Possession of Weapons for Unlawful Purposes (2C:39-4)

Possession of Weapons for Unlawful Purposes (2C:39-4)

a. Firearms. (1) Any person who has in his possession any firearm with a purpose to use it unlawfully against the person or property of another is guilty of a crime of the second degree.

(2) Any person who possesses, receives or transfers a community gun is guilty of a crime of the second degree and shall be sentenced to a term of imprisonment by the court. The term of imprisonment shall include the imposition of a minimum term. The minimum term shall be fixed at one-half of the sentence imposed by the court or three years, whichever is greater and during which the defendant shall be ineligible for parole. As used in this paragraph, “community gun” means a firearm that is transferred among, between or within any association of two or more persons who, while possessing that firearm, engage in criminal activity or use it unlawfully against the person or property of another.

b. Explosives. Any person who has in his possession or carries any explosive substance with a purpose to use it unlawfully against the person or property of another is guilty of a crime of the second degree.

c. Destructive devices. Any person who has in his possession any destructive device with a purpose to use it unlawfully against the person or property of another is guilty of a crime of the second degree.

d. Other weapons. Any person who has in his possession any weapon, except a firearm, with a purpose to use it unlawfully against the person or property of another is guilty of a crime of the third degree.

e. Imitation firearms. Any person who has in his possession an imitation firearm under circumstances that would lead an observer to reasonably believe that it is possessed for an unlawful purpose is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree.

Possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose (2C:39-4) used to be the very serious crime as it was often charged with the next statute, which is unlawful possession of a weapon.  However, prosecutors were having a problem proving the require unlawful purpose so the law changed to make the mere possession of a gun have the exact same punishment as this crime.  Regardless, both cases are usually treated differently.  This means that although the punishment may be the same, this is still the more serious crime of the two.

If you have been charged with possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose in any court in New Jersey, call the team of tough, smart lawyers today.  We’ll fight hard for you.  It’s what we do!  Our initial consultations are free and we are always available.  

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