San Jose mayor proposes gun owners carry insurance, pay annual fee in wake of rail yard shooting
The mayor of San Jose proposed requiring gun owners to carry insurance and pay an annual fee to pay for the aftermath of gun violence on Tuesday following a shooting at a rail yard in the city that killed nine people.
“With council approval San Jose would become the first city in the United States to require every gun owner to have liability insurance coverage for their firearms. Second, San Jose would become the first U.S. city to require gun owners to pay a fee to compensate taxpayers for the public cost of responding to gun violence,” Mayor Sam Liccardo (D) said, KPIX reported.
Liccardo said the fees would not be exorbitant and would help pay for costs to taxpayers following mass shootings.
“We are cognizant, as the Second Amendment dictates, so that we will not be imposing fees that are so great as to be prohibitive to ownership. We want a fee that will compensate taxpayers for the cost of everything from emergency rooms to police response,” the mayor said.
Sam Paredes, the executive director of Gun Owners of California, told the local outlet that their group, along with others, would challenge the proposal if it passes.
“I strongly believe that Mayor Sam Liccardo is trying to do things he has no authority to do,” said Paredes.
“It is, we believe, very strongly unconstitutional for the government to require law-abiding citizens who are doing nothing more than exercising their Second Amendment rights to be required to have insurance, or to be taxed, while they are exercising that enumerated right,” Paredes added.
If passed by a local government committee, it would be considered by the City Council by the end of June, KPIX reported.
The initiatives come after nine were killed after a gunman open fire at a San Jose rail yard two weeks ago.