On Monday, a majority of the Assembly Judiciary Committee advanced a bill that would enact some of the nation’s restricted gun laws for concealed carriers, including a new list of restricted places and requiring concealed carriers to have liability insurance.
After reading the bill, it just seems like they are using what they can to tighten restrictions for law-abiding citizens. Nothing I read in the bill seems like it would have any effect on criminals that carry guns to do bad things.
The first statement that jumped out was the following:
“To mitigate the impact of having more people carrying guns in public places, steps must be taken to better ensure that those who exercise the right to carry are responsible, law-abiding, and appropriately trained individuals who would not pose undue safety risks if armed in public places.”
So, you’re telling me that since there will be more people carrying guns since they can’t restrict people with a “probable cause” requirement when applying for a permit, you increase the requirements and restrictions? I guess it is safe to say that we knew this would happen. But if you are taking steps to “better ensure that those who exercise the right to carry are responsible, law-abiding, and appropriately trained individuals who would not pose undue safety risks if armed in public places,” then why are you adding so many more restricted places for them to carry?
Detailing New Jersey’s “Sensitive Places”
The bill states that since a “greater number of individuals will now qualify to carry handguns in public, it is now both necessary and appropriate to clearly identify in the law those sensitive places where, due to heightened public safety concerns, carrying a weapon of any kind, including a handgun, is not permissible.”
Some of the “sensitive places” listed are the usual schools, government buildings, etc. But it also restricts carrying in parks and other recreation spaces, including locations where children congregate, public transportation, bars or restaurants where alcohol is served, and entertainment facilities such as theaters, stadiums, museums, arenas, racetracks, or other places where performances, concerts, exhibits, games or contests are held.
A big one here is restricting firearm possession on private property when the owner has not given their consent. Basically, you won’t be able to carry on any private property that you don’t have permission to carry on unless they display a sign that states you are allowed to do so.
“…private property, including but not limited to residential, commercial, industrial, agricultural, institutional or undeveloped property, unless the owner has provided express consent or has posted a sign indicating that it is permissible to carry on the premises a concealed handgun with a valid and lawfully issued license under N.J.S.2C:58-4.”
Increasing Cost of New Jersey CCW by $150
The current cost of a New Jersey concealed carry permit is $50 for a two-year permit. If this bill passes, that will be raised to $200 for a two-year permit. So to protect the public, they are raising the cost of concealed carry permits by $150. How exactly is that going to help other than pricing certain people out of being able to obtain a concealed carry permit?
Requiring Liability Insurance for CCW Holders
This new bill will also require concealed carry holders to maintain liability insurance. While I always recommend having some type of concealed carry insurance, I don’t believe it should be a requirement. Again, this just raises the cost of having a concealed carry permit, albeit not by much. But when you start adding everything together (gun, ammo, holster, training, cost of permits, insurance, etc.), it can start getting expensive to exercise your second amendment rights.
Here are the coverage amounts they require a person to maintain:
- an amount or limit of $100,000, exclusive of interest and costs, on account of injury to, or death of, one person, in any one incident;
- an amount or limit, subject to such limit for any one person so injured or killed, of $300,000, exclusive of interest and costs, on account of injury to or death of, more than one person, in any one incident; and
- an amount or limit of $25,000, exclusive of interest and costs, for damage to property in any one incident.
Restricting the Type of Holsters?
There’s also a section that seems like it will set restrictions on the type of holster you can use when carrying concealed. First, here is their definition of “holster:
“For purposes of this section, “holster” means a device or sheath that secures a handgun which, at a minimum, is equipped with a retention strap, conceals and protects the main body of the firearm, maintains the firearm in a consistent and accessible position, and renders the trigger covered and inaccessible while the handgun is fully seated in the holster. “
Notice the part that says it must be equipped with a retention strap. I don’t know about you, but none of m concealed carry holsters have a retention strap. They do have some sort of retention but not a retention strap. Guess you’ll need to buy a cheap Uncle Mike’s nylon-fits-any-gun holster with a “retention strap.”
The holder of a permit to carry a handgun issued pursuant to N.J.S.2C:58-4 shall not:
(3) carry a handgun in public outside of a holster or carry a handgun in public in a holster that does not meet the requirements of subsection g. of N.J.S.2C:58-4;
This is definitely a bill to keep your eye on, especially if you live in New Jersey. It is expected to go before the full Assembly for a vote on Oct. 27, 2022.