If you get no satisfaction from the police department, directly contact the Unit Head of the NJ Division of State Police Firearms Investigation Unit by calling (609) 882-2000. Explain the problem and ask him to intercede with the police chief of your municipality on your behalf.
If you get no satisfaction from the Police Department or if they are non-committal, make an appointment with your Mayor and/or town council and/or municipal attorney to discuss this problem and ask politely for their assistance. You are trying to follow the law and you expect your town to comply with state statutes and to process your application in a timely manner. You are not asking for any special favors. You are only asking to be treated FAIRLY according to the law as it is written. However, if it becomes obvious during your conversation that your request is being ignored, you want to be SURE to mention that if the problem cannot be resolved, you will be forced to contact the County Prosecutor’s office to launch an investigation into the possibility of “OFFICIAL MISCONDUCT” This is a process you HAVE to go through in order to have standing if you need to take further steps. Please keep a journal of EVERYONE you talk to about this, with dates, times and basic result. Always be sure to try and get a specific time commitment as to when you can expect a follow up communication from the people you contact.
Some additional step if necessary. Contact the State Assembly Representative and State Senator for your district (you can locate them at http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/. Make an appointment to meet with them in person, if possible. At the very least make sure they receive the following request (in your own words if you like):
“I would like to ask for your help. I have lawfully applied for a Firearm Identification Card/Handgun Purchase Permit (whichever applies). I have already [provide an account of what you have done so far] and then briefly explain the problem “It has been X months since I applied”, “They keep losing my paperwork”, or whatever is the best description of your complaint. “I am asking for your help in convincing the ‘YourTownName’ Police Department to process my application in a timely manner.”
Make it clear that you have complied with all of the requirements in the NJ State Statutes. Also make a statement similar to the following:
“I would also appreciate it if you would contact the Unit Head of the NJ Division of State Police Firearms Investigation Unit about this matter. Perhaps you will be more successful in convincing him and or the Attorney General’s office to help. Many of my friends and associates from other towns are experiencing the same difficulties. I know that you agree that your constituents and the law-abiding residents of New Jersey deserve to be treated fairly by those who are sworn to uphold the laws of the state of New Jersey and I would appreciate it if you would intercede on my behalf”.
Let us know what you are doing and the results. There are times when *WE* will want to add our “two cents” by writing to your representatives or by visiting your Chief of Police or Councilman with you (if possible). We will do our best to guide you through this process.
We have seen applications that have been “stuck” in the process for months SUDDENLY become “unstuck” because individual citizens have taken the time to follow this process. We realize that we should not have to go through all these extra steps, but until we can change the attitudes of our legislature and the individual police departments, this may be the most practical way of expediting your applications.