Proposed N.J. gun law would mandate $50k insurance policies for all gun owners

OCEAN CITY, N.J. – There’s a new bill in play in the State Assembly which, if it is ever adopted and signed into law, will foist some of the most onerous Second Amendment regulations to date on New Jersey gun owners.

Introduced in November, A-6003 sponsored by Patricia Egan Jones (D-5) mandates that each New Jersey gun owner obtain a minimum of $50,000 in liability insurance at the time of purchase. A first offense carries a $1,000 fine. Second or subsequent violations can come with a $5,000 fine and revocation of the right to carry/purchase firearms for a period of five years. Owners not carrying proof of insurance run the risk of having their firearms confiscated by law enforcement.

Assemblymen-elect Erik Simonsen and Antwan McClellan (R-1) railed against the proposed Democrat legislation.

“Once again law-abiding citizens’ rights are being infringed,” said McClellan. “This is just another way to bully the people of New Jersey into giving in or giving up their guns. I was elected to do what’s right, and standing up for the rights of gun owners is paramount. I will continue to stand up for the constitutional rights of Americans.”

The NRA has experimented with gun liability insurance; whether it should be mandatory is where a fierce debate is inevitable. Interestingly, Governor Murphy signed an executive order in September making it practically impossible for a legal gun owner to obtain a firearms insurance policy. Attacking gun insurance as a gun ownership “enabling” concept has become a popular trend in blue states as of late.

“Gun violence continues to claim innocent lives at an alarming rate. We cannot allow this to be the new normal,” said New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance Commissioner Marlene Caride at the time. “The department recently took enforcement action against a company for illegally operating an NRA-sponsored insurance program that encourages firearms use. We are continuing to investigate other firearm-related insurance programs for potential violations of state insurance laws. I want to thank the governor for taking executive action to fight gun violence. As a state, we have a responsibility to act in the best interest of our residents and to ensure that our policies and practices put public safety above all.”     

Controversy over A-6003 arises at the same time that Trenton Democrats celebrated “Criminal Christmas,” a passage spree for bills aimed at assisting convicts and lawbreakers.

“The same people who feel it’s necessary to give driver’s licenses to defiant law-breakers are the same ones trying to pass this nonsense,” added Simonsen. “When did we become a state that put lawbreakers first, while attacking the rights of hard-working, law-abiding citizens? This is something I will not stand for because the rights of New Jerseyans and gun owners matter. It might not matter to the Democrats, but it matters to me.”

Deaths from accidental shootings are statistically rare; between 2006 and 2016, there was an average of 689 accidental firearms deaths annually nation-wide.