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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.


What is Unlawful Disposition of a Firearm?


Firearms are a hotly debated topic around the country. In the midst of all the information making the rounds, it can be very easy to lose track of the law and the people’s rights regarding firearms. By not being informed for being misinformed, a person can find themselves facing criminal charges.

Unlawful Disposition of a Firearm

New Jersey law regarding unlawful disposition of a firearm “prohibits anyone in the State of New Jersey from manufacturing, causing to be manufactured, transporting, shipping, selling, or disposing of certain weapons without a valid license for doing so.” Essentially, a person could be charged with unlawful disposition of a firearm even by throwing a found firearm away.

The law also has specific parameters for different firearms, each of which belongs to its own degree.


Second-degree unlawful disposition of a firearm involves transporting firearms into the state for illegal sale or transfer. The penalty for this crime in the second degree can be anywhere from five to 10 years in prison. This is a very serious charge, which can make a person ineligible for parole and could have them facing mandatory jail time.


Unlawful disposition of a firearm in the third-degree involves:

·       The transportation, manufacturing, shipping, sale, or disposing of an assault firearm, machine gun or sawed-off shotgun.

·       The sale, purchase, disposing of, or concealing of a defaced firearm.

The penalty for this crime in the third-degree has a prison range of three to five years.


Unlawful disposition of a firearm in the fourth-degree entails:

·       The unlawful manufacturing, sale, transport, shipping, or disposing of a firearm silencer.

·       The unlawful manufacturing, transport, shipping, sale, or disposing of analogue weapons such as switchblade knives, daggers, metal knuckles, slingshots, and more.

·       The unlawful manufacturing, sale, transport, shipping, or disposing of a large capacity ammunition magazine originally intended for military or law enforcement use.

Penalties for fourth-degree variations of this crime could result in up to 18 months in prison.


If you or a loved one is facing charges regarding unlawful disposition of a firearm, contact a lawyer who can help. Call John W. Tumelty today to schedule your case evaluation by calling 609.385.4010. or fill out a contact form online.

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South Jersey criminal defense lawyer John W. Tumelty is conveniently located in Atlantic City, NJ. He serves clients in Atlantic, Ocean, Gloucester and Cape May counties and the Jersey Shore, including: Absecon, Atlantic City, Avalon, Brigantine, Buena, Cape May, Egg Harbor City, Egg Harbor Township, Estell Manor, Folsom, Galloway Township, Hamilton Township, Hammonton, Linwood, Longport, Margate, Mullica Township, Northfield, Pleasantville, Port Republic, Somers Point, Ventnor,  and Waymouth.