Dangerous and unconstitutional: NJ governor bans sale of insurance to gun owners

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Just when we thought that no one could out do California or New York in the category of idiotic gun-control measure, in walks New Jersey. Here is their latest attempt to circumvent the 2nd Amendment and discourage responsible gun use by trying to make self-defense too costly a choice.

We’re just learning about an executive order that the governor issued in September that effectively banned the sale of insurance products that provide liability coverage to gun owners making it virtually impossible for concealed carry holders in New Jersey to get coverage.

Governor Phil Murphy’s order specifically said the state should, within 30 days, take all appropriate 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,” according to a press release from the governor’s office.

As a result of this latest bout with lunacy, the U.S. Concealed Carry Association (USCCA) announced in early October that it would have to:

“Pull their services off the shelf for New Jersey gun owners.”

While USCCA, and other groups like them, is not an insurance company, the organization (of which I am a member) does offer concealed-carry liability insurance to its members in the event they are compelled to use their weapons in self-defense.

The problem is that states like New Jersey want to regulate organizations like USCCA because they list their membership as “beneficiaries” of their coverage, the press release explained.

And for that reason, they’re regulated by the state much like an insurance company.

That means that USCCA had no choice but to pull out of New Jersey or risk doing battle with the state’s Attorney General’s Office.

The governor’s press release proudly touted a consent order for a $1 million fine against one such company that had encouraged “the improper use of firearms,” according to New Jersey’s standard.

“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,” the release said.

It went on to justify 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.”

Carry Guard insurance was created and marketed to be self-defense coverage for lawful gun carriers but anti-gun activists labeled it “murder insurance” and that’s exactly how the state treated it.

Murphy’s executive order also directed state officials to ask all gun makers or retailers to reveal whether they have adopted best practices to reduce gun violence, and to find out how they 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.”

The governor’s office said the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance would scrutinize all liability insurance offered in the state that encouraged the improper use of firearms.

However, the executive order did not define what the state considered “improper use of firearms” other than its obvious objection to concealed carry.

This order eliminates the financial protection that groups like USCCA afford law-abiding citizens of New Jersey. Anyone who uses a weapon to defend themselves, wounding or killing an assailant, will likely face a criminal trial, a wrongful-death civil suit, or both. The battles they face are not easy and they certainly are not cheap.

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The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) said that Murphy’s executive order also exceeds the governor’s authority 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.

New Jersey State Treasurer Elizabeth Maher Muoio is standing behind the governor’s executive order, saying that it is “using the power of our purse strings to set an example for others,” the press release said.

“The executive order being signed today will ensure that taxpayer dollars are being used wisely to procure goods and services from companies that act responsibly when it comes to firearms and ammunition and to create an opportunity for local and county governments who want to follow our lead,” Muoio said.

Much to Muoio’s chagrin, Murphy signed another executive order (also back in September) that leverages the state’s purchasing power to coerce gun retailers, manufacturers, and financial institutions to comply with a more stringent gun-control regime.

Murphy’s order states that gun violence is a crisis with nearly 100,000-gun related incidents in the US, and over 2,000 shootings each year in New Jersey. It goes on to break down the numbers for the Garden State:

280 homicides, 184 suicides, 764 non-fatal interpersonal and 599 accidental shootings per year.

This totals 1,874, which is slightly less than the ‘over 2,000’ indicated in Murphy’s order.

Crowe continues, saying that under the executive order, the state, which purchases an estimated $70 million in firearms and related equipment annually, will refuse to do business with gun manufacturers and retailers that lack policies that deny guns to people with a history of mental illness or domestic abuse.

Retailers that wish to keep the state’s business will be required to prevent, detect and screen for the transfer of firearms to straw purchasers or firearm traffickers.

Murphy’s order will also deny the roughly $1 billion in financial-transaction fees the state pays annually to banks that have relationships with gun manufacturers and retailers that adhere to permissive policies.

New Jersey already has strict gun-control laws in place that require retailers to perform background checks, but the new policy will apply to out-of-state companies that are not bound by New Jersey laws.

And now, with each of the Democratic candidates swearing that they will immediately sign legislation into law that takes away guns from law-abiding citizens, they refuse to acknowledge that criminals who perpetrate these acts of violence do not follow the law to begin with.

But I am not sure that Congress needs to do anything. I think that the mainstream media and social media are working equally as hard to suppress the firearms industry by effectively silencing 2A voices, limiting their exposure and reach and in some instances, downright banning them.

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