Let me be clear upfront. This is not going to be a gun debate.

It's generally believed that if there is an intruder trespassing on your property you have the right to use force. It's not that simple.

94.3 The Point logo
Get our free mobile app

First, it's important to understand New Jersey's self-defense law.

According to U.S. Law Shield, this is the number one thing New Jersey residents must comprehend when it comes to self-defense:

you must reasonably believe your use of force is immediately necessary to protect yourself against the use of unlawful force by another.

Understand that when we talk about "force" here, we're not talking about guns yet.

This is about physical force to defend yourself and others against an unwanted party.

You would think that if someone breaks into your home that there's no question that self-defense force would be ok. Not always, though.


U.S. Law Shield states that juries will use certain factors when determining whether or not force was necessary. These questions include:

  • Was force immediately necessary?
  • Was the opposing force unlawful?
  • Was the amount of force used necessary?

Remember that in order to use force, the intruder must have unlawfully entered your space. That gets very tricky.

Can You Legally Shoot Trespassers in New Jersey?


Now we move on to deadly force.

New Jersey has a whole thing about retreating instead of using force of any kind. I find this to be ridiculous, but you should still be aware of it.

Here's what U.S. Law Shield says about "retreating."

there is no duty to retreat in your home, but there is a duty to retreat if you’re outside your home. But, of course, in New Jersey, it’s rare to be able to defend yourself outside your home with any type of weapon (particularly a firearm) since they don’t issue carry licenses to otherwise law-abiding citizens the way the overwhelming majority of states do.

When it comes to using a firearm to protect yourself against an intruder, New Jersey's law is pretty straightforward forward says U.S. Law Shield.

You can use deadly force, but there has to be a threat to your life or a threat or serious injury to yourself or another.

This is an important piece as well that I found interesting.

U.S. Law Shield says that New Jersey still wants you to warn the other party before using deadly force.

Listen, I know it's impossible to go through all of these rules and regulations when you're in the moment.

That's why if you own a firearm and keep it in your home, it's so very important to educate yourself on what it can and can't be used for.

Do your research and be safe.

These events are unreal by the way.

LOOK: The most expensive weather and climate disasters in recent decades

Stacker ranked the most expensive climate disasters by the billions since 1980 by the total cost of all damages, adjusted for inflation, based on 2021 data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The list starts with Hurricane Sally, which caused $7.3 billion in damages in 2020, and ends with a devastating 2005 hurricane that caused $170 billion in damage and killed at least 1,833 people. Keep reading to discover the 50 of the most expensive climate disasters in recent decades in the U.S.



More From 94.3 The Point