No state in the country has yet required civil liability to own a gun.
State Sen. Amanda Cappelletti, D-East Norriton, is proposing to do just that by circulating a co-sponsorship memorandum for legislation that would require liability insurance for gun owners. The bill is unlikely to pass the state legislature.
“Gun owners should bear some responsibility for these costs,” Cappelletti wrote in his co-sponsorship memorandum. “The risk of owning firearms, particularly certain types of firearms and irresponsibly owned firearms, should be reflected in the cost to gun owners. The General Assembly hasn’t acted on sensible gun legislation, but insurers can urge gun owners to implement safety measures, like the use of gun safes firearms, installing trigger locks and taking firearms safety courses. We require motorists to carry auto insurance, and the insurance industry appropriately encourages and rewards safe driving behavior.
Gun owners in other states may soon be required to purchase such insurance. Legislation was introduced in the California State Senate earlier this year that would require gun owners to carry liability insurance to cover the negligent or accidental use of their firearms. A similar bill (S.4946) was introduced in the New York State Senate in the last legislative session by Sen. Kevin Parker, D-Brooklyn, although it was not removed from committee. before the end of the legislative session.
In January, the Silicon Valley city of San Jose approved what is believed to be the first such insurance requirement in the United States.
California Senator Nancy Skinner wants to amend an existing bill on another topic to allow gun owners to be held civilly liable if their firearms are used to cause property damage, injury or death. Its legislation would also require gun owners to carry insurance to cover loss or damage resulting from the careless or accidental use of their firearm. And they should keep proof of insurance with their firearm and show it to the police if they are arrested for any reason.
Gun owners’ groups in California said they don’t believe an insurance company would cover misuse of a gun, while Sam Paredes, executive director of Gun Owners of California , said the requirement for liability insurance would be a violation of the Second Amendment for gun owners. rights.
“We do not think that you can put precursors on the exercise of a constitutional right”, Paredes told The Associated Press. “By requiring someone to insure themselves in order to exercise their right to own and bear arms, it ceases to make it a right.”