California Mayor Proposes Mandatory Liability Insurance for Gun Owners
Article first appeared at Ammoland.com
San Jose, Calif –-(Ammoland.com)-New York State pressured insurance companies to drop coverage for the NRA’s Carry Guard. They claimed it was “murder insurance” and talked about how immoral that the insurance companies had to be to support liability insurance for gun owners.
While New York State attacks insurers of gun owners, one city in California is trying to make it a law that gun owners carry insurance.
In San Jose, a new ordinance proposed by anti-gun Democrat Mayor Sam Liccardo would require gun owners to carry liability insurance on all their firearms.
If a gun owner cannot get insurance for any reason; for example, New York gets its way, the law would force gun owners to pay a fee to the city. The city claims that this fee would go to defray the “cost of gun violence” which they estimate at $700 per year/per person based on a thinly sourced Mother Jones article.
According to San Jose Inside the total cost of gun violence is $112,263,000 for the entire county of Santa Clara. This value is one of the numbers the city is using to push this new ordinance through the city council.
There is no source for this number. With a total of 74 gun-related shootings per year means that each incident cost the county $1,517,068. This number is not realistic. If it were, Chicago would be spending $5.4 billion a year on gun violence.
Gun rights groups are up in arms over this proposal. One such group is Gun Owners of California. The Second Amendment organization believes that this ordinance would violate the Bill of Rights.
“We believe that anything that government does as a prerequisite to exercising an enumerated constitutional right is unconstitutional,” Sam Paredes, executive director of Gun Owners of California said. “The fact that the government can require somebody to get liability insurance before they exercise the right to keep and bear arms, that’s wrong. You can’t put conditions like that on the right to keep and bear arms.”
The insurance would have to cover any uses of the firearm even if a third party that steals the owner’s gun. The Mayor compares the insurance to liability insurance on a car. What he doesn’t acknowledge that the Constitution does not cover driving, but it does cover the right to bear arms.
Liability insurance on firearms isn’t the only thing in the Mayor’s proposal. Liccardo is also proposing an additional tax on ammunition and guns. Many Democrats that are running for president and congress have proposed this idea.
But those sections of the proposal are on shaky ground Constitutionally. In the case of Murdock v. Pennsylvania, the Supreme Court ruled that a state could not directly tax a right.
That case involved a Jehovah’s Witness that police arrested for going door to door and giving out religious text for a small donation. The state charged he violated an ordinance that required a licensing fee to go door to door. The Justices ruled that requiring a licensing fee was akin to censorship.
A lot of firearms owners consider this tactic similar to a poll tax. During the Jim Crow era, local governments levied poll taxes to voters. The idea was to make it impossible for blacks to vote due to the cost of the poll tax.
Just like the poll tax, these proposals will adversely affect the people that need a firearm the most. The rich will still be able to afford to own a gun, but these ordinances will price the poor minority communities out of a constitutional right.
The founder of Black Guns Matter and GOA endorsed candidate for Philadelphia City Council, Maj Toure, believes all gun control is racist and see this proposal as just another example of the racist policies of anti-gun politicians.
“Yet another example of the racist, classist policy of gun control veering its ugly biased head to disproportionately affect Urban Americans,” Toure told AmmoLand. “This isn’t the first time in the history of our country that racist policy has been used to target, tax, disarm, and jail my demographic. Why do these new taxes in San Jose sound just like the ones enforced on black voters during the Jim Crow era? Because it’s the same exact thing. Don’t think Urban Americans are just going to turn the other cheek and allow this type of targeting any longer.”
The proposal also introduces what is called the “consent to search” program. This proposal would make it legal for a parent to give police the right to search their home for guns belonging to the dependent. Police would then seize the firearms.
The proposal doesn’t specify that the dependent has to be a juvenile. The absence of this stipulation is either a gross oversight or intentional. There seems to be an absence of due process.
Judges approve search warrants at a 95% rate. If an officer could not get a search warrant, then their evidence of a crime would have to be paper-thin. The program bullies’ parents into letting police search their home on a hunch.
The final part of the ordinance would require the city to advocate for gun control on a state level. It would basically make it a law that future city officials push gun control. It would not matter there their view on gun control, or the ever-changing views of the people they represent. They will have their position set in stone taking away from the time-honored tradition of change in the country.
AmmoLand reached out to San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo, but the Mayor did not return our request for comment.
About John Crump
John is a NRA instructor and a constitutional activist. He is the former CEO of Veritas Firearms, LLC and is the co-host of The Patriot News Podcast which can be found at www.blogtalkradio.com/patriotnews. John has written extensively on the patriot movement including 3%’ers, Oath Keepers, and Militias. In addition to the Patriot movement, John has written about firearms, interviewed people of all walks of life, and on the Constitution. John lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and sons and is currently working on a book on leftist deplatforming methods and can be followed on Twitter at @crumpyss, on Facebook at realjohncrump, or at www.crumpy.com.