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In first, San Jose will require gun owners to buy liability insurance, pay annual fee

Law will likely face legal challenges
San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo gun laws
Posted at 7:36 AM, Jan 26, 2022

SAN JOSE, Calif. — A California city has voted to require gun owners to carry liability insurance in what's believed to be the first measure of its kind in the United States.

The San Jose City Council overwhelmingly approved the measure Tuesday night despite opposition from some gun owners who said it would violate their Second Amendment rights.

According to the San Jose Mercury News, the two ordinances require gun owners in the city to purchase liability insurance and pay an annual fee to a still-to-be-established nonprofit with the goal of limiting gun violence.

The fee, which the Mercury News reports will total $25 to $35, would be used for firearm safety education and services such as domestic violence prevention and mental health services.

According to KGO-TV, it's unclear when the ordinance will take effect.

The Mercury News reports that the new rules were first proposed by San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo two years ago. In a tweet Tuesday night, he thanked several organizations for helping "craft a constitutionally compliant path to mitigate the unnecessary suffering from gun harm in our community."

The new laws are sure to attract legal challenges from gun rights groups. KGO says the Firearm Policy Coalition has already promised to fight the new law.

"Since San Jose's recalcitrant City Council members don't believe that the United States Constitution applies to them or their citizens, Firearms Policy Coalition and our members are now committed to fight the City's outrageous and offensive policies in federal litigation and take every possible action to block their enforcement," the group said.