Firearms Safety/Project Childsafe

Project Gun SafeProject ChildSafe

Project ChildSafe is a nationwide program that promotes safe firearms handling and storage practices among all firearm owners through the distribution of safety education messages and free firearm Safety Kits. The kits include a cable-style gun-locking device and a brochure (also available in Spanish) that discusses safe handling and storage. Since 2003, the Project has partnered with local law enforcement agencies to distribute more than 36 million safety kits to gun owners in all 50 states and five U.S. territories.

Every year in the U.S. nearly 350 children under the age of 17 gain access to a gun and unintentionally kill or injure themselves or someone else. Children are naturally curious and love to explore and look in hiding places. New Jersey is one of several states that requires every gun owner to safely store their firearms, and the owner is criminally liable if they store a loaded gun where a child is likely to gain access to it. All firearms in the home should be unloaded and locked, with ammunition stored and locked up separately.  Make sure children and teens cannot access the keys or combination to lock boxes or gun safes. And, please do not keep loaded, unlocked guns in your vehicle. In partnership with Project ChildSafe, we offer free gun safety kits so you can securely store your firearm. Project ChildSafe, is a program developed by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), and has distributed millions of firearm safety kits throughout the country. The program is funded by a U.S. Department of Justice grant, with additional funding provided by the firearms industry. Each kit contains safety information and a cable-style gun lock. The lock fits most types of handguns, rifles and shotguns. The goal is to prevent a child or other unauthorized person from accessing a firearm in your home.  Gun locks are available 24/7 at the Madison Public Safety Building, 62 Kings Road.  

Refer to Project ChildSafe for more information.

How to turn in unwanted Firearms or Ammunition

If you’re a resident of Madison and wish to turn over any firearms and/or ammunition for destruction please contact the Madison Police Department at (973) 593-3000. An officer will then be dispatched to your residence and take custody of the firearm and/or ammunition and file the appropriate paperwork for destruction. According to N.J.S. 2C:39-12 Voluntary Surrender, you may provide written notice including the proposed date and time of surrender to the superintendent or chief of police of municipality in which you reside prior to transporting same to that department. You may also contact a gun shop to inquire if they would like to purchase the firearm from you. They must provide you with a written receipt if they take the firearm.

Did you know?

Extreme Risk Protection Order (Red Flag law)

 The Extreme Risk Protective Order (ERPO) Act became effective September 1, 2019. This Act authorizes New Jersey Courts to issue gun violence protective orders against individuals who pose a significant risk of personal injury to themselves or others by possessing or owning a firearm. The protective orders prohibit the person against whom the order is filed from securing or possessing any firearm or permit or license allowing firearm possession during the protective order period. A family or household member, or a law enforcement officer, (petitioner) may apply for an order against an individual (respondent) who presents a significant danger of bodily injury to himself/herself or to others by possessing or purchasing a firearm. Once the ERPO is issued, the respondent is prohibited from purchasing a firearm or ammunition and is prohibited from possessing any firearms identification cards or permits. Law Enforcement may also act as the petitioner when seeking an ERPO. The petition may be filed with a State, County, or Municipal Law Enforcement Agency or with the Superior Court with jurisdiction wherein the respondent resides. If the respondent resides out of state, the petition must be filed where the petitioner resides.

Magazine Capacity

In New Jersey, it is illegal to possess any magazine that is capable of accepting more than 10 rounds of ammunition for semi-automatic pistols or rifles, or 6 rounds for semi-automatic shotguns that accept detachable magazines. Qualified retired law enforcement officers as part of the Retired Police Officers permit to carry program may possess a magazine with a capacity of up to 15 rounds of ammunition for that specific registered handgun(s). Active law enforcement officers may possess magazines with a capacity of up to 17 rounds for personal firearms and over 17 rounds for any department issued firearm.

Hollow Point Ammunition

Refer to the New Jersey State Police Firearms Bureau by clicking here.  

Assault Firearm

 Under NJ Law a firearm is classified as an Assault Firearm if it meets the following criteria: folding or telescoping stock, a pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon, a Bayonet mount, a Flash suppressor, or threaded barrel designed to accommodate a flash suppressor or a Grenade launcher mount. Unlawful Possession of a Firearm NJS 2C:39-5[f] is a 4th degree crime.

Purchasing a Firearm from another State

It is a violation of Federal law for a resident of one state to receive a firearm of any kind from the resident of another state. In order for this transaction to be legal, it must go through a federally licensed firearms dealer (FFL) in the State that the purchaser/receiver resides in. In New Jersey that means a firearm must be transported or shipped directly to the State licensed retail firearms dealer.

It is a CRIME in the State of New Jersey to possess a firearm, real or imitation, for an unlawful purpose. (2C:39-4e).
It is a CRIME in the State of New Jersey to allow a minor to have access of a loaded firearm. (2C:58-15, 2C:58-16)

Additional information may be found online here.

A Message for your Children

Children and adolescents are naturally curious about firearms and, as a result, may be tempted to "play" with a firearm they find. Make sure young people in your home are aware of and understand these safety guidelines:

  1. Don't go snooping, or allow other kids to go snooping, for guns in the house.
  2. If you find a gun in your house, or anywhere else, STOP! Do not touch it or allow anyone else to. Leave the area and be sure to immediately tell an adult.
  3. Even if a gun looks like a toy, don't touch it. Some real guns look like toy guns, so don't take a chance. Leave the area and immediately tell an adult.

Here is a great video to shows kids to teach them what to do if they see a gun - Stop, Don't Touch, Run Away, Tell an Adult!

Gun Owner Tips for Firearms Safety in your Home

  • Always keep the firearm’s muzzle pointed in a safe direction. A “safe direction” means that the gun is pointed so that even if an accidental discharge occurred, it would not result in injury.
  • When handling a gun, rest your finger outside the trigger guard or along the side of the gun. Don’t touch the trigger until you are actually ready to fire.
  • Firearms should be unloaded when not actually in use. Whenever you pick up a gun, such as when removing it from or returning it to storage, remember to point it in a safe direction and make sure it is unloaded.
  • Be sure you know how your firearm operates: read the manual on your firearm, know how to safely open and close the action of the firearm and know how to safely remove any ammunition from the firearm and its magazine.
  • Store your firearms in a locked cabinet, safe, gun vault or storage case when not in use, ensuring they are in a location inaccessible by children and cannot be handled by anyone without your permission.
  • Store your ammunition in a locked location separate from firearms.
  • Use a gun locking device that renders the firearm inoperable when not in use. A gun lock should be used as an additional safety precaution and not as a substitute for secure storage.
  • Make sure young people in your home are aware of and understand the safety guidelines concerning firearms. Have them sign the Project ChildSafe Pledge for young people—a reminder that if they find an unattended firearm in their home or a neighbor’s to not touch it, and tell an adult.
  • Always unload, clean and place your firearms in their secure storage location immediately after returning from a hunting trip or a day at the range.
  • Educate everyone in your family about firearms safety. Visit the Project ChildSafe website for safety information and to find out where to get a free firearm safety kit in your area.
  • If you must temporarily store a gun in your car or truck, for your safety and that of your community, we encourage you to take steps to properly store them. Use a secure storage device, keep it out of sight, try not to be away from the vehicle for an extended length of time and, when you arrive home, take the firearm inside with you to your secure home storage area. Remember, the number one way to help prevent firearms theft, accidents and misuse is to securely store firearms when not in use.


If you have a questions regarding a firearm please reach out to Detective Ryan Dunn at 973-593-3014 or email at