Middlesex County News

Carteret Police Department Investigated for Firearm Permit Irregularities

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MIDDLESEX COUNTY, NJ - During a time when intense scrutiny is being placed on the sale, purchase, and registration of firearms, Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey announced today that an investigation is underway concerning the issuance of firearms permits by the Carteret Police Department.

The Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office has learned that numerous Permits to Purchase Firearms and/or Firearms Purchaser identification Cards (FPIC), issued by the Carteret Police Department, pursuant to the authority in N.J.S.A. 2C:58-3, have been issued without a proper and complete investigation, as required by the statute, the requirements of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, and N.J.A.C. 13:54-1.3 et seq.

The investigation has revealed that since approximately 2015, required background checks have not been properly conducted, including failure to verify mental health status, as well as verifying the existence, or absence, of criminal records.  There are approximately 38 possible permits to purchase firearms which have been issued without proper investigation by the Carteret Police Department.  In five of these cases, which exhibited serious statutory deficiencies, the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office has filed documents with the New Jersey Superior Court seeking revocation of those firearms permits.

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Carteret Police Director Kenneth Lebrato, and other members of the Carteret Police Department are cooperating with the Prosecutor’s Office in an effort to rectify the problem.  In addition, the New Jersey State Police is providing assistance in the issuance of new applications for permits.  The assistance of the NJSP is appreciated, and will continue until such time as the present investigation has concluded, and the Prosecutor’s Office is assured that the Carteret Police Department has remedied all procedural issues.

The investigation is active and continuing.  Anyone with information is asked to call Sergeant Michael Daniewicz of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office at 732-745-4018. ​

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