L.A. Could Be Next City to Require Gun Liability Insurance
Following San Jose’s lead, three Los Angeles councilmen introduced a motion Wednesday to explore a potential ordinance that will require gun owners in Los Angeles to purchase firearm liability insurance.
Citing the high economic and emotional toll that entire communities take on due to gun violence, Councilmen Paul Koretz, Paul Krekorian and Mitch O’Farrell hope the measure will promote responsible gun ownership.
California saw an additional 1.17 million new firearms registered in 2020. Last year, 1,469 people were shot in Los Angeles, a 54.2% increase from 2019.*Findings from Firearm insurance motion.
“Not every household has a gun, and while not all communities experience high levels of gun violence, we all bear the economic burden of injuries and deaths caused by firearms,” Koretz told the L.A. Times.
Krekorian, who authored a 2015 law that requires all handgun owners in Los Angeles to lock their guns or disable them with a trigger lock at home, calls the measure “common-sense,” and “reasonable.”
School shootings are carried out 75% of the time by children who have access to unsecured and unsupervised firearms at home.*Findings from Firearm insurance motion.
The ordinance, modeled after the one in San Jose that takes effect in August, would require guns owners to carry liability insurance through homeowner’s or renter’s insurance. It would also carry an as-yet-unannounced annual fee that will be used for evidence-based initiatives that aim to reduce gun violence. In San Jose, the proposed fee is $25.
The councilmen hope the motion will encourage gun owners to “take safety courses, make sure firearms are properly stored and secured, install trigger locks and use loaded chamber indicators.” They point to evidence from auto insurers that reward good driving, as an example of how insurance can lead to safer practices. The councilman will now work to bring the proposed measure to a full proposal over the coming months.
Improperly stored and misused firearms also allow eight children to be shot each day.*Findings from Firearm insurance motion.
If passed, Los Angeles would be the second city in the country with an insurance-based gun ownership law.
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