Short answer: Yes, you will in all likelihood be denied. They don't have a separate category for NJ, and call it a "may issue" state, but it has issues year-round.NJ 2nd Amendment Society : Gun Laws, Control & Advocacy : New Jersey
Check the New Jersey Second Amendment Society. They have bee documenting how NJ routinely violates the constitution. If you are expecting rationale, logical behavior from your former co-workers, your going to be disappointed.
I would say that whatever the facts are you are not going to find it easy or quick.
If they can get away with it, they'll say "We don't see a reason you need a gun.". In the case of one applicant, who has been repeatedly victimized by bikers,
IN HER HOME, their response was " If you have it, you may actually need to use it, so, NO." This, from sanctimonious, patronizing LEOS who's average response
time in urban neighborhoods is well over half an hour.
The only way you get a handgun, with any dependable regularity in NJ is to be a millionaire, and to have a battery of attorneys tirelessly applying pressure to the "justice" system on your behalf.
Everything they do in NJ is thinly veiled obstacles, in order to prevent you from having any firearms whatsoever.