San Jose mayor proposes amazing new idea: Make gun owners carry liability insurance

San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo is proposing a new legislative idea that hasn't been thought of before, at least openly: Let's make gun owners carry liability insurance for every weapon they own.

Liccardo proposed the first-in-the-nation legislative idea just two weeks after a mass shooting threatened the lives of his citizens at the Garlic Gilroy Festival.

Under his proposal, the insurance would provide coverage for any accidental discharge of a gun and for intentional acts of third parties who steal, borrow, or acquire a gun. The insurance won't cover any intentional acts of the gun owner insured under the policy, just everyone else.

Liccardo is also seeking via a separate measure to see if voters want to impose a tax on all ammunition and firearm purchases in San Jose.

"A mayor doesn't have the luxury of just offering ‘thoughts and prayers,'"  Liccardo said. "We have to solve problems.  While this is far from a complete solution, it is something we can do to reduce the harms of firearms, without waiting for Congress to take action."

While the 2nd Amendment does allow for citizens to keep and bear arms, Liccardo says there's more to it than just that: "However, the Constitution does not require taxpayers to subsidize that individual choice.  The cost of city police and emergency services required to address gun violence should be paid by gun owners, not all taxpayers."

The true cost of gun violence is still being calculated, but the basic idea is, gun owners should start covering those costs, not society. That's a pretty sound law that maybe even hardcore NRA members can even get behind.

The free market, of course, would determine the cost of gun insurance. If gun owners want to lower their deductibles, etc, they will need to figure out how to stop their guns from being used in dangerous situations. There are plenty of instances where a legal, registered gun is used to create harm, contrary to what the NRA says.

This new law isn't intended to suddenly end gun violence, that is going to require a lot more effort, but it is designed to start making gun owners foot the bill. That's the point Liccardo says.