N.J.: Compulsory handgun liability insurance bill signed into law

January 9, 2023

Legislation that will require owners of handguns who carry in public to purchase liability insurance has been signed into the law.

As previously reported, the Legislature worked quickly to pass this new law, P.L. 2022, C.131. Originally, the legislation was introduced on Oct. 14, 2022. A little more than two months later, on Dec. 19, 2022, the Legislature passed a final version of the bill. That is a remarkably quick pace especially given the gravity of the subject matter.

Under the new law, any citizen who carries a handgun in public in the state must maintain liability insurance of at least $300,000, insuring against loss resulting from liability imposed by law for bodily injury, death, and property damage arising out of the ownership, maintenance, operation or use of a firearm carried in public. Prior versions of the bill required $100,000 of liability coverage, on account of injury to, or death of, one person, in any one incident and $300,000; on account of injury to, or death of, more than one person.

To monitor compliance, applications for a permit to carry handguns are to include proof of liability insurance coverage and a certification that the applicant will maintain the insurance coverage for the duration of the permit. The chief police officer or superintendent of the State Police will be required to verify the liability insurance prior to issuing a permit to carry a handgun.

The insurance requirements of the new law go into effect on Saturday, July 1, 2023.

Get involved

If you want to get involved with PIANJ’s legislative and advocacy work, there are many ways to engage with the association:

  • participate in PIANJ’s District Office Visit Program by emailing resourcecenter@pia.org;
  • become a member of New Jersey PIAPAC; and
  • watch your PIA Northeast publications and PIA Northeast’s social-media channels for important New Jersey updates, and share them with your followers.
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About the author…

Bradford J. Lachut, Esq.

Bradford J. Lachut, Esq., joined PIA as government affairs counsel for the Government & Industry Affairs Department in 2012 and then, after a four-month leave, he returned to the association in 2018 as director of government & industry affairs responsible for all legal, government relations and insurance industry liaison programs for the five state associations. Prior to PIA, Brad worked as an attorney for Steven J. Baum PC, in Amherst, and as an associate attorney for the law office of James Morris in Buffalo. He also spent time serving as senior manager of government affairs as the Buffalo Niagara Partnership, a chamber of commerce serving the Buffalo, N.Y., region, his hometown. He received his juris doctorate from Buffalo Law School and his Bachelor of Science degree in Government and Politics from Utica College, Utica, N.Y. Brad is an active Mason and Shriner.

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