and owner of the company.

Huften stated that he needed to extend the scope of his permit because he is required to conduct “private investigations” and “enter buildings to check for criminal activity as a result of alarm activation,” which endanger him as a security guard. The letter stated that he would be performing investigations in “Paterson, Passaic, and Newark and a few other locations that are high crime areas.” Under the existing permit, Huften was only authorized to carry a handgun in Paterson and Passaic at the five specified locations.

The prosecutor opposed and a hearing was held. During the hearing, Huften contradicted himself a number of times when asked if he had already exceeded the scope of his carry permit.

The State made an oral application to revoke Huften’s FPIC and carry permit based on his testimony. The court afforded Huften another opportunity to explain whether he had carried his firearm at the sixth location he alluded to earlier. Huften continued to testify inconsistently.

The State then made an oral application pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:58-3(f) to revoke his carry permit and FPIC under the public safety and welfare exception. The first mention of a compelled sale of appellant’s firearms came from the prosecutor. The State requested “revocation of [Huften’s] FPIC, all other permits, including the carry permit, and to compel the sale of all weapons, wherein [Huften] would be given 120 days to sell them a licensed dealer.” The State also requested “the immediate surrender” of Huften’s weapons.

The court found Huften’s testimony was inconsistent, that its prior order was not being followed, and that Huften’s continued ability to possess a limited scope carry permit posed a “risk to public health, safety, and welfare . . . .” As a result, the court denied Huften’s request to widen the scope of his carry permit and granted the prosecutor’s oral application.

The order issued by the court states that “on a de novo review” and “having conducted a testimonial hearing,” Huften’s application to expand his existing carry permit was denied and the State’s motion for the revocation of his FPIC, existing permit, and compelled sale of firearms was granted. Huften was instructed to surrender his FPIC, carry permit, and all firearms in his custody and those at his residence, or they would be seized by the Fair Lawn Police Department. Huften had 120 days from the date of the order to arrange for a federally licensed firearms dealer to purchase the firearms or they would be subject to destruction.

Huften appealed. The Appellate Division affirmed the denial to expand the scope of his carry permit. However, they reversed the other parts of the order, namely the forfeiture of his carry permit and the surrender of all firearms and forced sale of the guns.  The Court found that Huften had no notice of the request, as it was made at oral argument. What’s more, there was no evidence to suggest that Huften met the requirements to seize his firearms, as he was not involved in a crime, not involved with domestic violence, and there was no temporary extreme risk protective order (TERPO) or final extreme risk protective order (FERPO) that would require the guns be forfeited.

This case is important to understand an individual’s rights to own and possess a firearm. Owning and possessing guns in your home is given except under certain circumstances such as committing crime, domestic violence, and TERPO FERPO situations. To carry the gun outside the home required a different application and different legal review.

If you or someone you know is involved with a firearms issue, or has questions with regard to TERPO, FERPO, or criminal and domestic violence activity that prohibits the ownership and possession of firearms, contact the experienced gun lawyers at Hark & Hark today. We ensure gun ownership rights are protected and preserved.


We offer payment plan options to clients financially incapable of providing full payment upfront. If you are facing criminal charges similar to this circumstance, please call us to discuss the matter. At Hark & Hark, we represent clients for any case in any county in New Jersey including Atlantic County, Bergen County, Burlington County, Camden County, Cape May County, Cumberland County, Essex County, Gloucester County, Hudson County, Hunterdon County, Mercer County, Middlesex County, Monmouth County, Morris County, Ocean County, Passaic County, Salem County, Somerset County, Sussex County, Union County, and Warren County and any town including Borough of Clayton, Township of Elk, East Greenwich Township, Township of Logan, Township of Mantua, Township of Monroe, Borough of National Park, Township of Harrison, Borough of Paulsboro, Borough of Pitman, Township of Greenwich, Township of South Harrison, Borough of Swedesboro, Township of Franklin, Borough of Newfield, Township of West Deptford, Township of Washington, City of Woodbury, Borough of Woodbury Heights, Borough of Westville, Borough of Glassboro, Township of Woolwich, Township of Deptford, and Borough of Wenonah.

Criminal Civil Lawyer

Jeffrey Hark is a New Jersey Civil and Criminal Lawyer.

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