No one may sell or buy, give, or receive a handgun unless the buyer or recipient has a permit, called a permit to purchase. With a long gun (rifle or shotgun) the buyer or receiver must have a permit called a purchaser identification card.

The purchaser must be able to certify on a state form that he/she is of good character and never convicted of an offense involving domestic violence, or other disqualifying crimes. Also, a person who has previously been confined in a mental institution may face a prohibition against purchasing or receiving a firearm.

Permits to purchase firearms, purchaser identification cards, and certification forms are available at police departments or licensed firearms dealers. Applicants must be fingerprinted and their backgrounds checked by the police.

Permits to carry handguns and other firearms in public are extremely hard to acquire. Besides approval from the Chief of Police, a Superior Court judge must approve a permit to carry.

Some exceptions to the laws include heirs who receive weapons, hunters, and possession of firearms in one’s home or business.

A criminal defense attorney can help insure that gun transactions and possession are in compliance with the law.