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New Jersey 80 Percent Lower Laws

80 Percent Arms   |   Jan 17th 2022

Disclaimer: To get started, we want to share a small disclaimer. We are dedicated and proud supporters of everything 2nd amendment, but we are not lawyers. So, before you take what you read here and run with it, you will want to double-check all of your local or state gun laws. Make sure you are up to date on any special regulations that may apply to you and your situation. Gun laws are always changing and always do your part to stay up to date with the newest and current laws.

This information is provided as a service to the public. It is NOT intended to be taken as legal advice and should never be considered as such. Make sure to do your own research as you and you alone are responsible for your own actions.

This is a developing list of information we intend to update regularly to stay accurate and current. If you see a discrepancy or a mistake with your home state’s laws that we’ve covered, feel free to let us know so we can correct it. Thank you and stay safe!

What is an 80% Lower?

An 80% lower receiver is an unfinished and unserialized blank which requires so machining work from the end user to turn it into a 100% lower receiver, otherwise, what is legally considered as a firearm. 80 lowers are missing the trigger pocket and a three holes that need to be milled and drilled out to be completed. Unless states have passed their own laws barring the possession or sales of 80% products; pending the ATF's updated decision from the most recent proposed rule 2021R-05 80% lowers are completely legal, not considered firearms and thus can be shipped straight to your front door. No FFL required. To explore the 80% lower receiver products we have to offer, check out our multiple collections.

Are 80 Lowers Legal In New Jersey?

As of this guide’s initial publish date, 80% lower receivers and frames are not considered as firearms by the ATF however, they are not legal to ship directly to buyers residing in New Jersey as manufacturers and retailers have been banned from selling these products to NJ residents.

Do I Need to Serialize My 80 Lower in New Jersey?

If you build out your own firearms starting with 80 lowers in New Jersey you would be “breaking the law” and would therefore have a difficult time finding a service willing to serialize your 80 lower for you as it would put the servicing company or person at risk along with yourself. Even if you try to send the 80 lower or completed lower receiver to an engraving service out of state, most companies would not be willing to ship it back to you in New Jersey, or accept your order no less.

Key Gun Laws in New Jersey

Other than laws regarding 80 lowers, these are the key gun laws you should be aware of if you reside or are traveling through New Jersey.

Firearm Possession and Purchase Requirements

New Jersey has strict laws regarding the age requirement for purchase and possession of firearms. In order to purchase any firearm, whether it is a handgun or a long gun, you must have a “FPIC” or a Firearms Purchaser Identification Card. Long gun buyers must be 18 years of age or older. Handgun buyers must be at least 21 years old. Minors are strictly prohibited from possessing and using firearms unless in the direct supervision or presence of their parents, guardian, or a person who has a CCW permit or FPIC. While the restrictions are clear the normal exemptions for minors in possession of a firearm should apply when attending a hunter’s or firearms safety course, using the gun for target practice or recreational shooting at an established range, involved in an organized competition, hunting or trapping with a valid license, travelling to and from these events, or at their own residence with permission and supervision of a parents or a legal guardian.

All firearm purchases and transfers require a background check including private party transfers (Dealer Record of Sale also known as 4473 form or “DROS”). While federal law requires federal firearm license holders (“FFL’s”:) to initiate background checks on buyers prior to the sale of a firearm, federal law also allows states to serve as their own “point of contact” and conduct their own background checks via state, federal records or databases, as well as the option to use the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (“NICS”) database. New Jersey is a full point of contact for the NICS and as a result, dealers must conduct their background checks by going through the New Jersey State Police. Additionally, it must be noted that permits to purchase handguns only allow the purchase of one handgun per permit. Meanwhile, the FPIC allows unlimited rifle and shotgun purchases.

Open and Concealed Carrying

New Jersey is a ”may-issue” state which means that permits are issued at the local level by municipal police departments or the New Jersey State Police. Applicants must first obtain approval from their local police chief and then present their application to a superior court judge.

Concealed carry weapon permits, although difficult for civilians to obtain, are offered in the form of a “PCH” or, Permit to Carry a Handgun. These are rarely approved to civilians unless there is a demonstrated urgent necessity. Non-residents may also apply for a PCH but applicants must be at least 21 years old. To see more details about concealed carrying in the state of New Jersey see their reciprocity map here.

NFA Restrictions

New Jersey does have an "assault weapon" ban. Click here to see the details of what constitutes an “assault weapon” in New Jersey. As for NFA weapons and related items the state of New Jersey requires a state license for civilian residents to own any automatic weapons. This license is extremely rare is hardly ever granted.

Magazine Capacity Restrictions

New Jersey also has magazine capacity restriction laws which limit magazine capacities to only 10 rounds per mag. Mags capable of holding 11 to 15 rounds however, were able to be registered along with the registration of an “assault weapon” up until the deadline date set by the state which was July 13, 2019.

So the magazine capacity restrictions of 10 rounds are for both long guns and handguns. If you’d like to stay within the confines of the law, we carry low capacity magazines like the ETS 10 rounder mags in G17 and G19 length. Or if you need mags for your AR-15 we also carry 10 round Hex magazines for 5.56.

Mandatory Storage Requirements

Please be aware that the state of New Jersey does have safe storage mandates which state that all firearms must be stored, unloaded, in a securely locked gun safe or locked container. Ammunition must also be stored in a separate, securely locked gun safe or locked container.


New Jersey is a castle doctrine state but does not have a stand your ground law, which means people are not required to retreat if possible before returning fire or responding to a threat with lethal force in the home. Residents do however have the duty to retreat first if possible, when in public, before acting in self-defense with essentially any level of force. See the New Jersey State Legislature’s literature on self-defense here.

Ammunition Purchase

New Jersey updated their restrictions for who can and cannot possess or purchase ammunition. To see which individuals cannot purchase or possess ammo in New Jersey please click on the link. In order to purchase or possess ammo in the state of New Jersey, one must have an FPIC, a permit to purchase a handgun, or a CCW permit. Transfers or ammunition and sales all require to be handled by a licensed gun dealer (aka FFL), wholesaler or manufacturer. Retail sellers are required to maintain a permanent record of ammunition acquisition and disposition.

Generally speaking, in order to purchase or possess long gun ammo in New Jersey one must be at least 18 years old. All handgun ammo buyers or owners must be at least 21 years old in New Jersey. Armor piercing rounds and exploding ammunition is prohibited in New Jersey. The legal terms are not expressly clear but it is a safe assumption that New Jersey also strictly prohibits the possession of hollow point ammunition as well.

Can You Start Your Next 80 Lower Build with 80% Arms?

New Jersey residents are unfortunately not able to freely build their own firearms from 80 lowers and frames without any required serialization or FFL transactions. It's a good example of a state that has tread upon the 2nd Amendment and, effectively stripping New Jersey residents, Americans of their rights to keep and bear arms. That means building them too if people so choose to. While we can’t ship any 80 lower related products to New Jersey we can still supply NJ residents with AR parts and accessories for your store-bought guns.