The San Jose, Calif., City Council has taken a major step toward passage of a law that would require gun-owning residents of city to hold liability insurance.
The law would also require gun owners to pay a $25 annual fee, to be collected by a non-profit and disbursed to other organizations toward gun safety training, domestic violence prevention, suicide prevention, and mental health services. With an estimated 50,000 to 55,000 gun owners in San Jose, the fee could bring in roughly $1.3 million, the San Jose Spotlight reported.
The two ordinances will be the first of their kind in the U.S. The city council voted for the liability insurance requirement 10-1 in a first reading on Wednesday, while the mandatory fee passed 8-3. The law is expected to be passed at a second reading in February, and will go into effect in August.
Under the law, proposed liability insurance would cover damages from “negligent or accidental use of the firearm.”
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Mayor Sam Liccardo proposed the legislation in 2019 after a shooting at the Gilroy Garlic Festival south of San Jose, and again in 2021 after the VTA light rail shooting during which a gunman killed nine people and then committed suicide.
“When we think about the horrible mass shootings, I don’t pretend to know that we could have stopped it or not. But if in fact, we could have delivered some mental health services, there may have been a chance,” Liccardo told reporters.
However, Liccardo also acknowledged that “this won’t stop mass shootings and keep bad people from committing violent crime.”
Sam Paredes, Executive Director of Gun Owners of California, said the legislation was useless in a statement several days before the vote.
“There is zero logic to these proposals,” Paredes said. “The Mayor has admitted that criminals will ignore the law—but he believes he’s going to curb gun crime somehow by making the good guys buy liability insurance? This is some oddball reasoning for sure.”
This content was originally published here.