Attorney General Platkin, Office of Justice Data Launch Permit-to-Carry Dashboard

State Makes “Gun Free Zone” Decals Available to New Jerseyans

For Immediate Release: March 14, 2024

Office of the Attorney General
– Matthew J. Platkin, Attorney General
Office of Justice Data
Kristin Golden, PhDChief Data Officer

For Further Information:

Media Inquiries-
Tara Oliver

Permit to Carry Dashboard  |  View Decals

TRENTON – Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin and the Office of Justice Data announced the public release of a comprehensive dashboard that summarizes information related to applications submitted to law enforcement agencies statewide seeking a permit to carry a handgun in New Jersey.

Attorney General Platkin also announced that “Gun Free Zone” decals are available to New Jersey businesses that want to provide clear notice of their intention to prohibit firearms on their property. The Attorney General’s Office is providing these decals free of charge for property owners’ and businesses’ voluntary use.

“As we continue to adjust to the reality we face after the Bruen decision and fight against the consistent attacks from the gun lobby to undermine commonsense gun safety legislation, our mission is to make New Jersey a safer place to live, work, go to school, and raise a family,” said Governor Phil Murphy. “The two initiatives announced today are another step forward in our efforts, and I applaud the Office of the Attorney General for its continued partnership with our office and law enforcement entities across our state to implement innovative strategies that expand on New Jersey’s rank as a national leader in gun safety.”

“Transparency is a key component to enhancing public safety. The data available in this dashboard allows its users to gain an understanding of where in New Jersey the applications for permits to carry firearms is increasing,” said Attorney General Platkin. “The decals can help ensure the increase in people carrying guns doesn’t lead to a higher rate of shootings and gun deaths like those experienced in states with less-protective gun laws than New Jersey.”

The dashboard allows users to search based on location, demographics, and other factors. Statewide data was previously not available because applications for permits to carry had been submitted on paper to individual police departments and not centralized, until Attorney General Directive 2023-02 issued in June 2023 required anonymized data to be submitted monthly to the Office of Justice Data.

The data is retroactive to December 1, 2019, and includes information on application decisions and anonymized demographic information on applicants. Through the end of February 2024, there were approximately 35,000 permit-to-carry applications submitted since December 2019. All but around 1,600 of those have been submitted since the Bruen decision, which was issued in June 2022.

“This dashboard provides readily available and easily queried information on the impact of the Supreme Court’s Bruen decision.” said Dr. Kristin Golden, Chief Data Officer for the Office of Justice Data. “Researchers, government officials, and members of the public can use the information to understand the demand for permits to carry in New Jersey and understand patterns to these applications.”

Following the Bruen decision, Governor Murphy signed legislation passed by the State Legislature that designates certain areas as sensitive places where firearms cannot be carried. These include parks and zoos, libraries and museums, bars and casinos, and permitted demonstrations. The law also provided that firearms may not be carried on private property where the owner has not given express permission. Following litigation from gun-rights groups, an interim order limits that protection only to private property not open to the public. While the Attorney General continues to fight for the no-firearms presumption at businesses open to the public, such businesses may protect their rights in the meantime by providing affirmative notice prohibiting firearms.

To assist businesses who choose to make that notice, the Office of the Attorney General is making free “Gun Free Zone” decals available to New Jersey businesses. They are available for pickup at the Attorney General’s Office, the 21 County Prosecutor Offices, or can be downloaded as a flyer on the Attorney General’s website.

The bright yellow decals – which read in part, “For the Safety of Our Visitors and Staff Leave Your Guns at Home” – will help the public quickly identify which businesses allow patrons with New Jersey carry permits to enter while carrying firearms. Businesses that choose to keep their premise gun-free can communicate that choice through signage, and these decals offer a straightforward way to explicitly indicate that firearms are not welcome on their property. Any property owner, including homeowners who wish to prohibit firearms on their driveways and lawns, may post the notice to make clear that firearms are not allowed on premises.

“New Jerseyans should be able to go about their daily lives without the risk of senseless gun violence,” said Attorney General Platkin. “The simple placement of these decals can offer some sense of security to customers and give business owners a means to clearly state their policy.”

Additionally, the decals will be distributed upon request to New Jersey businesses that hold alcoholic beverage consumption licenses through the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control. A notice to the industry regarding firearms in bars and restaurants explains that under state law establishments where alcohol is served on premises are designated as “sensitive places” where firearms are not permitted.

Thus, while firearms are currently prohibited at establishments that serve alcohol on premises regardless of whether the establishment gives notice, ABC licensees may take reasonable steps to ensure firearms are not unlawfully brought onto their premises by posting a “Gun Free Zone” decal.

“In a post-Bruen America, it was expected that the people of New Jersey would be faced with a new reality of more guns in public, but until today the extent of that was unknown,” said Kris Brown, President of Brady. “With the collection and release of this data, Attorney General Platkin has kept his promise to ensure the public and researchers have the information needed to understand how this impacts communities throughout the state. Knowing the number of concealed carry permits in the state has increased by almost 20x in less than two years is a harsh reality New Jerseyans are facing because we know that, despite the gun lobby’s self-serving rhetoric, more guns in public spaces does not make the Garden State or America safer.”

“The launch of the permit-to-carry dashboard by Attorney General Platkin and the Office of Justice Data is another step in the right direction towards transparency and public safety, especially in light of the State’s recent success in reducing gun violence,”  said Rev. Dr. Charles F. Boyer, Co-Founder of Salvation and Social Justice and Pastor of Greater Mount Zion AME Church in Trenton. “This kind of information can be helpful for our safety, as it allows us to gain an understanding of where in New Jersey the applications for permits to carry firearms is increasing, particularly when those increases dovetail with the recent rise in bias and hate in all communities, especially in Black communities. We must continue to work towards a safer and more just society for all.”

“Almost two years ago, the Supreme Court dramatically changed the rules for carrying guns in public and left confusion in its wake. Many business owners, in New Jersey and across the country, have wanted to keep guns off their premises, while the gun industry and its backers have pushed a guns-everywhere agenda,” said David Pucino, Legal Director & Deputy Chief Counsel of the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. “With this simple action, Attorney General Platkin has advanced public safety and public clarity. Business owners can let their customers know if their property is a gun free zone, and customers can make informed choices about where to spend their time and money.”

“I agree holistically that if we leave our guns at home, we’ll have a safer community,” said Pastor John R. Taylor of Friendship Baptist Church in Trenton.

“Tools like this empower communities by providing them with accurate information about how changes in firearm policies shape the world around them,” said Michael D. Anestis, Ph.D, Executive Director of the New Jersey Gun Violence Research Center. “The data dashboard also provides a clear record of the far-reaching impact of the Supreme Court’s Bruen ruling.”

“New Jersey has long been a leader in gun violence prevention and today’s announcement is yet another leap forward for the Garden State,” said Jeanne Stifelman, a volunteer with the New Jersey chapter of Moms Demand Action. “We’re grateful for Attorney General Platkin’s leadership and focus on using data and public education to keep our communities safe, especially after the misguided Bruen decision which has allowed more guns in our streets. New Jersey has strong gun safety laws to keep firearms out of sensitive places, and today’s announcement makes sure that these laws are reinforced and followed – so we all feel safer and more secure when we live our lives.”