The City of San Jose, California approved a new requirement for gun owners to have liability insurance and pay a fee that would support a non-profit gun education charity. The liability insurance idea is similar to requiring car owners carry insurance, but gun rights groups say the big difference is that gun ownership is a constitutional right.
“Certainly the Second Amendment protects every citizen’s right to own a gun. It does not require taxpayers to subsidize that right,” Democratic Mayor Sam Liccardo said Monday at a news conference, estimating that San Jose residents incur about $442 million in gun-related costs each year.
Mass shootings have impelled Liccardo to push the fee and insurance measures — first after the 2019 slayings at a festival in nearby Gilroy, California, then following last year’s deadly siege at public transit facility in his city. The mayor has compared the plan to car insurance mandates, which he credits with dramatically reducing traffic fatalities.
San Jose city council after the June mass shooting unanimously approved drafting the ordinance, mayoral spokesperson Rachel Davis said Monday in a news release. If it’s approved Tuesday and on the second reading February 8, it would take effect August 8.
Just 52% of Americans polled in late 2021 said “laws covering the sales of firearms” should be stricter, the lowest number Gallup has measured on the question since 2014. Meanwhile, there is a direct correlation in states with weaker gun laws and higher rates of gun deaths, including homicides, suicides and accidental killings, a study released Thursday by Everytown for Gun Safety found.