San Jose Mayor Pushes Law Requiring People Pay Insurance For Right To Own Guns

San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo said that gun owners should pay for the costs associated with gun violence.

San Jose, CA – The mayor of the nation’s 10th largest city has proposed legislation that would require gun owners to either pay for liability insurance or be slapped with a fee to help pay for the costs of gun violence.

“Gun ownership is an inherently dangerous activity,” San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo declared during a recent press conference at City Hall, according to The Mercury News. “We have to protect our communities.”

“Under current Supreme Court rulings, the 2nd Amendment to the US Constitution protects the right to keep and bear arms,” Liccardo continued, according to The Hill. “However, the Constitution does not require taxpayers to subsidize that individual choice.”

“The cost of city police and emergency services required to address gun violence should be paid by gun owners, not all taxpayers,” he declared.

Liccardo said that under his plan, accidental discharges of firearms and “intentional acts” committed by people who steal or use someone else’s gun would be covered by the firearm owner’s liability insurance, The Mercury News reported.

The mayor admitted that insurance providers won’t cover “intentional conduct” committed by the actual gun owner.

“With this measure, we won’t suddenly end gun violence,” Liccardo told reporters, according to The Mercury News. “But we’re going to stop paying for it.”

He also pushed for sales tax increases on firearms and ammunition, and said that those funds could be used to pay for victims’ services, various gun violence prevention programs, and cash rewards for people who turn in citizens who have obtained firearms illegally.

Liccardo urged city leaders to find a way to create a program that would allow parents to have law enforcement search their property or their children, The Mercury News reported.

If gun owners are unable to afford liability insurance, they would be charged a fee, he suggested.

The requirement would not apply to sworn law enforcement officers, according to CNN.

The mayor claimed that his proposals are no different than liability insurance requirements for motorists, The Mercury News reported.

But driving a car is not a constitutionally-protected right.

He also likened his ideas to the taxes that are imposed on tobacco to help discourage use.

"We require motorists to carry automobile insurance, and the insurance industry appropriately encourages and rewards safe driver behavior,” Liccardo said, according to CNN. “We tax tobacco consumption both to discourage risky behavior and to make sure non-smokers are not forced to subsidize the substantial public health costs generated by smoking-related illnesses and deaths.”

"These successful public health models inspire a similar 'harm reduction' approach for firearms," the mayor added.

But supporters of the Second Amendment have vowed to sue the city if Liccardo’s proposals become law.

Attorney George Lee, who represents firearm groups, said that the mayor’s ideas are “really misguided,” The Mercury News reported.

Lee argued that Liccardo’s claim that insurance companies will cover “intentional acts” committed by people who steal or use someone else’s firearm is false, and said that such legislation would do nothing to bring an end to mass shootings.

The only people who would be punished would be legal gun owners.

“It’s yet another burden on gun owners,” Lee told The Mercury News.

Liccardo’s proposals are a long way off from becoming law, and would need to be approved by the City Council and voters before anything could be enacted.

“I would be lying if I said to you that the insurance companies are enthusiastic about this,” he told The New York Times.

The mayor also admitted that new technology would need to be developed in order to handle a fee system in order for the city to avoid creating a gun registry, which would be a violation of state law, The Mercury News reported.

“If we prove up this innovative solution and scale it across other cities and states, the history of ‘harm reduction’ efforts instructs that we can make a long-term impact,” he declared.

San Jose Vice Mayor Chappie Jones said he knows that “there is going to be a lot of strong opposition,” but that he supports Liccardo’s proposals, The Mercury News reported.

Assemblyman David Chiu said he is also backing the mayor’s efforts.

“Since Trump and his Republican allies have abdicated their responsibility to address our country’s gun violence crisis, cities and states must lead,” Chiu declared. “I applaud Mayor Liccardo and San Jose’s bold leadership on this innovative solution.”

Comments (82)
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Markb4070
Markb4070

Why should the gun owner be responsible for someone else criminal behavior?? Wait this IS CA. THE CRIMINAL IS NEVER RESPONSIBLE!!

No. 26-42
asillyrabbit551
asillyrabbit551

how will you enforce this with the Bloods, Crips, MS13, the outlaw motorcycle gangs, organized crime such as the cartels? Or is it just the honest gun owners that you'll go after??

HAWAIIBLUE
HAWAIIBLUE

What next California? How about holding the criminals families accountable for what their imprisoned or dead “loved one” caused or damaged? They’ll definitely try and sue everyone and anything to get one last drop of money. Or how about worry about the mental health issues this nation is dealing with? You won’t mayor, because it doesn’t fit your agenda to your next stepping stone to where you want to get to. Is “gun right insurance” really a big issue here? Or is it a jump on the bandwagon to show the people that you seem as if you care?

Dmos1357
Dmos1357

More stupid and intrusive legislation, proposed by the state that leads the nation in stupid and intrusive legislation.

Jimmyd2
Jimmyd2

I don't own a firearm. Explain to me why my tax dollars should be used to pay for EMS and police responses to children using a firearm loaded and stored in a nightstand , stolen in a burglary and subsequently used to commit a violent crime, etc. The cost of firearm ownership to society at large should be borne by those who choose to possess firearms. I don't think it is any different than driving a car. There should be an exam administered to have a firearm owner demonstrate they understand how to safely store them, that they can competently use them and understand the hazards associated with owning them. Insurance and taxes shift the cost to from all of us to those who don't want to own guns. I drink alcohol. I drink responsibly. Yet I'm taxed significantly for alcohol when I purchases it for all the medical, drunk driver and other burdens that alcohol inflicts on society. Same with tobacco and many things that are legal. You have to man up and pay what it costs and not expect other to pick up the tab.