San Jose, California, is getting closer to adopting a first-in-the-nation law to address gun violence by requiring all gun owners to pay a fee and carry liability insurance.
The Silicon Valley city’s council is due to vote Tuesday on the ordinance, whose dual-pronged approach aims to reduce the risk of gun harm by incentivizing safer behavior and to ease taxpayers of the financial burden of gun violence.
“Certainly the Second Amendment protects every citizen’s right to own a gun. It does not require taxpayers to subsidize that right,” Democratic Mayor Sam Liccardo said Monday at a news conference, estimating that San Jose residents incur about $442 million in gun-related costs each year.
Mass shootings have impelled Liccardo to push the fee and insurance measures — first after the 2019 slayings at a festival in nearby Gilroy, California, then following last year’s deadly siege at public transit facility in his city. The mayor has compared the plan to car insurance mandates, which he credits with dramatically reducing traffic fatalities.