On Tuesday, San Jose City Council voted to enact the nation’s first ever gun laws requiring gun owners to pay a annual fee and have liability insurance for their firearms. The goal of the new law is aimed to reduce the risk of gun violence by incentivizing safer gun behavior and easing the financial burden on taxpayers due to gun violence.
The City Council split the vote into two parts. The first proposal was introducing and approving liability insurance for gun owners. The second, was approving a annual fee provision for gun ownership. The liability insurance vote was passed 10-1, while the fee passed 8-3.
The new law must be approved by next month at its final reading in order to take affect by August. San Jose gun owners voiced their concerns over the laws and the further erosion of their second amendment rights. Gun advocacy groups have stated they would sue to block the measure from becoming law.
Back in July 2021, The National Foundation for Gun Rights sent a cease-and-desist letter to Mayor Sam Liccardo and San Jose’s City Council board. The letter advising them they attend to sue if the law was passed.
In response, the city of San Jose identified a law firm how would represent the city at no charge, according to the mayor’s spokesperson.
Before, the vote CNN spoke to Dudley Brown, President the National Association for Gun Rights and he said, “ We’ve opposed this ordinance every step of the way and we will see this through to the end.”
“If the San Jose City Council actually votes to impose this ridiculous tax on the Constitutional right to gun ownership, our message is clear and simple: see you in court,” Brown elaborated.
On Monday, ahead of the San Jose City Council vote Mayor Sam Liccardo estimated San Jose residents incur about $442 million dollars in gun related costs each year. Certainly, the Second Amendment protects every citizen’s right to own a gun. It does not require taxpayers to subsidize that right,” Liccardo said Monday at a news conference.
Under the new measure, gun owners will be charged an annual fee of $25. This money will be giving to a nonprofits for gun crime prevention and to victim’s of gun violence. The new law would also require gun owners to get liability insurance for any damages their firearm potentially causes.
San Jose residents who fail to comply are subject to fines and could have their weapons impounded. From there person would be due a court hearing on their impounded firearms, according to the law.
Proponents of the legislation discuss how the law will incentivizes safer behavior by offering lower insurance premiums. Residents would incur lower insurance premiums by owning gun safes, gun locks, and taking firearm safety courses.
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