Democratic lawmakers introduced legislation in New Jersey on Friday that would add further restrictions on gun ownership, such as bans on regions where guns can be carried and a new liability insurance mandate.
The bill requires that gun owners purchase liability insurance for any damage that may be caused by their use, as well as banning the possession of guns from a variety of locations such as government buildings, casinos and hospitals. The bill is part of a broad push by Democratic states to restrict gun laws after the Supreme Court’s decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen.
The bill would also require prospective gun owners to take an “online course of instruction, in-person classroom instruction, and target training administered by a certified firearm instructor” in order to obtain a carry permit for a pistol, as well as provide their social media history to local police for review.
The legislation, known tentatively as the “Permit To Carry Bill,” was sponsored by Democratic State Senate President Nick Scutari, who in a press conference said “that our way of life is being threatened” by gun availability, which made the restrictions necessary. “The Governor looks forward to signing this bill into law after it moves through the legislative process,” said Alyana Alfaro-Post, a spokesperson for Murphy, in a statement to the Associated Press.
The legislation explicitly cited the Bruen decision, which voided New York State’s requirement that gun permit applicants justify the need to own a firearm before being approved. The Court ruled that the law violated the Second Amendment, with Justice Clarence Thomas writing that “the exercise of constitutional rights does not require individuals to demonstrate some special need.”
New York, in response, enacted a new law to add stringent requirements to purchase a weapon and obtain a permit for possession. New Jersey had an analogous provision to demonstrate need that was voided by the Supreme Court’s decision, and the “Permit To Carry Bill” closely mirrors New York’s law.
Support for the law in the legislature has starkly split along party lines. In the New Jersey General Assembly, Republican Leader John DiMaio told Politico the measure was “another instance where law-abiding citizens are the target of Democrats.”
“These attacks by New Jersey lawmakers on right to carry are a big middle finger to the U.S Supreme Court,” said Scott Bach, director of the Association of New Jersey Rifle & Pistol Clubs, which indicated that it would likely mount a challenge to the new law, should it be enacted. Though the General Assembly Speaker, Craig Coughlin, has said that the bill would receive a vote in the chamber by Oct. 27, Scutari said he “could not say the same.”
The Office of the Governor of New Jersey did not respond to a request for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.
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