The San Jose, Calif., city council voted on Tuesday to enact new laws in the country requiring most gun owners to pay a fee and obtain liability insurance.
The Silicon Valley City ordinance aims to reduce the risk of gun damage by encouraging safer behavior and relieving taxpayers of the financial burden of gun violence.
The board split the vote into two parts: the first approving most of the bill, including the insurance provisions, and the second approving the fee provisions. The measures were approved by 10 to 1 and 8 to 3, respectively.
The ordinance must be approved next month in its final reading to take effect in August.
Ahead of the vote, Democratic Mayor Sam Liccardo estimated that San Jose residents incur about $442 million in gun-related costs each year.
“Certainly the Second Amendment protects every citizen’s right to own a gun, it doesn’t require taxpayers to subsidize that right,” Liccardo told a news conference.
Mass shootings prompted Liccardo to increase the rate and insurance measures. The mayor compared the plan to auto insurance mandates, which he credits with dramatically reducing road traffic deaths.
The San Jose city council after the June mass shooting unanimously approved drafting the ordinance, spokeswoman for Mayor Rachel Davis said Monday in a press release.
Only 52% of Americans surveyed at the end of 2021 said that “laws covering the sale of firearms” should be tightened, the lowest number measured by Gallup on the issue since 2014.
Meanwhile, there is a direct correlation in states with weaker gun laws and higher rates of firearm deaths, including homicides, suicides and accidental deaths, according to a study released by the organization Everytown for Gun Safety.
Gun advocacy group threatens to sue
Under the San Jose measure, gun owners will be charged an annual fee of $25 directed to a nonprofit created to distribute funds for the prevention of gun crime and for victims of gun violence.
The measure would also require gun owners to obtain liability insurance that would cover damage caused by their gun.
The ordinance says that people who do not comply are subject to fines and may have firearms seized “subject to a due process hearing”.
Lower prizes for those with gun safes, trigger locks and completed gun safety classes are expected to encourage safer behavior.
As for enforcement, police officers who cross paths with gun owners ask for proof of insurance, just as they do with car insurance during traffic stops, Liccardo explained.
While some are exempt, including those with law enforcement and concealed carry permits, a backlash is expected, the mayor acknowledged.
“We oppose this ordinance every step of the way and we will see it through to the end,” Dudley Brown, president of the National Association for Gun Rights and executive director of the National Foundation for Gun Rights, said in a statement to CNN. . before the vote.
“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 said.
The National Foundation for Gun Rights in July sent a cease and desist letter to Liccardo and the 10 board members saying it intends to file a lawsuit once the decree is passed.
San Jose has identified a law firm that would represent the city in the matter at no cost, the mayor’s spokesperson said.
This content was originally created in English.
Reference: CNN Brasil