Gun Owners in San Jose Outraged They’ll Have to Buy Insurance, Like Drivers - DMT NEWS

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Gun Owners in San Jose Outraged They’ll Have to Buy Insurance, Like Drivers

Owning a gun in the city of San Jose will soon have a lot in common with owning a car.

In two landslide votes Tuesday night, the San Jose City Council approved a first-of-its-kind law that mandates gun owners buy and maintain liability insurance and pay an annual feee. The vote for the annual fee passed 8 to 3 while the insurance vote passed 10 to 1.

“Now, we know that law-abiding drivers might benefit from auto insurance because it incentivizes us all to drive more safely, invest in safer cars, anti-lock brakes, and a host of other measures,” San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo told the Los Angeles Times.

The two measures are aimed at encouraging safer gun ownership and reducing gun violence, according to Liccardo. Gun liability insurance would cover unintended firearm-related accidents and damages, according to the ordinance. Among the costs of emergency response, victim assistance, and more, gun violence runs city taxpayers as much as $442 million a year, according to the mayor’s office

While many insurance companies and firearm associations offer some kind of coverage for gun owners, it’s unclear how many Americans actually have it.

The annual gun fees, on the other hand, which would total $25 per person, according to the Associated Press, would go toward a nonprofit focused on firearm safety training, mental health services, domestic violence, and suicide prevention.

The mayor first proposed the idea for these new requirements following the horrific mass shooting at the Garlic Festival in Gilroy, California, that left four dead, including the gunman, and 17 injured. Liccardo returned to the idea after a lone gunman left nine dead in a San Jose rail yard last May.

But San Jose gun rights advocates are furious about the measure. Within the hour of the vote’s passage, the National Association for Gun Rights filed a federal lawsuit against the city in protest of the proposal, calling it the actions of “ultra-‘woke’ lefty gun grabbers.”

“They want to tax law-abiding gun owners simply for exercising their Second Amendment rights,” a statement on their website says. “This is just as unthinkable as imposing a ‘free speech tax’ or a ‘church attendance tax.’”

The organization is already collecting donations for the legal battle ahead and warned pro-gun citizens that this probably won’t be the last bill of its kind.

“If these gun grabbers get away with taxing the right to own a gun, every left-leaning local government across the country will quickly follow,” NAFGR warns on their website.

Shane Patrick Connolly, the chairman of the Santa Clara County GOP, called the new law unconstitutional in an interview with VICE News.

“We want to tax the people and make them pay higher insurance because they're following the rules,” Connolly said. “And yet, there's people running around there who are committing most of the offenses with unregistered unlicensed guns. And those are the people who we need to hold accountable.”

Connolly also said that the county would be better served if the government invested funds in mental health and gun safety education without having to place the financial burden on citizens.

“It makes it more difficult, for especially the poorest in the community, to exercise a constitutional right,” he added.

The law is expected to pass a ratification vote next month on Feb. 8 and will then take effect Aug. 8, 2022.

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via https://www.DMT.NEWS

Trone Dowd, Khareem Sudlow