Legislation was introduced in the New Jersey Legislature this month that would require certain gunowners to carry liability insurance.
The bill (A-4769/S-3214) would require any person in the state who carries a handgun in public to maintain liability insurance coverage. The policy must provide coverage for loss that result from liability imposed by law for bodily injury, death, and property damage sustained because a firearm was carried in public.
The bill would require that the policy contains at least the following limits:
- an amount or limit of $100,000, on account of injury to, or death of, one person, in any one incident;
- an amount or limit, subject to such limit for any one person so injured or killed, of $300,000; and
- an amount or limit of $25,000, exclusive of interest and costs, for damage to property in any one incident.
The bill would require that—whenever any injury, death, or property damage is alleged to have been caused by the person carrying a firearm in public—the person produces proof of liability insurance. That proof must be offered in a reasonable amount of time and would be accomplished by delivering a complete copy of the policy.
These insurance requirements are one part of a larger gun safety bill. This legislation is a direct response to the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen. In that case, the Supreme Court ruled that the “justifiable need standards,” which many states, including New Jersey, implemented to regulate the carrying of firearms in public was unconstitutional.
This bill is an attempt to replace the “justifiable needs standard” by creating new criteria for obtaining a permit to carry a handgun, as well as identifying certain venues—such as schools and government buildings—at which the right to carry firearms would be restricted due to security and safety concerns.