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Mr. Tumelty represented Helena Hendricks, who was charged with first degree murder in Atlantic County Superior Court. The defendant faced a number of additional charges, including armed robbery, conspiracy and possession of a handgun for an unlawful purpose. At the conclusion of a jury trial that lasted three weeks, the defendant was found "not guilty" of all charges.

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NJ Governor Christie Signs Executive Order, Clarifies NJ Gun Carry Permit Process

NJ Governor Chris Christie recently signed an executive order that clarifies certain aspects of the state’s tough gun laws. The law, known as Executive Order No. 180, was actually signed last year, but it has only recently gone into effect.

In an announcement about the executive order, Christie said that the new law will “deliver relief and assurance to New Jerseyans exercising their Second Amendment rights.” Toward that end, one of the most important parts of the executive order is that it will streamline the handgun permit process, making it easier for people to apply for firearms IDs and handgun carry permits.

The new law also offers guidance as far as abiding by NJ’s often complicated gun laws by providing a clear definition of “justifiable need” when an individual attempts to obtain a carry permit. This has been a sticking point in many cases involving people who needed their handgun permit applications processed quickly because they feared for their safety and their lives were in grave danger.

Prior to signing the law, Christie sought recommendations from the New Jersey Firearm Purchase and Permitting Study Commission. The commission reviewed the state’s existing gun laws and found that applications for gun ownership permits were being processed inconsistently, with many unnecessary delays in the processing of the applications.

The hope of NJ lawmakers who supported Christie’s bold action is that it will now be easier for law enforcement and prosecutors to fairly and consistently apply the state’s existing gun laws. There were concerns among some state legislators, as well as local officials, that people were being charged with weapons offenses in New Jersey without fully understanding whether they had done anything wrong in the first place.

Governor Christie noted that he had seen many instances of law-abiding citizens facing severe criminal penalties despite the fact that they had absolutely no intent to violate NJ gun laws when transporting their personal firearms.

To learn more, read the article, “Governor Christie Protects Individuals’ Right to Firearms for Self-Defense, Protection.”


If you or a loved one has been charged with unlawful possession of a weapon, illegal possession of a handgun or any other weapons offense in New Jersey, the penalties can be significant. That’s why it is imperative that you speak with a qualified criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Contact John W. Tumelty today for a free consultation about your case.

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