New Jersey’s New Insurance Requirements for Gun Permits
As a result of the new legislation signed by Governor Murphy into law on December 22nd, 2022, all firearm carriers are now required to take out insurance policies in an amount no less than $300,000 covering any property damage, injury and/or death. The insurance policy must be maintained for incidents arising out of the maintenance, operation, use and/ or ownership of a gun being carried in public. The new law sets a required compliance date of June 2023, which means all concealed carry permit holders must purchase liability insurance by June 2023. There are several requirements for the policy itself, as well as what you must do in the event that the policy needs to be proven and/or disclosed. Here’s what you need to know.
What Should My New Firearm Insurance Policy Cover?
New Jersey is the first state in the United States of America to enact such a law as this. Requiring legal gun owners to purchase liability insurance policies has never been done before across an entire state. However, the city of San Jose, California requires gun owners to purchase liability insurance policies and for proof of that insurance to be carried with the gun carrier at all times with their gun.
Do I Need to Have Evidence of my Liability Insurance Coverage?
Within a reasonable amount of time after an incident has occurred, a person must present proof of liability insurance. It is not required that the gun owners carry proof of insurance at all times; however, if an incident were to occur, then they must eventually produce proof showing that they were covered by the insurance at the time of the incident. Much like other civil lawsuits, simply having an insurance policy of this kind is not considered an admission of guilt in and of itself, but rather, necessary to comply with the new law signed by Governor Murphy.
What Is Considered Sufficient Proof of Liability Insurance for the Purposes of the Statute?
A person is considered to have provided sufficient proof of liability insurance by delivering an entirely complete copy of the insurance policy that was in full effect within a reasonable amount of time of the gun-related incident. It must have been the relevant policy in place that covers the incident that has occurred, which includes any property damage, death, and/or injury as a result of the firearm incident.
What Does Disclosure of My Liability Insurance Policy Mean?
Disclosing such information to those requesting it does not act as an admission of guilt, as previously mentioned. The information contained in the insurance policy that is produced in an effort to satisfy the proof of liability insurance requirement cannot be used as evidence in open court or during a trial. It is simply used to display the permit holder’s compliance with the new law. Disclosing the information of the policy is only made to the alleged victim, their representative, the and/or the owner of any property damaged or their attorney and their staff. The policy disclosure is also kept strictly confidential. Disclosing the policy to the applicable party also does not automatically ensure that the alleged incident falls under the purview of the insurance policy.
What Happens if I Fail to Comply with the New Insurance Requirements in the Law?
Failing to have liability insurance covering amounting to at least $300,000 in the event of an injury, death, or property damage resulting from a carried firearm, can result in a fourth degree indictable offense, as well as civil liability. A fourth degree offense in the state of New Jersey carries up to an eighteen month prison sentence and fines in excess of several thousand dollars, reaching up to $10,000.
Most importantly, failure to oblige by these new requirements constitutes an indictable crime of the fourth degree, similar to a felony in other states. It also provides for an immediate revocation of any carry permit possessed by the violator.
Do I Need an Experienced Attorney for These Complex Matters?
Having an experienced attorney represent you for these extremely specific matters is of the utmost importance. Only an experienced attorney will help navigate the new legislation for you, poking holes in any cases against you and/or strengthening your case in support of compliance with the law if you are charged with a fourth degree crime for failing to have the necessary insurance to carry your gun. Most importantly, an experienced New Jersey gun attorney can help to ensure your compliance with the many new requirements imposed by the new law, including the purchase of specific liability insurance, by informing you about all of the criteria for a firearm permit in the state of New Jersey. A lawyer with knowledge of the complexity of permit restrictions, requirements, and procedures can help with everything from your application, to your gun permit appeal if your application is denied, to criminal charges for failing to have a permit in compliance with the laws of NJ, which are becoming more stringent by the day.
Contact our exceptional team of NJ firearms attorneys for help understanding, asserting, and defending your gun rights today. For a free consultation, call us at (201) 614-2474.