Regarding the time frame for hearing appeals, N.J.S.A. 2C:58-4(e) anticipates that the Superior Court will hold a hearing on an appeal from law enforcement’s denial of an identification card, a purchase permit, or a carry permit within 60 days of the applicant’s written request for such a hearing. The hearing on an appeal from the denial of a carry permit for a retired law enforcement officer must be held within 30 days of request pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:39-6(l)(5). Prosecutor Review of Applicant’s Appeal from Denial of an Application for a Permit to Carry N.J.S.A. 2C:58-4(e) requires aggrieved applicants appealing the law enforcement denial of a carry permit to serve the request for a hearing on the county prosecutor. County prosecutors are not required by law to provide input to the court regarding these appeals. If they wish to do so, however, county prosecutors must file their response to these appeals within 14 days of the filing of the appeal. If the prosecutor does not respond within 14 days, the court is to move forward with the appeal hearing. Questions or comments may be directed to Criminal Practice Division by email to the AOC Criminal Practice Division at email@example.com or by phone at 609-815- 2900, x55300.
This memo hints at methods that can be used to usurp the requirement that permit-to-carry applications be decided within 60 days. Principally, it permits the 60 days to be exceeded for “good cause”, without defining good cause. The obvious boilerplate answer that applicants will be provided is that there are too many applications and not enough judges, police chiefs, and other resources to review them. This lends itself to circular reasoning. Even if this boilerplate answer were true, the proper response is for law enforcement to devote more resources to reviewing permit-to-carry applications.
The devotion of more resources is unlikely to occur because reviewing and granting permit-to-carry applications is a low priority for law enforcement. Moreover, most would prefer the old law wherein non-police could not carry firearms at all, with extremely limited exception. Adding insult to injury it does not provide for a “good cause” exception for retire police officers and limits the acceptable delays for them to 30 days as opposed to 60 days or more for others. This same hypocritical dynamic can be found with regard to the time frames for expungement petitions that law enforcement routinely ignore.