A California mayor wants to require all gun owners to have liability insurance

In the wake of...

Posted: Aug 13, 2019 8:33 AM

In the wake of mass shootings around the country, the mayor of one California city wants to require all gun owners to carry liability insurance for their weapons -- or pay a fee to help shoulder the public costs of gun violence.

San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo proposed the local ordinance on Monday, and if passed by the city council, it could become the nation's first such requirement. Similar state legislation is also being considered in Massachusetts and New York.

The proposal comes just two weeks after a shooting left three people dead and injured more than 12 in Gilroy, California -- about thirty miles away from San Jose.

Offering just "thoughts and prayers" was not enough for the San Jose mayor after two families in his city lost children in the Gilroy shooting.

"While this is far from a complete solution, it is something we can do to reduce the harms of firearms, without waiting for Congress to take action," Mayor Liccardo said in a press release.

According to Liccardo's proposal, the insurance would cover "accidental discharge of the gun, and for the intentional acts of third parties who steal, borrow, or otherwise acquire the gun." It would not cover "liability of the policyholder for his or her own intentional conduct."

The requirement will not apply to sworn employees of law enforcement agencies.

Firearm owners unable to purchase liability insurance will be able to pay a fee instead. This payment would compensate taxpayers for the public costs of gun violence in San Jose, according to the press release from the mayor's office.

Some public costs of gun violence include emergency medical response, hospitalization and treatment, rehabilitation and physical therapy, incident response, and prosecution expenses.

"With this measure, we won't suddenly end gun violence. But we're going to stop paying for it," said Liccardo.

In addition to the insurance requirement, Liccardo proposed a gun and ammunition sales tax to fund gun safety classes, violence prevention programs, and additional victim assistance services for survivors of gun violence.

Working with the Santa Clara County district attorney's office, Liccardo plans to come up with a consent-to-search program for juveniles. This would allow parents to consent to have local law enforcement search their homes for any weapons owned by their dependents. It would also allow police to "seize those weapons, in exchange for an agreement not to prosecute the dependent for unlawful possession of the firearm or weapon," the press release says.

Another program the mayor proposed involves offering cash rewards to anyone who reports someone possessing any guns or weapons obtained unlawfully.

Liccardo compares his approach to drivers having car insurance and imposing taxes on tobacco products.

"We require motorists to carry automobile insurance, and the insurance industry appropriately encourages and rewards safe driver behavior. 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," said Liccardo.

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

The mayor's proposals will undergo a preliminary approval on Wednesday before being presented to the San Jose City Council.

CNN has reached out to the National Rifle Association for a comment.

West Lafayette
Clear
52° wxIcon
Hi: 68° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 52°
Kokomo
Clear
47° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 44°
Rensselaer
Clear
46° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 41°
Fowler
Clear
46° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 41°
Williamsport
Clear
48° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 45°
Crawfordsville
Clear
46° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 44°
Frankfort
Clear
47° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 43°
Delphi
Clear
47° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 44°
Monticello
Clear
47° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 44°
Logansport
Clear
46° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 44°
Bright and Breezy with Unseasonably Cooler Conditions.
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 108646

Reported Deaths: 3478
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion20341757
Lake10013312
Elkhart6198106
St. Joseph586796
Allen5785198
Hamilton4600109
Vanderburgh318126
Hendricks2607120
Monroe224336
Johnson2241122
Tippecanoe211313
Clark205056
Porter197843
Cass19209
Delaware180159
Vigo169621
Madison153075
LaPorte134837
Floyd127961
Howard125163
Kosciusko116717
Bartholomew113257
Warrick104134
Marshall97423
Boone93846
Dubois92118
Hancock89242
Noble86432
Grant85132
Henry73424
Jackson7259
Wayne72214
Morgan68038
Shelby65529
LaGrange62811
Daviess61627
Dearborn61428
Clinton59111
Harrison54824
Putnam5098
Lawrence49928
Montgomery49421
White47114
Knox4659
Decatur44739
Gibson4344
DeKalb42511
Miami4202
Greene40935
Fayette40413
Jasper3732
Scott34410
Steuben3447
Sullivan32612
Jennings30512
Franklin29225
Posey2900
Clay2855
Orange27924
Ripley2768
Carroll26713
Wabash2547
Washington2491
Whitley2456
Wells2422
Starke2387
Jefferson2363
Adams2303
Fulton2292
Tipton21522
Huntington2073
Randolph2047
Perry20014
Spencer1984
Jay1640
Newton16411
Owen1621
Martin1560
Rush1484
Pike1331
Vermillion1210
Fountain1152
Pulaski1121
Blackford1072
Crawford980
Brown933
Parke902
Benton880
Union760
Ohio757
Switzerland660
Warren381
Unassigned0225

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events