Selling Guns From Home Becoming More Common In NJ, Other States


Joe Veni’s neighbors in Brick, N.J., noticed how many people visited his house starting in 2012. “My one neighbor says, ‘What are you selling that everybody wants?’ ” Veni told NJ Advance Media from his kitchen table, which doubles as his sales counter. “I said, ‘An AR-15.'” Such semi-automatic rifles are legal in New Jersey with some modifications. When efforts in Congress to tighten restrictions on them fizzled after the Newtown, they became a hot commodity for firearms dealers like Veni. “I must have bought about 50 of them, and I had them all in my living room,” said Veni, whose home-based store is in a neighborhood of evenly spaced, modest homes with well manicured lawns. “People were coming in and out.”

Selling guns out of a home in New Jersey is perfectly legal, as long as proprietors are zoned for home-based businesses and have the proper state and federal paperwork — called federal firearms licenses, or FFLs. In fact, it’s downright common: There are 368 FFL gun businesses in New Jersey, and at least 140 operate from homes. The businesses run the gamut, from gun-club enthusiasts who help their friends with online transfers and background checks a few times a year, to home businesses that sell dozens of guns out of neighborhood homes every month. The number of those home-based gun businesses are steadily increasing as the number of gun shops in New Jersey grows at a faster rate than in any other state except South Carolina, North Carolina and Florida. Just five years ago, there were about 100 home-based shops, while today there are at least 140, according to NJ Advance Media’s analysis.

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