Firearms Unit

The Firearms Investigation Unit is charged with administering the state firearms control laws and is required to promulgate standards and qualifications for the manufacture and sale of firearms. The unit develops forms for distribution to firearms dealers, police departments and superior courts while acting as a central repository of firearms information relating to the acquisition of firearms in New Jersey.

The Unit has absolute responsibility to investigate applicants for a New Jersey license to retail, wholesale and manufacture firearms and to investigate employees who will actively engage in the sale or purchase of firearms. Each dealer, by statute, is required to keep a record of the acquisition and disposition of firearms. Unit detectives periodically inspect these records to assure that the dealer is complying with existing statutes, as well as regulations promulgated pursuant to these statutes.

Firearms Purchases

All firearms applications for residents of Palisades Park are handled through the Bureau of Police Records Bureau. In order to obtain a firearm, you must meet eligibility requirements and comply with the statutes which govern firearms purchases in the state of New Jersey.

Additional firearms information is available at the NJ State Police website.

Application Process

The New Jersey State Police have made major changes to the Firearms Application and Registration System (FARS) effective with applications filed after October 1, 2020.

The main change that directly affects applicants is that both Firearms Purchaser Identification Cards and Permits to Purchase Handguns are issued electronically to applicants.

The previous printed ID Cards and Permits to Purchase Handguns have been phased out for all applications approved after April 1, 2021. (Applications submitted prior to October 1,2020 will still receive printed Permits to Purchase). The Record Bureau is no longer printing up these documents for applicants, and applicants will not be required to come to Police Headquarters to pick up either Firearms ID Cards or Permits to Purchase Handguns.

Applicants will now receive an Electronic Firearms Purchaser Identification Card (E-FID) and/or an Electronic Permit to Purchase a Handgun (E-PERMIT).

The previously issued yellow Firearms Purchaser Identification Cards are still valid and are still accepted at all NJ Licensed Firearms Dealers and do not have to be replaced.

Electronic Firearms Purchaser Identification Card (e-fid):

Applicants that apply for an Initial Card, a Replacement Card (Lost, Stolen, Mutilated), Change of Address, Change of Name, or Change of Sex will receive an email from NJ Firearms System-NJ Portal (NJ State Police) advising that your application was approved. In the email will be a link to download the E-FID and an Access Key that allows you to download the E-FID Card.  The Electronic Firearms Purchaser Identification Card will be available to download for one year from the date of issue. Please ensure that you print and save a copy for your records. If you do not download the E-FID card within the year you will need to apply for a replacement ID Card which will result in additional application fees on the FARS Site and an additional background investigation by the West Orange Police as required by NJ State Law.

Electronic Permit To Purchase A Handgun (e-permit):

When an application is approved, the applicant will receive an email from NJ Firearms System-NJ Portal (NJ State Police) advising of the approval of the Permits to Purchase Handguns. The email will not contain the actual E-PERMIT. It just advises the applicant that the E-PERMIT has been approved.  The actual E-PERMIT is contained on the NJ State Police FARS Site and can be activated by any NJ Licensed Firearms Dealer at time of purchase.  E-PERMITS have the same expiration period as the former paper permits (90 days from date of approval, with a renewal period of an additional 90 days). Once 180 days have passed since the E-PERMIT was issued, the E-PERMIT is no longer valid and cannot be renewed.

Firearms Application Process And Requirements

The process begins with making an application for a Firearms Purchaser Identification Card and along the way, requires you to submit to a background investigation by both state and federal agencies, supply references, be fingerprinted, and consent to a mental health records check.

Incomplete or missing information may delay the process, as will the failure of your references to respond in a timely manner. (See Special Note listed above regarding delays in processing due to high volume and the ongoing covid-19 pandemic)

Firearms Application Registration System (FARS)
Application Procedures for Applicants

Step 1: Visit the FARS website

Step 2: You will also need the Palisades Park ORI number, NJ0024500. You WILL NOT be able to complete the FARS online application without same.
NOTE: Please ensure you are a resident of Palisades Park before submitting with this ORI. Incorrect entries will require you to re-apply and all fees are non-refundable.

Step 3: Complete the online application. You may complete the application using a smartphone, mobile device, laptop or desktop computer. When completing the application, you will need the e-mail addresses of two reputable references. Please fully proofread the entered information at the “Review Screen” portion of your application. Please also print out the confirmation pages after your application is electronically submitted. You will receive automated e-mail updates throughout this new process through FARS.

Step 4:  DO NOT SHOW UP if you receive an e-mail advising that your application is approved. Our records department will contact you via email when complete. The fee for the INITIAL FID card is $5.00, and the fee for each handgun purchase permit is an additional $2.00 (cash or check made out to the Borough of Palisades Park).

Important Notes

  • Please advise your references that the FARS system will e-mail them the reference questions to be answered. Your references can complete the questions using a smartphone, mobile device, laptop, or desktop computer. Please advise them to complete the questions immediately to progress your background investigation.
  • The online application is applicant-driven. Please ensure that you have entered the best phone numbers and e-mail addresses for yourself and your references. Although your Social Security number is not mandatory, the application process will be delayed without it.
  • If you have resided outside of NJ in the past 10 years, you must complete Form 66, Consent for Mental Health Records Search.

If you need guidance with the application process or have questions, please contact Ptl. Michael Debartolo at [email protected]

If you need guidance with the online F.A.R.S. system, contact the New Jersey e-Government

Services Help Desk Phone: 609-586-2600.
Contact the Palisades Park Police Firearms Unit: [email protected]

Unit Head: Patrolman Michael DeBartolo #90 [email protected]