Submitted by New Jersey Criminal Lawyer, Jeffrey Hark.

In an unpublished decision, the Appellate Division of New Jersey reviewed a denial of a firearms purchaser identification card (FPIC) and permit to purchase handguns (PPH) to a retired police officer.

In C.P., On September 7, 2011, [C.P., then] a Lieutenant for the Old Bridge Police Department, arrived at work intoxicated. [C.P.] was given a breathalyzer, which indicated his blood alcohol concentration was 0.09%. [C.P.] was subsequently given a ticket for driving under the influence of alcohol. The ticket was transferred to the Monroe Township Municipal Court and ultimately dismissed.

On May 21, 2012, [C.P.] was charged with making terroristic threats towards his ex-wife. An audio recording of [C.P.] making these threats was played before this [c]ourt. The recording consisted of [C.P.]’s intoxicated ranting for thirty-five minutes. [C.P.] made five threats to shoot and kill his ex-wife during the rant. Also, on May 30, 2012, a [TRO] was issued against [C.P.]. [C.P.]’s wife ultimately withdrew the TRO on August 6, 2012. Subsequent to this incident, on September 10, 2012, [C.P.] consented to the sale of his firearms.

On March 2, 2017, [C.P.] was arrested and charged with harassment after allegedly placing a plastic bag over his ex-wife’s head. This event led to another seizure and transfer of [C.P.]’s firearms, and the forfeiture of his FPIC and PPH on November 3, 2017. A TRO was granted as a result of this incident. The TRO was ultimately dismissed on March 20, 2017.

On March 24, 2017[,] [C.P.] was involved in a single car motor vehicle accident in Old Bridge, New Jersey. [C.P.] caused damage to a highway guard rail and pole. Subsequent testing of [C.P.]’s blood revealed that he had a blood alcohol concentration of 0.266%. Police issued [C.P.] tickets for reckless driving and driving under the influence. The tickets were transferred to Perth Amboy Municipal Court and ultimately dismissed.

After applying the governing principles, the judge concluded that issuance of an FPIC and PPH to C.P. would not be in the best interest of the public health, safety, or welfare within the meaning of N.J.S.A. 2C:58-3(c)(5). The judge reasoned: [C.P.] has been involved in two incidents of drunk driving, two incidents of domestic violence, and has had his guns seized on two separate occasions. Although [C.P.] continues to seek treatment to address his alcohol addiction and has not had an encounter with his ex-wife in three years, this [c]ourt does not find that issuing [C.P.] a FPIC and [PPH] would be in the best interest of the public health, safety, or welfare.

C.P. appealed but the Appellate Division affirmed. The court found the Judge’s decision fit the credible evidence found on the record, due to the multitude of issues of driving while intoxicated as well as domestic violence disputes, even if they did not result in convictions.

If you have been denied a firearms purchaser identification card (FPIC) and permit to purchase handguns (PPH), you may be entitled to an appeal.  The Courts have to look at a variety of factors, but ultimately must determine whether you are a threat to public safety and welfare.  Too often do police not consider the necessary factors and arbitrarily deny FPIC and PPH.  If you have been denied contact Hark & Hark today to discuss whether your case would fit an appeal.

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, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Gloucester, Mercer, Ocean, and Salem counties. We represent clients in all towns in New Jersey, including Newark, Jersey City, Paterson, Elizabeth, Edison, Woodbridge, Lakewood, Toms River, Hamilton, Trenton, Clifton, Camden, Brick, Cherry Hill, Passaic, Middletown, Union City, Old Bridge, Gloucester Township, East Orange, Bayonne, Franklin Township, North Bergen, Vineland, and Union.

Criminal Civil Lawyer

Jeffrey Hark is a New Jersey Civil and Criminal Lawyer.

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