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The Law Offices of Proetta & Oliver

Hudson County

Criminal Defense Lawyer

"We have successfully defended our clients against thousands of Criminal, DWI, and Municipal Court charges throughout Hudson County and New Jersey."

- William A. Proetta, Esq.

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Imitation Firearms 2C:39-4e

Hudson County Imitation Firearm Attorney

Imitation firearms are basically any object that can be reasonably mistaken as being a real firearm. These objects can include toy guns, flare guns, cap guns and paintball guns which are readily available throughout New Jersey at toy stores or flea markets and typically do not require a firearms ID card to purchase. The fact that these items are not by themselves illegal sometimes gives people the mistaken assumption that they can use them for purposes they may not have been intended for. For instance, just because it is not illegal to own a flare gun does not mean that you can walk around the streets of Jersey City carrying it in your hand or have it sticking out of your waist band for everyone to see and not think people might get scared and think that it could be a real gun. This type of conduct would most likely result in you being charged with a fourth degree crime for possession of an imitation weapon and possible related charges such as possession of a weapon for unlawful purposes. Our weapon defense attorneys are experienced in handling all weapons related offenses and handle imitation gun cases. If you would like to learn more about how we may be able to help, contact our office today for a free consultation.

Possession of an Imitation Gun with an Unlawful Purpose

An “imitation firearm” is defined broadly to mean an object or device reasonably capable of being mistaken for a firearm.

As mentioned above, possession of an initiation gun under 2C:39-4(e), is a fourth degree crime if a bystander reasonably believed the defendant possessed the weapon to use it unlawfully. The legislature purposefully crafted the language of the statute to make it broad enough to encompass weapons that do not fit the traditional definition of a “firearm” or even a “weapon”. On its face, the law seems almost overly broad but courts have held that it is legal because the implied culpability element of knowledge serves to help narrow it a little. This is because the defendant must be found to know that an observer would reasonably believe that the object was a firearm, basically meaning that he/she intends to show the object for its threat value. Lastly, it is important to note that is a completely separate charge of a disorderly persons offense under 2C:39:5(e)(3) to possess any imitation firearm in or upon any part of the buildings or grounds or any school, college, university or other educational institution, without written authorization of the institution, or while on a school bus. If you or your family member has been charged with a crime related to an initiation firearm, give our office a call today for a free consultation with an experienced attorney who can answer your questions.