Back in June, the San Jose City Council conditionally approved a raft of gun-control measures proposed by current mayor Sam Liccardo.
Included was a mandate for gun owners to purchase firearms liability insurance.
Most responsible gun owners already have standard insurance that covers them in the case of a firearm-related accident. But that’s not what this is.
This is forcing law-abiding gun owners to pay premiums to foot the bill for the acts of criminals.
Putting aside the obvious legal issues that such a scheme raises, questions emerged as to how the city would enforce it, especially given the fact that there is no universal state or federal gun registry that includes the names and addresses of every single gun owner living in San Jose.
Well, we’re now getting answers. Sort of.
“We will rely on reactive enforcement, in the same way that California relies on reactive enforcement for auto insurance mandates, i.e., if you get pulled over for speeding you have to show proof of insurance,” Rachel Davis, a spokesperson for the mayor told San Jose Spotlight.
Being pulled over for speeding on a public road is one thing. But how does law enforcement go about stopping or detaining one for exercising a fundamental right?
Police Chief Anthony Mata provided the following response at a June 30th council meeting.
“During our normal course of duty, if we come across a firearm we will ask the owner if they have insurance,” said Chief Mata.
Uninsured gun owners will be punished. Penalties include being charged with a civil offense, a fine, and, possibly, the confiscation of one’s firearms.
Apart from this “reactive enforcement,” the city expects all gun owners to voluntarily upload proof of insurance to a government portal. Fees will also be required as part of the process.
The firearms insurance mandate is not yet law. The City Council will be conducting a final vote on the measure this Fall.
The National Foundation for Gun Rights (NFGR), a pro-gun organization, has promised to sue if the city moves forward with its mission to criminalize the uninsured gun owner, as GunsAmerica previously reported.
“This a full-frontal assault on lawful gun owners by the gun control zealots running the city of San Jose,” said Dudley Brown, Executive Director of the NFGR, in a press release. “The city brazenly admits in their own press release that the burden of extra insurance and fees will ONLY be on the law-abiding.”
Stay tuned for updates.