This would be a first in the country. In the northern California city of San José, gun owners may be required to carry liability insurance and pay fees. A decree was examined Tuesday in first reading by the municipal council. The authorities do not intend to limit the purchase of firearms, but the physical damage that they regularly cause as well as the financial cost that this entails for the community.
“San Jose has the opportunity to become a model for the rest of the nation by investing in strategies to reduce gun violence, domestic violence, suicide and the many other preventable harms caused by guns in our communities” , the city’s mayor, Sam Liccardo, said during a press conference on Monday, reports the Los Angeles Times. “Other similar laws have been proposed, but San Jose would be the first city in the country to pass one, according to Brady United, a national nonprofit that campaigns against gun violence,” the daily continued.
The initiative is part of a vast control plan announced by the mayor of the city after a shooting on May 26. An employee of a public transport company had killed eight people on the company’s site before killing himself. “Third party liability insurance would cover loss or damage resulting from any negligent or accidental use of the firearm, including death, personal injury or property damage, according to the order,” details the Los Angeles Times.
“We have seen how insurance has reduced road deaths over the decades, for example with financial incentives to promote safe driving and the purchase of cars fitted with airbags and anti-lock braking systems” , emphasizes underlined Sam Liccardo. “Similarly, gun insurance currently available on the market can adjust the amount to encourage owners to keep their guns in a safe, install locking systems and take safety courses,” he continues. .
40,000 people shot dead every year
Firearms are commonplace in the United States where about 40% of adults live in a household with at least one weapon, according to the Pew Research Center organization. Nearly 23 million firearms were sold in the country in 2020 and an estimated 40,000 people are shot and killed each year (including suicides).
Despite this devastation and the fact that a majority of Americans say they favor stricter gun controls, politicians have failed to toughen the laws on the matter, opponents invoking the Constitution and the protection of their freedoms individual.
“While the 2nd Amendment protects the right of all citizens to own a gun, it does not stipulate that the taxpayer must subsidize this right”, notes Sam Liccardo. The San José City Council estimates the cost of gun violence to the city at around $40 million per year (police, rescue, investigations, etc.).