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Senator Michael Testa Senator Michael Testa (R-1)
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October 14, 2022
Testa: Democrats Flip-Flopping on Insurance for Gun Owners in New Effort to Impede 2nd Amendment Rights

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Just two years after the Murphy administration blocked insurance companies from offering coverage to firearm owners to dissuade gun ownership in New Jersey, Democrats are now planning to implement stringent insurance requirements and excessive penalties in a new effort to impede the 2nd Amendment, Senator Michael Testa said.

Sen. Michael Testa said Democrats have gone from one extreme to another on insurance for gun owners in a new effort to impede the 2nd Amendment rights of New Jerseyans. (SenateNJ.com)

“First, the Murphy administration banned firearm self-defense policies from being offered under the false belief that having insurance would encourage the improper use of firearms,” said Testa (R-1). “Now, Democrats are trying to mandate insurance coverage that they’ve blocked from being available as a condition for New Jerseyans to exercise their constitutional right to concealed carry. This flip-flopping makes clear that Governor Murphy and legislative Democrats only care about insurance as a weapon they can use to impede the 2nd Amendment rights of New Jerseyans.”

On September 9, 2019, Governor Murphy signed Executive Order No. 83 directing the Department of Banking and Insurance (DOBI) to “take action against insurance policies that encourage firearm use.”

In accordance with the executive order, DOBI Commissioner Marlene Caride issued a bulletin on March 9, 2020 advising that the Department would not approve firearm self-defense insurance policies.

In her reasoning, the Commissioner stated, “These policies may encourage reckless use of firearms by members of the public…”

Despite his oft-cited (and oft-ignored) policy of not commenting on pending legislation, Governor Murphy said he would sign new legislation announced yesterday by the Senate President and Assembly Speaker that would require insurance policies similar to those his administration has blocked as a condition for New Jerseyans to engage in the legal concealed carry of a firearm.

The new legislation would require concealed carry permit holders to keep proof of insurance in their possession whenever they are carrying a handgun in public.

Failure to produce proof of insurance when asked by law enforcement would be a fourth-degree crime and “constitute full and sufficient grounds for revocation of a permit to carry a handgun.”

“Democrats know that nobody offers the insurance they’re mandating because they’ve actively blocked companies that have tried to offer these policies in New Jersey,” said Testa. “Even if obtaining insurance wasn’t a problem, it’s beyond excessive and likely unconstitutional to permanently revoke a person’s permit to carry for failing to produce an insurance card on demand. Can you imagine losing your driver’s license permanently because you couldn’t find your auto insurance card one time when pulled over? The punitive measures proposed by Democrats are even more concerning since the United States Supreme Court has confirmed that concealed carry is a constitutional right, unlike driving.”

In addition to the new insurance requirements, the legislation also makes it substantially more difficult and expensive to obtain a firearm purchaser identification card (FPIC), permit to purchase a handgun (PPH), and permit to carry a handgun.

Further, the bill prohibits the right to legally carry in many public and private places.

“When the legislation effectively blocks permit holders from carrying in most places, it’s a de facto ban that is not consistent with the constitutional right to carry confirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court in Bruen,” said Testa. “Law-abiding gun owners will follow the law and leave their guns in their cars, while the criminals they seek to protect themselves from will continue to carry guns illegally into all of the prohibited places.”

Testa concluded by noting that a proposed law that would force legal gun owners to leave their firearms in their cars doesn’t seem too smart when car thefts are soaring in New Jersey.

“As the Murphy administration continues to set more criminals free, we’re almost certain to see more cars stolen with legal guns left inside as a result of the expansive list of places Democrats have proposed where concealed carry would be prohibited,” Testa said. “When Murphy’s misfits commit violent crimes with those guns, Democrats will surely turn and demonize legal gun owners for the crimes their many flawed policies enabled. It’s completely predictable.”

Related Facebook Post:
https://www.facebook.com/senatortesta/posts/499917535481687

Related Tweet:
https://twitter.com/senatortesta/status/1581003818258423811

Website Post:
https://www.senatenj.com/index.php/testa/testa-democrats-flip-flopping-on-insurance-for-gun-owners-in-new-effort-to-impede-2nd-amendment-rights/58564