Law abiding gun owners to pay for gun crimes

In an unprecedented move that is sure to be challenged in court by gun-rights advocates, city leaders in San Jose voted Tuesday to require gun owners in the city to pay taxpayers for the public costs incurred by criminal gun violence.

In a unanimous vote Tuesday night, the progressive San Jose City Council passed ordinances to “require every gun owner to buy liability insurance coverage for their firearms” and “pay a fee to compensate taxpayers for the emergency medical and police responses to gun-related injuries and deaths,” the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

Democratic Mayor Sam Liccardo praised the measures and reportedly argued that gun owners who refuse to comply with the new rules would have their weapons seized.

“While the Second Amendment protects the right to bear arms, it does not require taxpayers to subsidize gun ownership,” Liccardo said in a statement. “We won’t magically end gun violence, but we will stop paying for it.”

Officials have reportedly not yet decided on what gun owners will be required to pay as a fee. That figure will be determined upon completion of a study conducted by an organization called the Pacific Institute on Research and Evaluation.

Ahead of the council vote, PIRE released a preliminary report which assessed that gun violence in the city cost San Jose roughly $442 million annually.

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