New Jersey Attorney General’s Office Weighs in on Reciprocity

New Jersey Attorney General’s Office Weighs in on Reciprocity
(AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

One of the more challenging things for gun owners is navigating the different laws in different states, and knowing whether a particular permit to carry is valid in another jurisdiction. This might not be a big issue for people in certain parts of the U.S., such as the Gulf Shores, where many of the states have reciprocal agreements, and are large in land mass size, but for us in the North East/on the East Coast, well that’s another matter. Take for example a recent trip from New Jersey to Virginia I went on. Where can one carry and under what circumstances? What about someone traveling through New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and into Maine, New Hampshire, or Vermont? A recent release from Governor Phil Murphy’s office prompted me to reach out to the Office of the Attorney General, Matthew Platkin, and ask about reciprocity.


I wrote an open letter to Congressman Chris Smith, R-N.J., back in 2017 on this very topic. If we recall, the United States was so close to national reciprocity and somehow we blew it in the Senate. Were there not enough votes? Was Mitch McConnell out to lunch on this one? I don’t know. But the measure did pass in the House of Representatives, but was never brought up for a vote by the Senate.

When it comes to concealed carry, the natural inalienable right to self-defense, our rights do not dissipate once we step out of our home. The 2008 Supreme Court case DC v. Heller plainly states that the 2nd Amendment stands for exactly what it says; that the right of the PEOPLE to keep and bear arms. States like ours choose to ignore Heller and narrowly interpret it to mean we can only keep our firearm at home.

Because of a patchwork of laws, people fall victim to costly court cases and unjust imprisonments because they don’t know or understand that freedoms die when you travel to states like New Jersey, Maryland, or New York. To cite the most notorious example, the case of Shaneen Allen, who was arrested for believing that her Pennsylvania concealed carry license was valid in New Jersey. In short, a professional woman in the medical field traveling to Atlantic City was pulled over and informed the officer of her pistol. She thought she was doing the right thing. She thought wrong, was arrested, and thrown in jail. This woman was vetted through extensive background checks to receive her firearm and carry permit.


A point of pride about my open letter was that it elicited a response from one of the shills over at Moms Demand Action. Brett Sabo, a New Jersey commie mommy weighed in to “educate” me on the topic. Like most anti-civil liberty hacks, her points were not spot on and there was no mic drop moment. Her arguments actually did not age well, and the correspondence helps support national reciprocity in a post NYSRPA v. Bruen world.

Since every state has its own gun laws, which many conservatives prefer, it is the responsibility of the gun owner to know those laws when they are driving through those states. It’s not too much to ask, especially since Mr. Petrolino spends so much time travelling, that carrying drivers be aware of the state’s laws.

The Supreme Court decision of DC v. Heller does not state it is a constitutional right to carry a gun outside the home for self-defense. States like New Jersey that have strong gun laws aren’t, as Mr. Petrolino stated, “interpreting Heller narrowly.” They are protecting their citizens by ensuring gun owners are trained, and they are protecting their law enforcement and communities by not allowing guns to be carried in public. Carrying for self-defense outside the home is different matter for the courts entirely.

Mr. Petrolino is right about one thing: Rep. Chris Smith did swear an oath to protect and defend the Constitution and the people of New Jersey. But the Constitution isn’t made up of one amendment and defending the people of New Jersey means keeping its communities and families safe. HR38 endangers the public safety, plain and simple, and Moms Demand Action strongly encourages Rep. Smith to vote “No.” As far as Mr. Petrolino is concerned, I urge him to look at the Gun Law Navigator at to learn about different state’s laws. He might learn a thing or two.


She sure told me! At least I’m not exploiting my own child for my causes, something Sabo can’t say herself. Get ’em young Sabo! Bravo.

This isn’t about me stewing about a spat from 2017, but rather about Governor Phil Murphy’s huge announcement last month. I held off on covering all the details of this monumental occasion because I wanted to get all the facts first from the attorney general. Now that I’ve heard back from his office, I feel confident I can share Murphy’s Earth shattering agreement he entered New Jersey into.

Today, during the Choose New Jersey governor-led East Asia economic mission, [officials from the state of New Jersey] and the Republic of Korea announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (NJMVC) and the National Police Agency of the Republic of Korea (NPA) concerning the reciprocal issuance of driver’s licenses. The MOU is a landmark agreement that simplifies the process for citizens of New Jersey and South Korea to obtain and use driver’s licenses in each other’s jurisdiction.

“I believe this agreement is an example of government at its best. Our leaders have come together to make life simpler for all of our residents, both here in South Korea and back in New Jersey,” said Governor Phil Murphy. “Our state is stronger when we open our doors to create new economic opportunities and innovate new solutions to our greatest challenges. The last thing that should ever stand in the way of New Jerseyans and South Koreans working together is administrative hurdles.”


Thankfully all the affected residents of the Garden State and of South Korea no longer have to deal with this very real problem we all face. It’s rare that I get religious in my posts, articles, and editorials, but I have to say thank God Murphy closed this important gap in all of our lives. Forget all the problems in our lives in New Jersey; the high taxes, rogue Senators, and a complete disregard for civil liberties. But by God! I’m glad to know I can get a driver’s license in South Korea!

What does this have to do with Simple. We’ve all heard anti-gunners compare permits to carry to driver’s licenses. Those that oppose liberty always – although they seem to be simmering down about that – talk about driver’s licenses and needing a test to get them and that one must have a license to drive…Given that, I thought it was really important to drive home the message here by getting our buddy “Sleepy” Matt Platkin and his office involved. I zapped the attorney general an email, hoping he’d have some good information for me.

Attention Attorney General:

I’m writing because I’m working on a piece about reciprocity and permits to carry. I freelance for a number of publications and am seeking comment from AG Platkin on this subject.

At this time, does New Jersey accept permits to carry from citizens from other states? Ie. If a New York permit to carry holder were to come into New Jersey, would their permit be valid to carry a handgun here?

Any insight on this topic, the current status of New Jersey policies, and any information on future changes to policy would be appreciated.


Spoiler alert, I knew the answer – and I’m sure you do too – before writing the AG, but figured it was important to do my full due diligence. Someone identified as “Sent via the Samsung Galaxy XCover6 Pro, an AT&T 5G smartphone” responded to my query.

New Jersey does not accept carry permits from other states.  A non-resident who wants to carry in New Jersey must apply to the New Jersey State Police for a New Jersey permit to carry under N.J.S.A. 2C:58-4(c)(3).

It’s very difficult for me to accept that the state of New Jersey and Governor Phil Murphy thought it was so important to ensure we can get driver’s licenses in South Korea but a permit to carry holder from Pennsylvania has a permit that’s not valid in the Garden State. If Murphy was so interested in attaining the goal “to make life simpler for all of our residents,” he’d order the attorney general to enter into reciprocal agreements with every state in the Union.

Reciprocity and national reciprocity is the next logical step for carry since NYSRPA. The arguments the anti-gunners used back in 2017 are now very moot. The carrying of arms outside the home IS a civil liberty and as such, every state, jurisdiction, and political hack needs to respect that. I’m not holding my breath on the Murph entering into reciprocity agreements, but I bet a case – perhaps one out of Massachusetts – is coming down the line on paving the way for the states to be forced into respecting this right. It’s only a matter of time.


Join the conversation as a VIP Member