Gun Owners of California’s Statement on San Jose’s Passage of Ordinance Requiring Gun Owners Carry Liability Insurance

Sam Paredes, Gun Owners of California’s Executive Director made the following statement on the City of San Jose’s mandate for gun owners to carry liability insurance and pay a fee to cover taxpayers’ costs associated with gun violence.

“There are so many things wrong with this that it’s tough to know where to begin,” said Paredes.  “Can residents of San Jose expect a door-to-door check from city inspectors asking about guns in the home?  This sounds more like pre-World War II Poland than the United States.”

California’s preemption law prohibits local authorities from passing gun control ordinances and regulations, reserving that subject matter to the state, and preventing a disparate patchwork of laws throughout California.

“Requiring someone to carry liability insurance for participating in a Constitutionally guaranteed right such as the 2nd Amendment is no different than steamrolling the 1st Amendment by mandating the media carry such insurance,” said Paredes.  “And, to expect lawful San Jose gun owners to pay a fee – to be held financially responsible to cover the damages caused by criminals is absolutely shameful.”

Constitutional attorneys David B. Rivkin Jr. And Andrew M. Grossman wrote on the issue of firearm insurance mandates:

The courts, however, are no more likely to allow government to undermine the Second Amendment than to undermine the First. A state cannot circumvent the right to a free press by requiring that an unfriendly newspaper carry millions in libel insurance or pay a thousand-dollar tax on barrels of ink—the real motive, in either case, would be transparent and the regulation struck down. How could the result be any different for the right to keep and bear arms?


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