Some California Democratic lawmakers are introducing a bill that would force the state’s gun owners to buy liability insurance in case the weapons they own cause damage or injuries.
Assemblyman Philip Ting of San Francisco, who introduced AB231 along with Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez of Los Angeles, stated that he was catalyzed into action by the Newtown massacre:
I was moved, like many others, being the father of two young children, by the Sandy Hook incident and looking for constructive ways to manage gun violence here in California as well as the rest of the country. There's basically a cost that is born by the taxpayers when accidents occur... I don't think that taxpayers should be footing those bills.
But Sam Paredes, executive director of Gun Owners of California, disagreed with Ting, saying that the bill’s cost would “price gun owners out of existence” and truly hurt law-abiding citizens who live in high-crime areas and need their guns for protection.
He also asserted that the bill submitted by Ting may violate the Constitution, as it would force a citizen to buy insurance in order to have access to a constitutional right. He said that if the committee considering the bill doesn’t bring up the constitutional issue, they’ll see him in court.
Other states, such as Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and New York, have presented similar bills, but none of the states have passed them into law.