Domestic Violence History and Applying for a Concealed Weapons Permit

IN THE MATTER OF APPLICATION FOR PERMIT TO CARRY A HADNGUN OF MAURICO ALFARO
New Jersey Appellate Division June 4, 2019 (Not Approved for Publication)

Submitted by New Jersey Domestic Violence Lawyer, Jeffrey Hark.

Mauricio Alfaro appeals the second Law Division Order denying his application for a concealed weapon permit. The trial judged denied his application after parroting the statutory language, “would not be in the interest of the public health, safety, or welfare.” N.J.S.A. 2C:58-3(e)(5) yet without conducting a hearing.

In May 2017, Alfaro applied for a concealed weapons permit for his employment as an armored truck driver. His employment was conditioned upon obtaining the appropriate concealed weapon license. According to the concealed weapon statute, after the State Police approve the application, it must be presented to a Superior Court Judge for final approval. In this specific case, the trial judge denied the application without holding a hearing, providing oral argument, or issuing written decision memorializing his rational for the denial of the permit. Alfaro appealed the decision arguing Rule 1:7-4 requires the trial judge, “to make findings of fact and conclusions of law.” Alfaro believed he was entitled to a hearing with the judge issuing his ruling based on those findings of fact and a conclusion of laws. The Appellate Court agreed with Alfaro and remanded the case to the trial judge so he could actually memorialize his/her decision with the appropriate findings of fact and conclusion of laws. The Appellate Court essentially ruled the trial judge abused its discretion when it entered the order to deny the application without any hearing.

On remand, the trial judge decided to deny the application based upon Alfaro’s domestic violence history. In 2005, Alfaro obtained two temporary restraining orders from his ex-girlfriend however those TROs were eventually dismissed with no FRO put in place. The first TRO was dismissed because the allegation of domestic violence by the female had not been sustained. A second TRO was dismissed because the ex-girlfriend failed to appear for trial. Nevertheless, the judge denied the concealed weapons permit application since Alfaro, “would not be in the interest of the public health, safety, or welfare” because of his volatile temper and rage towards women regardless of the TROs dismissals.

Alfaro appeals once again the denial of application arguing, “the trial court erred by denying his permit because he us not subject to any of the disabilities set forth in N.J.S.A 2C:58-3(C).” Alfaro also argued that he had familiar use with handguns along with a need for a permit to carry and at the very least he should be entitled to a hearing.

The appellate court found Alfaro’s argument had merit and he had a right to a hearing with the law division judge. The appellate division judge found the trial judge only reviewed the police report and never gave Alfaro an opportunity to argue his position. The appellate court recognized that if the police reports are accurate that above could provide sufficient basis to deny Alfaro application but until there is an evidentiary hearing regarding the police reports and TRO’s, the application cannot be rejected.
At Hark and Hark we handle gun application appeals, motions to return guns after restraining orders have been dismissed and applications for concealed weapons permit. We are familiar with the issues outlined in this case and more particularly we are familiar with the burden of proof requirements contained in the concealed weapon permit to purchase statute N.J.S.A 2C:58-3(C).

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