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The city of Northern California passes law requiring gun owners to have civil liability insurance

During the shootings at a Northern California city train station in May, city council members unanimously passed a law requiring gun owners to purchase liability insurance.

The law, the first of its kind in the country, requires gun owners in San José to pay a fee to cover taxpayer costs related to gun violence. It was approved Tuesday, the San Francisco Chronicle reported, and was endorsed by San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo.

“We are not going to magically end gun violence, but we are going to stop paying,” Liccardo said in a statement. “We can also better care for their victims and reduce gunshot wounds and deaths through meaningful interventions.”

A preliminary report released before the vote estimates the cost of gun violence to taxpayers in the city from 2013 to 2019 at $ 442 million in direct expenses, lost work and quality of life, according to the statement. That works out to at least $ 63 million annually.

On May 26, a 57-year-old worker at the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority urban train station shot and killed 9 employees before committing suicide in the deadliest mass shooting in Bay Area history. A year earlier, three people were killed in a shooting at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in the same district.
California state legislators will allocate $ 20 million to the VTA to help provide mental health resources and improve safety features in the face of the May shooting, San Jose Spotlight reported.

The new insurance law is part of a 10-point gun control plan that Liccardo introduced after the shooting. The fee is determined by the results of the final report, which will be published by the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation later this year.

City officials know how many guns were purchased in San Jose since 2001, Liccardo said, but the city has no gun registry and no way to track gun owners.

Earlier this month, city lawmakers passed a new law requiring all retailers to record video and audio of all firearm purchases. San Jose became the largest California city with such a rule.

 

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