To that end, Liccardo said, he hoped the San Jose City Council would approve, by the end of the year, a first-in-the-nation requirement that gun owners in the city insure their weapons or pay fees to keep them. The idea, he explained, is that guns are contributing to a public health crisis — and it’s expensive.
More detail from the last time Liccardo tried this:Of course, gun laws at every level have faced intense and sustained legal challenges. Liccardo told me he’s “not delusional” about the fact that a gun regulation ordinance would require a vigorous legal defense. But he said that city-level policy changes could provide ideas that Congress and even the state legislature would not be nimble enough to enact.
“No one would say that it would be ideal for each city to come up with its own policies,” he said. “But we recognize that cities can be laboratories for policy innovation.”
San Jose Mayor Unveils First-of-Its-Kind Policy Proposal to Combat Gun Violence
The initiative unveiled this morning, which city officials are calling a first-of-its-kind in the nation, would require firearm owners to carry liability insurance for their weapons. Those unable to acquire such insurance would instead pay a fee to compensate the public for the “cost of firearm violence in America’s 10th largest city,” according to a press release from the mayor’s office.
The insurance would cover accidental discharges, as well as the intentional acts of someone who stole, borrowed or acquired the gun. However, it wouldn't cover the liability of the gun owner for their own “intentional conduct.”
“Under current Supreme Court rulings, the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects the right to keep and bear arms,” the mayor said. “However, the Constitution does not require taxpayers to subsidize that individual choice. The cost of city police and emergency services required to address gun violence should be paid by gun owners, not all taxpayers.”