NJ Bill Un-Bans Off-Duty Cops Possessing Duty Guns, But Gov. Didn't Sign Yet

Christopher Berg

New Jersey law enforcement officers are still committing a felony if they possess their duty weapons while off duty.

By Christopher Berg and Sandy Malone

Trenton, NJ – After inadvertently banning New Jersey police officers from possessing their own duty weapons on Dec. 10, New Jersey lawmakers voted on Monday to give officers an exception to the standard capacity magazine ban.

However, Governor Phil Murphy wasn't available to sign the bill into law.

The New Jersey State Policemen's Benevolent Association released a statement that said that the governor is expected to sign the bill "possibly as soon as [Tuesday]."

UPDATE: He signed it Wednesday.

Under the bill, active law enforcement officers who are off duty can possess personally-owned magazines which hold up to 17 rounds of ammunition. Their department-issued magazines are fully exempt from any size restriction whether the officer is on or off duty.

However, 17 rounds is apparently too dangerous for retired officers, who will only be allowed to possess magazines which hold up to 15 bullets.

New Jersey will continue to not recognize retired officers' authority to carry firearms or hollow-point ammunition under the federal Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA).

The new law that limits gun magazines to 10 rounds initially went into effect on Dec. 10 without the legislature taking up the amendment to create an exception for law enforcement officers.

Modern firearms issued to patrol officers generally hold 12 or more rounds of ammunition.

That means that just about all law enforcement officers in New Jersey will be breaking the law if they carry their assigned duty weapons while off duty, including just being home with them, unless they live outside of the state or leave their magazines behind at work, rendering the weapons near-useless.

Bergen County Prosecutor Dennis Calo issued a memorandum to local police officials on Dec. 13 reminding everyone that the prohibition of the possession of large-capacity ammunition magazines also applied to off-duty law enforcement officers.

“The statute now provides that law enforcement officers are not permitted to possess large capacity ammunition magazines, i.e. magazines capable of holding more than ten (10) rounds of ammunition to be fed continuously into semi-automatic firearms, unless while on duty or traveling to or from an authorized place of duty,” the memo read.

“This statute applies to all law enforcement officers, including those subject to on-call status. Violation of this statute constitutes a fourth degree crime,” the memo continued. “There is legislation pending to amend the statute to permit law enforcement officers possession of large capacity magazines. We will keep you informed if and when the statute is amended.”

Under the new law, it’s technically legal for them to carry their gun home from work with them, but the minute they get home, they are breaking the law.

Bergen County may have been the only jurisdiction in the state to remind local law enforcement about the change in the law, and that’s confused a number of New Jersey residents.

“There’s a lot of misinformation out there about this, and a lot of people thinking the prosecutor put this out there on his own. But it’s a state law,” explained Elizabeth Rebein, the public information officer for the Bergen County prosecutor’s office.

Until the amendment bill is signed, law enforcement officers who take their duty weapons home are committing a felony.

Comments (12)

You can't fix stupid!

No. 1-6

If this us the future for active and retired law enforcement officers then they best be looking who is voting for this type of gun hysteria. I had planned to go to NJ summer of 2019 but now will avoid that state as well as NY City. All current and past law enforcement officers needs to educate themselves and get politically active.

Lt Tom
Lt Tom

LEOSA gives us authority to carry in ALL 50 states... so, if I go to NJ I am protected by FEDERAL law which supersedes state law, but the officers in this jurisdiction can’t.... looks like a big payday if one officer is charged... Never, will I ever go to NJ..... Lt. Tom

And....what officer is going to arrest a fellow officer for this illegal law?


I am surprised they corrected the problem. New Jersey was never interested in protecting law enforcement its first priority is protecting the criminal element within the county and state.


If you arrest someone on this law you are a fucking twat!!!


liberalism is DANGEROUS to FREEDOM and to COMMON SENSE...and to law and order....WHY would you keep police officers, retired and/or out of state from being armed...how stupid is that....libs think police officers are the enemy.....there is a reason for all this though....its called communism....go read THE 45 GOALS OF COMMUNISM....written in 1958 about how communists wanted to rule the world and HOW they would do it....Rusty Andreasen..retired police officer