A prominent health insurance industry executive has been tapped by Gov. Phil Murphy as a senior adviser on firearms-safety issues.
At a Monday press conference, Murphy said Bill Castner, former Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey’s senior vice president of corporate and regulatory affairs, will represent New Jersey in a multi-state consortium seeking to clamp down on gun violence. The Regional Gun Violence Research Consortium also includes representatives of Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Delaware and Puerto Rico.
The states will gather intelligence, collaborate and pool together information on gun violence, according to the governor’s office.
“This groundbreaking consortium fills the void left by the federal government's 1996 ban on the use of federal funds to study gun violence, which has obstructed research efforts across the nation, including at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health,” the office said.
Castner will play an active role in the consortium, where he will help the administration “advance new common-sense gun measures and potential avenues for legal challenges to stop the scourge of gun violence,” Murphy said.
For at least the first couple months, Castner will be involved on a pro bono basis, according to Murphy, during which he’ll take the time to gauge legislation, regulations and executive orders which could be “tuned up.”
Castner’s previous professional roles also include serving as chief counsel to former Gov. Jon Corzine.