New Jersey’s top lawmakers unveiled sweeping gun legislation Thursday that would significantly restrict when and where guns can be carried outside of the home, a bill they touted as “the nation’s strongest measure concerning concealed carry.”
The bill would, among other things, require people wanting to carry guns in public to purchase liability insurance — the first statewide mandate of its kind in the nation should the bill become law — and banning guns from being carried in 25 broad categories, including but not limited to government buildings, health care facilities, airports, casinos and private properties where the owners have not given express permission to have guns. Violations would be deemed a third-degree crime.
“My personal belief is that our way of life is being threatened, essentially, by certain things that have gone on in the federal government,” state Senate President Nick Scutari said during a Statehouse press conference announcing the proposal. “We need to address that [with this] particular piece of legislation that we’re going to drop today.”
Gov. Phil Murphy has vowed to sign the measure, which comes in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling earlier this year which effectively broadened the scope of who can carry guns in public. The proposal outlined on Thursday broadly mirrors what Murphy, a progressive Democrat, has previously proposed in response to the Supreme Court’s decision.