The New York State Legislature will consider a bill this year that would require gun owners in the state to purchase liability insurance.
Such proposals aren’t new in the anti-gun world (New York included), but the policy received new life this year when San Jose became the first jurisdiction in the country to impose this requirement on gun owners. The measure is the subject of multiple lawsuits, so it’s unclear whether it will be allowed to proceed.
The New York bill, S4946, amends insurance law to require firearm owners to obtain and continuously maintain a $1,000,000 policy of liability insurance to cover any damages resulting from “negligent acts involving the use of such firearm.”
Current firearm owners in New York will have 30 days from the effective date of the law to obtain a policy.
Failure to obtain an insurance policy will result in the “immediate revocation of such owner’s registration, license and any other privilege to own such a firearm.”
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The San Jose City Council passed a similar ordinance despite fierce and overwhelming public opposition, and the initial reaction in New York appears to be the same. In the comments section under the legislation, 45 of 45 reactions are negative and all six comments are in opposition.
“Will the gang members and drug dealers also be required to purchase liability insurance for their illegal guns? Or just the legal, law-abiding gun owners?” asked one commenter.
“This is an unfortunate piece of legislation that places undue financial burden upon otherwise law-abiding citizens who have neither committed any crime nor shown neglect or higher risk for encouraging or committing gun-related crimes,” said another. “This bill only serves to place an indirect tax upon licensed gun owners, in a thinly-veiled attempt to discourage legal gun ownership, forcing them to pay for the crimes of others who possess and use illegally-obtained firearms.”
As usual, this isn’t the only piece of anti-gun legislation in the New York legislature this year.
- S7066/A00581 would require proof of liability insurance prior to issuing a license to carry a firearm.
- A9139/S1235 would establish a 10-day waiting period for the purchase of any firearm.
- A8262 would require individuals to complete a five-hour firearm, rifle, and shotgun safety course before purchasing a firearm, rifle, shotgun, or ammunition.
- S5058/A5728 would prohibit the use of lead ammunition in the taking of wildlife on wildlife management areas, state forests, forest preserves, state parks or any other state-owned land that is open for hunting and on land contributing surface water to the New York city water supply.