“Aw shucks A Victory!

New Jersey sees 3,000% increase in permits to carry guns, and Ocean, Monmouth lead the way by Juan Carlos Castillo

A year after the 2022 U.S. Supreme Court decision in favor of Americans’ right to carry guns in public, the issuance of permits to carry guns has skyrocketed in the Garden State.

In 2021, the year before the ruling, 631 gun-carry permits were issued in New Jersey. That number went up to 19,933 in 2023, a 3,000% increase, according to recently released data by the Attorney General’s Office.

The data further shows a stark hike in the number applications for permits to carry that were processed right after the Supreme Court decision at the end of June 2022. The decision struck down a New York law that required citizens to prove they had “proper cause” to carry a handgun. Writing for the 6-3 majority, Associate Justice Clarence Thomas said the New York law violated the Constitution’s “right to keep and bear arms.”

New Jersey had similar restrictions before the court’s decision. Residents here seeking permission to carry a gun had to demonstrate they faced “specific threats or previous attacks” that present a danger to their life and can’t be avoided any other way.

While there were only 42 applications processed in June 2022, that number went up to 381 in July 2022; 1,334 in August 2022; and 2,099 in October 2022. Click here to see the data dashboard.

The number of permit to carry applications soared right after the Supreme Court's decision at the end of June 2022.

And the numbers keep going up. In January 2024 there were 2,475 applications processed, roughly four times the amount of permits issued in in 2021, and the largest amount seen in single month since the Supreme Court made its landmark decision.

Data on permit to carry applications was made public by the Attorney General’s Office in a effort to make the public aware about how many guns are out there in the state, the state office said in a statement.

“Transparency is a key component to enhancing public safety. The data available in this dashboard allows its users to gain an understanding of where in New Jersey the applications for permits to carry firearms is increasing,” Attorney General Matthew Platkin said.

Platkin also announced that “Gun Free Zone” decals are available to New Jersey businesses that want to prohibit firearms on their property.

“The decals can help ensure the increase in people carrying guns doesn’t lead to a higher rate of shootings and gun deaths like those experienced in states with less-protective gun laws than New Jersey,” Platkin added.

Where in NJ are applications for permits to carry are increasing?

At the Shore, Monmouth and Ocean counties saw the most permit-to-carry applications of all counties in the state. Between July 2022 and February 2024, Ocean and Monmouth processed 3,358 and 3,108 applications, respectively.

Sussex and Warren were the counties that registered the most applications per capita, with 76 and 72 processed applications per 10,000 residents, respectively.

Conversely, Mercer and Hudson counties had the lowest rate in the same period, with only 18 and 11 applications per 10,000 residents, respectively.

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