[103 NJSuper Page 84] This matter comes before the court on motion by the Monmouth County Prosecutor pursuant to N.J.S. 2 A:151-45 to revoke a permit to carry a revolver previously issued to Neil Richard Neumann. The uncontroverted facts leading up to the action by the State are these:
On March 8, 1968 a call came to the Asbury Park Police Headquarters in which the caller stated that he had just been in the Sunset Lounge Tavern on Kingsley Street where a man was sitting at the bar with a "gun on his hip." In response to the call Officers Montepara and Moyna were dispatched to the tavern. They arrived at about 12:50 A.M. Upon gaining admittance they found about six or seven people in the bar in addition to the bartender. Neumann was seated at the bar in his shirtsleeves with a drink in front of him. He was wearing a Colt .38-caliber revolver in a pullaway holster fully exposed on his left hip. It was loaded.
When questioned by the police Neumann first said he was a police officer of the Long Branch police. He produced an I.D. card indicating he was a member of the Long Branch Police "Reserves." It developed that he was not then a member of the "Reserves" although he previously had been.
He then produced his permit to carry a concealed weapon.
Neumann has had such a permit since June 1961. His original application (and all subsequent renewal applications) sets forth as the reason for the permit the fact that he is a pharmacist and requires a gun for protection in connection with the operation of his drug store in the Cliffwood section of Matawan Township -- both because there are narcotics on the premises and because night deposits of business receipts are made in a local bank.
It is undisputed that Neumann is of good general repute, that he was a small-arms specialist with the United States Army during his military service, and that he suffers none of the statutory disabilities. N.J.S. 2 A:151-33 and 2 A:151-44.
On the evening in question Neumann had closed his drug store in Cliffwood at 10:15 P.M. and made a night deposit in the local bank. He had an appointment to meet with his accountant and another man to discuss a business deal. He drove to the Sunset Lounge Tavern and arrived there some time between 11 and 11:30 P.M. He had had one drink and was on his second when the police came into the tavern.
N.J.S. 2 A:151-45 provides, inter alia, that
"Any permit may be revoked by a judge of the county court of the county wherein the permit was issued, after hearing upon notice and upon a finding that the holder thereof no longer qualifies for the issuance of such permit. The county prosecutor of any county * * * may apply to such judge at any time for the revocation of such permit."
The prosecutor moved for revocation on notice to the permit holder. A full hearing was held. Briefs were subsequently submitted.
With certain exceptions not applicable to this case, it is a crime to carry a pistol or revolver without a permit, N.J.S. 2 A:151-41. N.J.S. 2 A:151-45 provides, inter alia, that "A permit issued under section 2 A:151-44 of this chapter shall be sufficient authority for the holder thereof to carry a revolver or pistol in all parts of the State." (Emphasis supplied). Neumann argues that since he is a person of good character, has never been convicted of a crime (N.J.S. 2 A:151-44), is not a narcotics user, drunkard or mental defective, nor physically defective ...