NJ NICS Research Center Knocks it out of the Park on Storage Map

AP Photo/Andrew Selsky

There’s a great resource for Garden State gun owners that’s fairly new and worth talking about. The “NJ NICS Research Center'' has a panacea for those gun owners who need to temporarily store their firearms outside the home. The data exposes some potentially inconvenient facts the leadership in New Jersey would assumedly rather not be highlighted. The other day NNRC just rolled out one of their first bigger research projects that’s worth talking about. New Jersey Firearm Storage Map is a tool for gun owners to use should they need some offsite storage.


I have been in contact with the center for quite some time, as well as with many of their behind-the-scenes partners. One of the project ideas discussed was a map, and I had expressed my ideas about it and a similar initiative. When they told me they did not want to step on my toes, I told them to “go for it!” And here we are with a pretty comprehensive map.

Why offsite firearm storage? We’ve explored the importance of offsite firearm storage options for gun owners here at Bearing Arms many times. Whether a gun owner is in the middle of a move and needs to put firearms somewhere safe for a short period of time, or if they’re experiencing some emotional stress that makes them want to be separated from their guns, offsite storage options are important.

Groups like Hold My Guns and Walk the Talk America stress the importance of having trustworthy options as well as creating a dynamic that could “cause a pause.”

New Jersey law does not allow someone who wants their firearms looked after by a friend or family member when in need to do so. Even Massachusetts, a state known to have ridiculously harsh firearm laws, has mechanisms where a firearm permit holder can easily and legally transfer their firearms to another permit holder without fees, paid background checks, pistol purchase permits, etc.

The N.J. legislative body should be spending time to put provisions in the law to allow such life-saving practices to be permissible under the state law. 

What has the potential to save more lives? A law that says a law-abiding citizen can’t stop at a friend’s house on the way home from the range with firearms for a social call, or a law that’d allow those same friends to safeguard the others’ firearms if they were in peril?


What gun owners are left with are offsite storage options with companies, which admittedly come with their own baggage, but are way better than having no options.

The reason I was interested in this specific data in N.J. is because the Rutgers New Jersey Gun Violence Research Center has a “safe firearm storage map.” The N.J. Gun Violence Research Center was formed in 2018 by Governor Phil Murphy and soaks up about three million dollars annually of taxpayers' dollars.

What made me skeptical about the New Jersey map from the Rutgers center is that they have a location listed which is a national franchise, and I know they don’t deal in arms anymore. That location never had any onsite storage, gunsmithing, or any other way that people would be handing their firearms over to them – except perhaps in the case of returns to manufacturers.

Spoiler alert, when my partners at the NJ NICS Research Center reached out to that company, they told me that the location laughed at the proposition that they’re listed as a potential location for safe firearm storage, and then tried to sell them a safe.

The NNRC did a ton of research into what made up the Rutgers map, and got some interesting facts for us to chew on. When I say a “ton of research,” they stated they did about “3 weeks of research,” which was more than enough to come up with this comprehensive guide “written by a gun owner for the benefit of other gun owners.”

The NNRC explained their process, so everything stays above the fold.

In urgent situations, timely responses are crucial. This map has been personally verified by NJNICS through phone calls, emails, online searches and/or on site visits. Every business listed below also has a verified FFL license in the name of the entity, DBA or the owner name. Additional locations may exist so feel free to do your own searches. If you identify any errors, omissions or other concerns please contact us at [email protected].


The Rutgers center has 31 locations listed. As mentioned earlier, one of the locations when queried about safe storage laughed at the proposal.

NNRC checked in on the companies; one said they were never contacted by Rutgers to be put on the map but do offer such a service, one said such a map couldn’t be considered trustworthy, another said they contacted Rutgers about being put on the map, four locations said they don’t offer that service at all, and three failed to respond to written requests for comment. Three locations interviewed noted they do offer the services.

What did NNRC find in their own research? NNRC was only able to verify 10 out of the 31 locations that the Rutgers center alleges offers firearm storage. NNRC was able to come up with a total of 13 verified locations, at this time. Of those verified locations, the NNRC ranked them based on reputation and experience.

Why is this such a big deal? NNRC lays that out for us via some of their findings. NNRC, through an Open Public Records Act request,  uncovered the cost for the Rutgers’ map was “$107,672 (includes fringe benefits and 9 months of research).”

NNRC further stated in their public service announcement a minor summary of the experience, “Many fraudulent maps are published by anti-gun organizations that wish to disarm the public. Such as the one published by the Rutgers Gun Violence Research Center that cost the taxpayers of NJ over $3M per year!.”

How much money did NNRC say it cost them to come up with a trustworthy, verified, made-by-gun-owners and ranked map? Zero American dollars. For those of you who want to do the conversion, to make a comparison, that’d be zero Canadian dollars too.


There are maps across the country that so-called “researchers” rest their laurels on. My message to them is to get their houses in order. It’s been on my to-do list for quite some time to check in on FFLs on all these maps, just like the NNRC did in New Jersey.

Some of these maps, I’ve been told in private conversations, had interns throwing them together and listed locations even if they only took in firearms for say service, versus a storage option. They did not differentiate. Of course that’s not been verified. The creation of some of these maps has made so-called “non-policy” people famous in their fields, which resulted in more research funding.

The “anti-violence” industry is big bucks. “Research” is paid for by anti-liberty benefactors to get desired results. In almost every “study” I read, there’s usually a disclosure statement about how some of the “researchers” do get paid for doing this kind of work by third parties.

Thank you to the NJ NICS Research Center. Groups and organizations like the NNRC always break and shatter the narrative that the anti-freedom caucus likes to push. The anti-gunners paint a picture that gun owners only care about their guns. That they don’t “care about the children,” and a whole slew of other bumper sticker bovine excrement.

Not only do the people behind NNRC, their partners, and gun owners at large care about each other and this community, they clearly can do the job of the researchers much more effectively and on a shoestring budget.

I look forward to a continued working relationship with NNRC and the juggernaut of the silent army building behind enemy lines in the Land of 1000 Diners.


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