New Jersey Governor Uses Executive Order to Ban Insurance Sales to Gun Owners
Law Enforcement Today reported on New Jersey’s recent executive order which banned the sale of insurance products that allow gun owners to receive liability coverage. In doing so, it will be practically impossible for concealed carry holders in New Jersey to receive coverage.
This executive order was passed in September and a press release from Governor Phil Murphy’s office stated that within a 30 day time period, all action “to prohibit and/or limit the sale, procurement, marketing, or distribution of insurance products that may serve to encourage the improper use of firearms” would be taken.
Because of this move, the U.S. Concealed Carry Association (USCCA) announced earlier this month that it was forced to “Pull their services off the shelf for New Jersey gun owners.”
USCCA is not an insurance company, but it does provide concealed-carry liability insurance to members in cases where they use their weapons in self-defense.
Because USCCA lists “their membership as “beneficiaries” of their coverage”, they will be “regulated by the state much like an insurance company.”
This leaves them no choice but to exit New Jersey or take the fight to the state’s Attorney General’s Office.
The governor’s press release boasted about a consent order for a $1 million fine against a company that encouraged “the improper use of firearms.”
Last week, the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance announced that Lockton Affinity, LLC agreed to pay a $1 million fine as part of a consent order with the department for administering a National Rifle Association-sponsored insurance program in violation of state insurance laws.
It then justified the attack.
An investigation by the department found that Kansas-based Lockton Affinity violated various state laws and regulations in administering the Carry Guard insurance program in New Jersey on behalf of the NRA. Offering an insurance product marketed by the NRA that encourages firearm use is a serious violation of public policy and today’s executive order takes steps to limit such policies’ availability in the State.
The purpose of Carry Guard was to serve as insurance for law-abiding gun owners but anti-gun activists branded it as “murder insurance” and New Jersey’s government has bought into this perspective.
Murphy’s executive order also instructed state officials to ask every gun maker or retailer to disclose if they embraced best practices to reduce gun violence. It also tasked state officials to discover how these gun vendors screen for “straw purchasers, firearms traffickers, and people who have been banned from owning or purchasing firearms.”
“This is not intended at day one to be an adversarial act,” the governor said. “This is to express a broad statement of principles and values that matter to us deeply.”
Individuals who use a weapon in self-defense are will more than likely face a criminal trial or a wrongful-death civil suit, or both. Because of this new executive order, the financial protections that groups like USCCA offer law-abiding gun owners in New Jersey are eliminated, thus making it much harder for gun owners of humbler means to defend themselves in court.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) declared that Murphy’s executive order is clearly unconstitutional by trying to regulate interstate commerce.
“The governor views licensed and law-abiding small businesses that are just trying to earn a living and are engaged in the commerce of a constitutionally protected product [as] somehow the problem,” NSSF General Counsel Lawrence Keene said.
Murphy’s recent executive order will only reinforce the state’s anti-gun image.