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Announcing the First-Ever Gun Insurance Requirement in San Jose, CA

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January 26, 2022 Firm News

Should there be gun insurance required in order to cover gun-related harm? The city of San Jose in California certainly thought so! Tuesday night, they voted to require gun owners to carry liability insurance and pay an annual fee of about $25.

“The San Jose City Council overwhelmingly approved the measure despite opposition from gun owners who said it would violate their Second Amendment rights and promised to sue.” – CBS News

Although most in favor of this motion would assume and argue this would help decrease gun violence, this liability insurance was first proposed to increase gun safety. By requiring liability insurance, their hopes were to ensure owners have taken a gun safety class, have a safe for their gun, install trigger locks, etc. Silicon Valley Public Accountability Foundation Jonathan Flemming stated,” We do not believe that this proposal will stop gun violence at all.”

What would this liability insurance cover? According to CBS News:

The liability insurance would cover losses or damages resulting from any accidental use of the firearm, including death, injury, or property damage, according to the ordinance. If a gun is stolen or lost, the owner of the firearm would be considered liable until the theft or loss is reported to authorities.

Not only did they vote for liability insurance for gun owners, but an annual fee on top of that.

The council also voted to require gun owners to pay an estimated $25 fee, which would be collected by a yet-to-be-named nonprofit and doled out to community groups to be used for firearm safety education and training, suicide prevention and domestic violence and mental health services.

Where would people go to purchase this liability insurance? CBS San Francisco BayArea reports that it could actually just be purchased through homeowner’s or renter’s insurance, and would cover anyone in the gun owner’s household. However, the problem of illegally obtained or stolen weapons was not addressed.

This poses another question; will owners who don’t purchase insurance or pay the annual fee lose their guns or face criminal charges? According to the mayor, nope!

What do you think? Do you think it’s a step in the right direction? If not, what would you propose?