City leaders in San Jose this week approved a multi-pronged gun-control scheme that infringes on the 2A rights of law-abiding citizens.
San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo drafted the plan which includes the following measures:
- Reducing Gun Harm through an Insurance Mandate: Insurance-based mechanisms can encourage firearm owners to behave more safely–by taking safety classes, using gun safes, installing trigger locks–and can compensate injured victims. Insurers have long used risk-adjusted premiums to reward good driving and incentivize use of airbags and other safety features, reducing per-mile auto fatalities by 80% in four decades. Similar approaches can mitigate gun risk, since4.6 million children live in a household where a gun is kept unlocked and loaded, and nearly 500 Americans also die from preventable, unintentional shootings every year, including many children.
- Reducing the Public Cost of Gun Violence: Direct costs of gun violence to California taxpayers for gunshot-related medical treatment, police response, ambulance transport, and the like exceeded $1.4 billion in 2018. Taxpayers should not subsidize the cost of the harm resulting from gun use. Requiring gun users to pay fees will help fund critical emergency medical and police response and reduce taxpayer burdens.
- Impounding Guns from Those Who Don’t Comply: Of course, criminals won’t obey these mandates. Yet together, these rules create a constitutionally-compliant mechanism to enable law enforcement to impound guns from high-risk individuals unwilling to follow the law.
- Gun Violence Restraining Orders (GVRO): Increasing public education, updating law enforcement training, and sponsoring state legislation to strengthen compliance with GVRO’s, and to enhance sanctions for willful violations.
- Assault Weapons Ban: San José invites other cities to join its amicus brief to support an appeal to the recent Miller v. Bonta decision, which overturned California’s 32-year-old ban on assault weapons.
- Ghost Guns: San José will implement an ordinance to fill a gap in state law, making it illegal in San José to possess, manufacture, or assemble a “ghost gun” — an untraceable firearm, lacking any serial number, that owners can buy online and assemble at home.
- Straw Purchasing and Suicide Prevention: In weeks, Council will consider a final ordinance requiring gun stores to video and audio-record all gun sale transactions to reduce the number of illicit straw-purchases, staff training, and posting of information about suicide prevention and access to mental health services.
- Ammunition Checks: If pending federal litigation results in overturning the 2016 California mandate for background checks on all ammunition purchasers, San José will move forward on a specific mandate to require fingerprinting with all ammunition purchases.
- “Looking Out for One Another”: Partner with regional leaders to create a public campaign encouraging reporting of implied or explicit threats of violence to enable preventative interventions by mental health authorities or law enforcement.
- Gun Buy-Back Programs: Host more gun buy-backs in partnership with other local levels of government, non-profit and private partners.
- Leveraging Federal Information for Early Intervention: Convene a meeting between the San José Police Department, the District Attorney, and local Federal Bureau of Investigations, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, DEA, DHS, and U.S. Customs and Border Control to create better sharing information protocols for high-risk individuals.
The controversial plan is already being greeted with fierce resistance from the gun community. Leading the charge is the Firearms Policy Coalition, which put Mayor Liccardo on notice.
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“The days of governments doing whatever they wish to impose expansive, unconstitutional gun control laws are numbered. We will work tirelessly to bring your tyrannical efforts to a crashing halt, and are committed to restoring human liberty and freedom using every available resource,” said FPC in a statement.
“If San Jose adopts Mayor Liccardo’s outrageous and unconstitutional gun control proposals, we will not hesitate to challenge the City’s policies in federal litigation and take every possible action to block their enforcement,” FPC continued.
Looks like the rollout of Mayor Liccardo’s plan will be anything but smooth sailing. However, if he succeeds on any level, even in the short term, in enforcing the new mandates, it could be used as a blueprint for other Democratically-run cities.
If that happens, if we see widespread momentum for video-recorded gun sales, fingerprinting for ammo purchases, buyers’ fees, liability insurance, the prohibition of homemade firearms, the targeting of 2A advocates who refuse to comply it could also ignite another gun boom.
Alan Gottlieb, the founder of the Second Amendment Foundation, predicted that’s precisely what will happen in the Bay Area.
“San Jose Mayor Liccardo has never met a gun control proposal that he did not want to go to bed with. His latest ten attacks are aimed at discouraging gun ownership,” said Gottlieb in an email to GunsAmerica. “I bet the immediate result is a surge in gun sales in the Bay Area.”