“Guns kill more people than cars. Yet gun owners are not required to carry liability insurance like car owners are required to,” said Senator Skinner. “Why should taxpayers, survivors, families, employers and communities bear the $280 billion annual cost of gun violence? It’s time for gun owners to do their fair share.
Senator Skinner’s new gun insurance legislation comes in response to recent mass shootings in Uvalde, Texas, Buffalo, New York and Tulsa, Oklahoma. The bill is amended to SB 505, a law that had been drafted by Sen. Bob Hertzberg, D-Van Nuys, on a different topic.
Earlier this year, the city of San Jose became the first city in California to pass a law requiring gun owners to carry liability insurance. Senator Skinner’s legislation is also based in part on a bill proposed in 2013 by Assemblyman Phil Ting, D-San Francisco. New York State also considering firearms insurance legislation.
Since 2013, gun deaths climbed 83% nationally. According a recent study, gun deaths now outnumber motor vehicle deaths in 34 states. In addition, guns now kill more children and teenagers in the United States than car accidents.
The data shows that gun safety measures like the SB 505 work. California has some of the strictest gun control laws in the country, and since 2005 gun deaths decreased in our condition by 10%. By contrast, Texas and Florida have some of the weakest gun laws in the nation, and their gun deaths have increased by 28% and 37%, respectively, over the same period. Polls and surveys also show that more than 80% of Americans support tougher gun safety laws.
Under SB 550, gun insurance in California would be similar to auto insurance. Gun owners:
- Be held civilly liable for property damage, injury or death resulting from the use of their firearms
- Must obtain liability insurance that covers loss or damage resulting from the negligent or accidental use of their firearm, including property, damage, injury or death
- Must obtain proof of firearms insurance, keep this proof with their firearm and produce it when requested by a peace officer during a lawful detention.
Senator Nancy Skinner represents the 9th Senate District, is chair of the Senate Budget Committee and vice chair of the Legislative Women’s Caucus.
Source: Senator Nancy Skinner