The process begins with making application for a Firearms Purchaser Identification Card and along the way, requires you to submit to a background investigation by both state and federal agencies, supply references, be fingerprinted, and consent to a mental health records check.
There are two types of purchase permits in New Jersey—the Firearms Purchaser Identification Card and the Permit to Purchase a Handgun. If this is your first time buying a firearm, you will need to apply for both, but this is accomplished using the same application form, Form STS-33 (PDF).
Applicants should anticipate the process taking approximately twelve to fourteen weeks. Incomplete or missing information may delay the process, as will the failure of your references to respond in a timely manner.