Filed Under: Politics

First-of-its-kind move: San Jose to require liability insurance for gun owners

By

The San Jose City Council voted Tuesday night to pass a two-part ordinance, the first of which would require gun owners in the city to get liability insurance. San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo said gun owners who don’t get insurance will be fined but won’t lose their guns or face criminal charges. The ordinance does not apply to to current and retired law enforcement officers or those with a license to carry concealed weapons.

The second part of the ordinance would also require gun owners to pay an estimated $25 fee. The money would go to “violence prevention initiatives” like “reducing domestic violence” and providing “mental health services and other kinds of services, particularly to households in which a gun is owned.”

The ordinance is part of a broader gun control plan Liccardo announced following a mass shooting at a San Jose rail yard last May. It’s also part of a trend in Democratic-led cities to rein in gun violence through stricter rules.

“We can’t wait for Congress. Cities are stepping up throughout the country. States are increasingly stepping up as well,” Liccardo said.

According to a national nonprofit that advocates against gun violence, while similar laws have been proposed, San Jose is the first city to pass one.

“I look forward to supporting the efforts of others to replicate these initiatives across the nation,” Liccardo said in a statement.

The liability insurance ordinance for gun owners will almost certainly be challenged in court. Opponents say it infringes on their right to bear arms.

“California either affects or infects what happens throughout the country. In this case, we would look at this as an unconstitutional infection that we want to stop here,” said Sam Paredes, the executive director of Gun Owners of California. “So there will be a lawsuit filed asking for an injunction that will prevent this from going into effect and then ultimately having the ordinance declared unconstitutional and overturned.”

Paredes went on to say “we are concerned about victims of gun violence, but we are not to blame.” He added that the order “in essence, assigns blame to lawful gun owners.”

Gwen Baumgardner: IT’S A FIRST-OF-ITS-KIND GUN CONTROL MEASURE.
TUESDAY NIGHT — THE SAN JOSE CITY COUNCIL VOTING TO REQUIRE GUN OWNERS TO CARRY LIABILITY INSURANCE.
THE DECISION COMES AFTER A SAN JOSE RAILYARD EMPLOYEE OPENED FIRE AT HIS WORKPLACE IN JUNE OF LAST YEAR — KILLING NINE PEOPLE.
SAN JOSE’S MAYOR SAYS THE ORDINANCE WILL ENCOURAGE GUN OWNERS TO HAVE GUN SAFES, INSTALL TRIGGER LOCKS AND TAKE GUN SAFETY CLASSES.
Mayor Sam Liccardo // (D) San Jose: “We want to encourage folks to deploy approaches that will reduce gun harm in their own communities. We’re going to learn from each other. We’re going to take the best ideas and hopefully scale them.”
Gwen Baumgardner: THE ORDINANCE IS ALMOST CERTAIN TO FACE LEGAL CHALLENGES.
OPPONENTS SAY IT INFRINGES ON THEIR RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS — AND PLACES THE BLAME FOR GUN VIOLENCE ON LAWFUL GUN OWNERS.
Sam Paredes // Executive Director, Gun Owners of California: “California either affects or infects what happens throughout the country. In this case, we would look at this as an unconstitutional infection that we want to stop here.”

Gwen Baumgardner: IT IS IMPORTANT TO NOTE, GUN OWNERS WHO DON’T HAVE INSURANCE WON’T LOSE THEIR GUNS — OR FACE CRIMINAL CHARGES. RATHER, THE INSURANCE IS MEANT TO PROTECT THE OWNER FROM FROM ANY ACCIDENTAL USE OF THEIR FIREARM THAT RESULTS IN DEATH, INJURY, OR PROPERTY DAMAGE.

THE ORDINANCE DOES NOT APPLY TO CURRENT AND RETIRED LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS — OR THOSE WITH A LICENSE TO CARRY CONCEALED WEAPONS.

The San Jose City Council voted Tuesday night to pass a two-part ordinance, the first of which would require gun owners in the city to get liability insurance. San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo said gun owners who don’t get insurance will be fined but won’t lose their guns or face criminal charges. The ordinance does not apply to to current and retired law enforcement officers or those with a license to carry concealed weapons.

The second part of the ordinance would also require gun owners to pay an estimated $25 fee. The money would go to “violence prevention initiatives” like “reducing domestic violence” and providing “mental health services and other kinds of services, particularly to households in which a gun is owned.”

The ordinance is part of a broader gun control plan Liccardo announced following a mass shooting at a San Jose rail yard last May. It’s also part of a trend in Democratic-led cities to rein in gun violence through stricter rules.

“We can’t wait for Congress. Cities are stepping up throughout the country. States are increasingly stepping up as well,” Liccardo said.

According to a national nonprofit that advocates against gun violence, while similar laws have been proposed, San Jose is the first city to pass one.

“I look forward to supporting the efforts of others to replicate these initiatives across the nation,” Liccardo said in a statement.

The liability insurance ordinance for gun owners will almost certainly be challenged in court. Opponents say it infringes on their right to bear arms.

“California either affects or infects what happens throughout the country. In this case, we would look at this as an unconstitutional infection that we want to stop here,” said Sam Paredes, the executive director of Gun Owners of California. “So there will be a lawsuit filed asking for an injunction that will prevent this from going into effect and then ultimately having the ordinance declared unconstitutional and overturned.”

Paredes went on to say “we are concerned about victims of gun violence, but we are not to blame.” He added that the order “in essence, assigns blame to lawful gun owners.”

Recent Reports


Get unbiased straight facts, context, and perspective!